Tag Archives: strength training

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!!!

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?

He’s home!

Today was a good day. Yesterday I felt really crappy. I think it was a combination of lack of sleep, a long day at work, not enough food and of course . . . missing my husband. He has been on a business trip all week and he was due back today.

I had to work (unfortunately) and his flight didn’t get in until after I was already at work. So he stopped by my office for a second or two just because he couldn’t wait to see me. :) And he brought me a present!

Biscoff cookies from the airplane! I love these things. I should try the Biscoff spread that everyone keeps talking about.

To celebrate Corey’s return, we went to our new favorite burger place: Farm Burger.

The beef is 100% grassfed and all of their toppings are locally grown. They are so incredibly delicious. I got a burger with pickles, roasted garlic, arugula, and caramelized onions. Yummy!

Not only do they have the best burgers in Atlanta, but they have the best onion rings in Atlanta as well.

We haven’t been to this place in quite a while, so it was a nice treat.

After I gave my food some time to digest, I did manage to sneak in a quick workout. Since I actually own the Jackie Warner total body workout now (thanks Borders gift card!), I did the 15 minute total body circuit. This was the first time doing this workout because I always did the 40 minute total body workout that was On Demand. While I wouldn’t choose to do the shorter version every single time, this was a nice option for when I don’t have the time (or the inclination) to do a longer workout. And even with just 15 minutes, Jackie Warner still knows how to break a sweat! Now I’m just trying not to feel too guilty because I did 15 minutes instead of 40.

Now I am relaxing with my husband and enjoying some quality time. I’m having a craving for waffles, so I think I’m going to search for (or create) a new recipe. Corey’s home and he always makes me breakfast on Sundays! :)

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend.

Egg-cellent!

First of all, I just want to thank all of you guys for the wonderful support over my last post! I love the support from the blogging community. It was really nice to hear that I’m not the only one who refuses to obsess over the scale. It makes me feel a lot less alone. :)

Apparently, I am obsessed with eggs.

I ate eggs THREE times today. I didn’t really plan it in advance. But we were running low on groceries and there were very few quick options.

For breakfast, I had an egg and two egg whites scrambled with cheese and hot sauce. With my eggs, I had half a small pita with a little butter and strawberry preserves.

For lunch, I had a fried egg sandwich with mustard and hot sauce.

I think I have had three of these this week! I think I could eat these every day and not get sick of them.

An afternoon snack consisted of three hardboiled egg whites.

I guess I got my protein quota for the day!:)

Don’t worry, I did eat things other than eggs. Other snacks for the day included:

a small pita with the last of my Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter,

and some peanut butter granola (this stuff is AMAZING).

My dinner was a hamburger patty with ketchup and mustard and some sweet potato fries.

You can tell by my meals when I am running low on groceries. Suddenly, there are fewer fruits and veggies. Luckily, I went to Publix and Whole Foods tonight so that I could stock up on some items.

While I was at Whole Foods, I just had to buy myself a pecan pie cookie.

These cookies are the BEST cookies I have ever tasted. And I love that there aren’t any preservatives or fillers in them.

I did save my cookie for after my workout though, mostly because I was planning to work out right when I got home from the store and I didn’t think it would be the best pre-workout fuel. ;) 45 minutes after I got home, my muscles were sufficiently worked over by Jackie Warner and that cookie was the best cookie I have eaten in a long time.

Speaking of workouts, I was kind of excited when I did Jillian Michael’s Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism workout yesterday. It is a very tough workout and there are several moves that I have to modify because I can’t do the full version. There is a move called a “180 jump.” You basically start in a squat position and jump a full 180 degrees to the other side. You do these jumps for a minute or two. Up until now, I have only been able to jump 90 degrees. But yesterday, I was actually able to jump the full 180 degrees! I was so excited, especially after my last post. Regardless of what the scale says, I can tell that I am getting stronger. Those are the results that I can get on board with.

Pizza for Breakfast and Breakfast for Dinner

Today was a snow day for just about the entire state of Georgia.

cemetery covered in snow

We don’t get much snow here, so when we get a lot of it the whole state kind of shuts down. We got roughly 5 inches of snow and I was so thankful that today was my day off. I didn’t have anywhere to be so I could just enjoy the day. :)

Our street covered in snow (and ice)

I started with a recipe that I saw on Katie’s blog and I have seen it replicated a couple of times now. It’s called Pizzert. I am all about pizza for breakfast! For my recipe, I used half white and half wheat flour, some honey as my sweetener, applesauce, nonfat milk, and some blackberries as my fruit.

Yummy! It was so easy and filling (and tasty). I topped my slices with some Naturally Nutty vanilla almond butter. I ate half of the Pizzert and will save the other half for a quick breakfast later this week. On another note, I ran out of vanilla almond butter today so I quickly went on their website and ordered some more. I love their vanilla almond butter and I need some more STAT!

After breakfast (and a little frolicking in the snow with Callie), I wanted a good workout. Most days, I procrastinate and procrastinate until it’s the end of the day and I don’t feel like doing it. I wanted to get my workout done early, so I would have the rest of the day to play.

I did Jackie Warner’s total body circuit (43 minutes) and I tried the Biggest Loser Last Chance workout that was available from Exercise On Demand. Thank goodness for this feature because I get to try so many new workouts that way! As usual, the Jackie Warner DVD totally kicked my butt. But I feel myself getting stronger day by day. Today, I was actually able to complete most of the exercises (though not without a fair amount of huffing and puffing).

Today was a first for