Tag Archives: exercise

Going Out of Business!

Thank all of you for your support over my last post. I feel much better today. I think the main issue is that I haven’t been able to exercise over the last few days due to my knee. I am actually feeling some pain in it now.

Whenever I go a few days without exercise, my self-esteem (and eating habits) go down the toilet. But I plan on making an appointment with an orthopedist next week to see what’s going on. In the meantime, I will make the best choices I can and try to forgive myself for not being perfect.

Today was a great day. There was a Borders nearby that was going out of business. Woo-hoo! I was all set for excellent deals on books. I bought several items. The deals weren’t earth-shattering on the cookbooks, but somehow the fact that all cookbooks were 20% off made me want to buy them. Plus I had some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket from Christmas. Buying books with someone else’s money is even better.

Here are my finds:

Food Rules: by Michael Pollan <– very excited about this one!
Now Eat This! by Rocco DiSpirito
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich <– I can’t WAIT to try a recipe from this cookbook. There isn’t one single recipe in here that doesn’t make my mouth water.
Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell <– Loved the movie and I can’t wait to read the book!
Personal Training with Jackie Warner: Crunch-Free XTreme Abs DVD <– LOVE her!

Can you tell that I’m kind of obsessed with food? Note : never go to the bookstore hungry. ;)
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Tomorrow is Internet-free day in our household so I will be back with a great post on Monday. :)
Anyone have any great cookbook recommendations?

Vacation’s Over

Today was my first day back in work in a week. I had a wonderful and relaxing staycation, but I had to get back to reality at some point. The day didn’t start out on the right note however. I didn’t sleep well last night. I tossed and turned and I had weird dreams. Because of my lack of sleep last night, I overslept a little this morning. Not enough to be late work, but enough so that I didn’t have time for a morning workout.

But I made up for the late start by having some leftover pancakes that Corey made me the other day. I had a couple of blueberry pancakes topped with fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

Yummy! A delicious way to start the day and it turned my morning away. How could I be in a bad mood after a breakfast like that? :)

I prepped my lunch for work last night so it would save a little time this morning. I expected today to be a bit busy (which it actually wasn’t), so I needed a nutritious lunch and nutritious snacks to keep me full and satisfied. I get so cranky when I get hungry.

For lunch, I made some Egg Salad and had that on multigrain bread. I also cooked some bacon and added it to the Egg Salad.

I don’t know why I didn’t do that before. The addition of bacon makes the Egg Salad so much more delicious! But since when does bacon do anything else?

My snacks included: some green grapes . . .

and some homemade pretzel bites with mustard.

I think I have learned my lesson when it comes to pictures. I used to take all my pictures of foods I took to work at work. However, the lighting is just awful. It’s all fluorescent so the pictures have a greenish tint to them. Now I take most of my pictures at home. The pictures come out so much better.

I will show you an example of what I mean. The above picture of my pretzel bites and mustard were taken at my home.

Here is an example of a picture of them taken at work.

See what I mean? And the picture doesn’t even look that bad on my camera. The camera fools me. Then I upload it and it looks neon.

I’m glad I took a break from work over the last week. I was beginning to feel burnt out. But I went back to work today energized and refreshed. I felt ready to tackle the day.

Luckily, I got off work at a decent hour. Because I missed my morning workout, I found myself craving a good workout after work. I was excited for it. I did Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones, followed by 20 minutes on the elliptical. That Jillian Michaels workout is no joke. This is the second time this week I have done it and it was just as intense as the first time. My shoulders are killing me, as are my glutes. My triceps will probably be sore tomorrow.

After my workout, Corey and I had a dinner of whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken and organic pasta sauce. I also had some roasted broccoli on the side.

Now I need to relax a little and try to ease the soreness from my muscles. Poor Callie hasn’t been feeling well all day. She has had a bit of an upset stomach all day and part of the reason I didn’t sleep well is because she was tossing and turning all night. I think she’s feeling a little better now. She seems to be catching up on her sleep and I am looking forward to following suit! Good night everyone.

 

My staycation rocks!

First of all, I just want to thank all of you guys for your support over yesterday’s post. All of your comments made me feel so much better. I did manage to let go of most of the guilt and I ate a phenomenal burger. I also enjoyed some great company in the form of my husband. :)

Today was a great day! Tomorrow is the last day of our “staycation.” We are both going to be a little sad to have to go back to work, I think.

This morning I told my husband I was in the mood for pancakes for breakfast. I have a couple of recipes in my arsenal that we usually make. But my husband wanted to make me breakfast and he wanted to surprise me. This concept was very scary to me. I feel a need to be in control of every ingredient to monitor the nutrition. Usually when Corey wants to make me breakfast, I give him a recipe and he follows it accordingly!

I’m glad I trusted him because he did make excellent pancakes. He used this recipe from Allrecipes. The only change he made was to add a teaspoon of vanilla and to add fruit to the batter. He made several blueberry pancakes and several strawberry ones.

They were so delicious! I had never put strawberries in my pancakes before and I have no idea why. I loved it! The pancakes came out light and fluffy. They don’t have a lot of sugar so they weren’t very sweet, which I enjoyed. And the butter in the recipe gave them a wonderfully buttery taste.

Just a little side note: for the butter in most of my recipes (except maybe a few sweets like cookies and cakes), I use I can’t believe it’s not butter fat-free. I know, it’s horribly processed and this is probably the one thing that I eat that has this many ingredients. But I actually prefer the taste to real butter. I’m weird like that. ;)

After some relaxing and eating, I needed a workout. My quads were still sore from Sunday’s Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones workout. This workout was one of my new workouts for the month and I love it! It’s 50 minutes of pure strength training. My quads, thighs, abs, and triceps were so sore yesterday from the workout. My triceps and quads are still sore today. But that was not going to stop me from getting in some good cardio. I did a 25 minute Jillian Michaels kickboxing workout (can you tell I love her??), followed by 35 minutes on the elliptical. The elliptical may be boring, but it sure does make me break a sweat. :)

By the time my workout was complete and by the time I took a shower, it was time for lunch. I have been a little light on my veggies lately so I was craving a salad . . . a taco salad! I swear, that’s my favorite way to eat veggies.

The salad consisted of lettuce, taco meat with peppers and onions, salsa, and some refried beans. I ate this salad with some tortilla chips. Yummy!

Today was a beautiful 80 degrees so we did not want to spend the day indoors.

We took Callie to this little creek in the nearby park so she could run off some energy play. I didn’t realize that it was a little of a hike to the creek. It was over a mile there and back. Ordinarily, that would not have been an issue. But my quads were already sore from my morning workout. And the hike back to the car was mostly uphill. Not what I was in the mood for.

After spending some time at the creek and then doing some house cleaning, we were hungry. And tonight was pizza night. I love pizza night! We bought some whole wheat pizza dough at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. I had a couple of slices with pizza sauce, a little mozzarella cheese, some all natural pepperoni, and some red and green peppers.

The pizza was yummy. The only issue was that the crust was a little underbaked so there wasn’t any of the crispness that I enjoy. Next time we will bake it up a little more and I’m sure it will be fine. All in all, not a bad pizza.

After dinner, Corey and I went to a movie. I can’t remember the last time we went to a movie on a weeknight. A couple of weeks ago, both of us had bought a Groupon that would allow us to get 2 movie tickets on Fandango for only $9. What a deal! We decided that tonight was a great time to use it.

We went to see “Limitless.” There were only a few people in the theatre. The movie was a pretty good one. I thought the ending was a little abrupt for my taste, but it was still a decent movie.

Now we are both relaxing a little on the couch before going to bed. I got a little bedtime snack of Butter Toffee peanuts.

I bought these at the Farmer’s Market last weekend and they are so incredibly addicting. It’s hard to just grab a handful or two at a time. But I have a little self-control.

Now I am exhausted! All that time in the sun has made me so sleepy. Good night everyone!

Question: Do you still work out when your muscles are very sore? How do you cope with that?

Meant to Run?

I think that my body was not made for running. Ever since my last run almost a week ago, my right knee has been very swollen. This happens sometimes and this time I couldn’t ignore it. When I stand up, it actually makes me feel uncomfortable. So I knew that going for a run today was out of the question, even though it was unbelievably nice outside.

Check out the size of my right knee!

I have no idea why my knee gets so swollen. Last time I visited an orthopedist, he couldn’t figure it out so he just drained the fluid. It doesn’t hurt or anything. It mainly just feels uncomfortable because of the swelling. Does anyone know why this would happen?

I am so excited because today was the beginning of my “staycation.” I have mentioned that I have been super busy at work. I decided to take the next several days off of work. I don’t have to be at work until next Thursday. Yay! Since Sundays and Mondays are usually my days off work, that equals about four days off. I really need this time to relax and recharge my batteries. Does anyone else ever take a few days off work just to recharge a little?

I started the day off on a wonderful note. Time off work = more time to cook breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day after all. ;) I started the day with my Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast. I used Naturally Nutty Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter. I also stuffed the bread with fresh strawberries!

Holy yum! This was so good. I loved the addition of the fruit. So good.

I always think that I’m being lazy on my days off when I guess that’s what relaxing is all about. Why do I feel guilty when I’m not doing anything? I mainly surfed the web, caught up with blogs, and caught up on my DVR recordings.

My breakfast actually kept me full for several hours so I ate a late lunch. I made myself some tuna fish (made of low fat mayo and mustard) and lettuce on multigrain bread. Along with the sandwich, I had some chips and salsa.

The salsa was unpictured because I ate it directly from the jar. It totally hit the spot.

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping on the couch with Callie.

Apparently she was feeling a bit lazy as well.

Even though I couldn’t run, I knew that I had to work out. It took me a good half an hour to drag myself off the couch and workout. I was tired and just didn’t feel like it. I had to keep repeating my exercise mantra in my head: “You are just one workout away from a great mood!” It gets me up every time. I’m not going to lie though. The main reason I got to work out was because I had completely caught up with my DVR and I was bored. There are worse reasons, right? ;)

I ended up doing two Jillian Michaels workouts: 30 day shred level 2 and 6 week 6 pack. They both count as my new workouts for this month. I had only done each of them once and that was a couple of months ago. Why am I so afraid of strenuous workouts?  The 6 week 6 pack workout was a killer. I could barely get through it, but I did it. I guess an hour-long workout isn’t bad for someone who didn’t want to do anything in the first place.

Callie wasn’t in the mood for a workout.
Lazy dog. :)

The best part of the day was undoubtedly when my husband got home. He had to work late tonight. When he came home he surprised me with some flowers that he picked in front of his office.

The first sign of Spring! Aren’t they beautiful? Isn’t he the sweetest?

And yes, we put the flowers in a wine glass. That’s just how we roll.

The day ended with a great meal and wonderful quality time with my husband.

I had a cooked hamburger patty with sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus. Of course I drizzled lots of barbecue sauce on them. I’m kind of addicted to barbecue sauce on my veggies now.

After a trip to the grocery store, I am now relaxing with my husband. For the first time in a really long time, I don’t have to work tomorrow. Yay!!!

Lost Hour

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Yesterday’s Internet-free Sunday was just as awesome as last weekend. I really feel that staying away from the computer all day brings my husband and me closer. We spend more time together, we actually get out of the house and away from the television a little bit, we even laugh more. Sundays are now my favorite day of the week. :)

Did Daylight Savings Time mess anyone else up? Corey took care of Callie and allowed me to sleep in. When I looked at the clock after waking up, it said 7:30. Believe me when I say I do not usually sleep that late. Talk about luxury! It wasn’t until a couple of hours later that I remembered about the time change and realized that it was actually 8:30 when I woke up. That lost hour really messed with my internal clock all day.

Corey started the day off by making me breakfast. I love that he loves to make me breakfast on the weekends. He made me Peanut Butter Waffles. Yummy!

After breakfast, we relaxed a little and then I was in the mood for a good workout. In the spirit of trying a new workout, I turned on the Jillian Michaels Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD. I used to do this through Comcast On Demand all the time, but the On Demand version of the workout is only 20 minutes. The full DVD version is 45 minutes long.

I have only done this full length version once and that was quite a while ago. This workout is a killer! It is all cardio and is intense. I discovered about halfway through the workout that waffles are NOT a good pre-workout meal. They were sitting in my stomach like a rock and I was feeling quite nauseous. Unfortunately I had to stop about 20 minutes into it. My stomach just couldn’t take anymore.

After my brief workout, Corey and I both took a shower and got ready for a fun afternoon in the park! It was so incredibly beautiful yesterday. It was about 75 degrees. It felt like summer! Or maybe I should say that it felt like Spring. Summers in Georgia are about 100 degrees.

It's a beautiful day for a picnic!

Corey and I decided to take a picnic lunch to eat in the park. I think Callie was more excited than we were.

For lunch, I took a grilled bacon, lettuce, and cheese sandwich.

 For dessert, I had  a slice of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin bread (yes I actually had a few slices left after last week’s pig out) along with some strawberries.

I have missed strawberries so much and I really feel like Spring is around the corner with the arrival of fresh berries. They were on sale at Publix for only $1.67! Score. :)

Enjoying a strawberry

We brought some toys for Callie to play fetch with, along with some treats. However, she wasn’t interested in any of it.

She was more interested in sniffing the ground, eating grass, and chasing bugs. You know, the usual dog stuff. ;)

Callie chasing some tiny little bug

We spent a while in the park, just enjoying the sunshine and taking lots and lots of photos of Callie. We were in a few of the pictures as well.

I think she was annoyed with out impromptu photo shoots.

But isn’t she just the most photogenic dog ever??

I could be a bit biased. ;) We need to teach her the command, “Look at me.” Most of the time she refuses to look at us if we are snapping pictures. If she does happen to glance our way, we have to snap the picture as quickly as we can before we lose the opportunity.

A family shot!

After our wonderful afternoon in the park, I was ready to finish my workout. Honestly, it would have driven me crazy for the rest of the night if I had left the workout unfinished. The second half was just as intense as the first, but my stomach felt a lot more settled. So I still got a 45 minute workout in yesterday!

Last night we had the idea to have a pizza night. We bought a package with two 8″ pizza crusts from Whole Foods. Corey and I do not agree on pizza toppings, so it was nice that we could each have our own personal pizza.

I made a great white cheese spread for my pizza. I can’t eat very much mozzarella cheese because it gives me migraines. Since I am loving goat cheese, I decided to make a spread out of that and some ricotta cheese. It was so delicious that I was eating it out of the bowl with a spoon.

Goat Cheese and Ricotta Spread for a pizza (makes enough for one small 8″ pizza)

1/3 c. Ricotta cheese
2 oz. soft goat cheese
1/2 c. fresh spinach
basil, parsley, and other spices to taste

Mix all ingredients and spread on pizza. Can use this instead of pizza sauce or spread some on top of pizza sauce (like I did!). Yummy!

On top of my pizza crust, I had pizza sauce, my cheese spread, a couple of slices of Applegate all natural pepperoni, and some green pepper slices.

Corey was a little more nervous than I was about the crust. It was gluten-free and he was afraid he would miss the gluten. Turns out, he was right. Maybe it was just the brand of crust, but it was too dry and didn’t have much flavor. Corey ended up getting something else for dinner, but I just scraped the cheese and veggies off my crust and ate that. It was still very tasty.

I hope everyone else had a great Sunday. Are you coping well with the lost hour?

Goals

Since yesterday was the beginning of a whole new month, it occurred to me that I haven’t given you guys an update regarding my February goals. I had two goals: try at least two new vegetables and to do the Jackie Warner workout three times a week.

Regarding the vegetable goal, it was a great success. I tried cauliflower. It was a pretty tasty dish . . . at least the way I cooked it. I plan on cooking it in different ways in the future.

In my brief hiatus from blogging, I also tried another veggie . . . parsnip!

I honestly wasn’t expecting to like parsnip. I roasted it in the oven with some red pepper and paprika (can you tell I like things spicy?) to make parsnip fries.

I really liked them! They had kind of a sweet taste that I really enjoyed. I have actually eaten these about three or four times since I first tried them a couple of weeks ago. I really need to continue trying new veggies. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.

I did not succeed at the goal of doing the Jackie Warner DVD three times a week. The first couple of weeks, I did what I needed to do. But over the second half of the month, I slowly stopped doing Jackie Warner at all. I think it’s because I was getting bored with the workouts. I was able to move through all the workouts with way too much ease. I decided to make the workout a little tougher by increasing the weight I was using. I was using 5 pound and 3 pound hand weights for the workout. On Monday, I used 8 pound and 5 pound hand weights for the workout. I haven’t used the 8 pound weights in forever . . . since I used to do regular strength training. Increasing the weights really made a difference. I had to struggle with the workout and I actually broke a sweat. My muscles were quivering afterwards. It is now four days later and my muscles are still sore from the increased weights. I don’t think there is one muscle that isn’t still sore. Guess that means it worked. :)

Besides the fact that Spring is that much closer, March also means it’s time to set some new goals!

One goal I am setting for this month is to eat out no more than once a week. (Starbucks doesn’t count as eating out, right. ;) ) I feel like a reason my weight loss has stalled is because my husband and I have been eating out too much. I try to get healthier options, but I do think that sometimes I tend to eat more when I’m eating out. For instance, my husband and I ordered fajitas from a local Mexican restaurant last night. I had the best intentions: I was going to stop at two fajitas (usually  I have three) and I was going to have a small portion of chips and salsa. I did stop at two fajitas, but I overdid it on chips and salsa. I ate way too many of them. I definitely ate past the point of fullness, which is what I am trying to stop.

A second goal for the month of March is to try at least two new workouts . . . or at least do a new workout DVD that I haven’t done in years. I have quite a lot of those. I tend to get in workout ruts (like Jackie Warner) and it would be great to make my muscles work a bit harder.

What are some of your goals right now? Tried any new veggies lately?

Fresh Start to the Week

This weekend was really relaxing (except for the whole working on Saturday thing). After work on Saturday, I decided to head to my grandmother’s house (she lives an hour away) and spend some time with her. We are really close and every once in a while I will go spend some good quality time with her. I am glad our tradition of spending the weekend together did not end when I got married. :)

I have to say that I did not take one single picture the entire time I was there. It was just one of those nights where I wanted to take a break from my blogging duties and just relax.

I will say that grandmother’s house = comfort food. I had real butter (and lots of it), macaroni and cheese and lots of bites of some burnt pound cake (not all of it was ruined). And last night, my husband and I ordered take out. In addition to a Greek wrap with fries, I ordered a massive slice of red velvet cake from Marietta Diner, a local restaurant that is practically an institution and has amazing food.

I LOVE red velvet and I think it’s been years since I’ve tasted one of their cake slices. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the entire thing. ;) I probably ate almost half of it before a massive stomach ache hit. That’s what happens when you eat too much comfort food. I ended up throwing the rest of the cake away. As wonderful as that cake was (seriously delicious), I knew my body couldn’t take any more sugar.

Did anyone NOT watch the Superbowl last night? I think Corey and I were just about the only ones in the country not watching the game. Instead, we watched Social Network as part of my mission to see all of the Oscar nominees for best picture. It was an excellent movie. Even Justin Timberlake did a great job in it. I’m not sure if I’m rooting for it for Best Picture though. I think Black Swan was better. I know that King’s Speech is getting a lot of buzz and is expected to win, so I would like to see that one.

After all of the fattening food I ate this weekend, I wanted to start today right. I have never been one to promise that I will do better on Monday (at least, not anymore). I typically eat healthy even on the weekends, with the occasional splurge just like during the week. But after my eats this weekend, I knew what I needed to start my week off right: lots of fruits and veggies!

I started the day with a nice apple bowl for breakfast.

I microwaved an apple with some cinnamon and a little bit of maple syrup until it was soft. I topped the apples with some peanut butter granola, blueberries, Rice Krispies, and ricotta cheese. It was super tasty and filling! And the best part was that my breakfast snapped, crackled, and popped. :)

Lunch was a delicious noodle bowl.

It had spinach fettuccine, pasta sauce, grilled chicken, and some broccoli. It was a very red and green lunch . . . like Christmas in a bowl!

An afternoon snack was a couple of handfuls of honey roasted peanuts.

These things are so good! I am contemplating making some homemade honey roasted peanut butter with them.

Dinner was taco salad.

I had some beef seasoned with homemade taco seasoning, spinach, cheese, salsa and a special ingredient . .  . broccoli. I know that seems like a weird addition. The meat did make the broccoli a bit soggy, but it was still tasty. And of course I had some tortilla chips for dippin’. :)

I have to admit that I did not feel like working out at ALL. I felt lazy and out of sorts. But I kept telling myself to just do something and it would make me feel better. I planned on doing the elliptical for an hour, but I ended up doing fifteen minutes. That was all I could push myself to do at that moment. Ordinarily, I would feel guilty about not doing more, but I have learned that any activity is good activity.

All in all, it was a good beginning to the week. Hope everyone’s Monday went just as well. :)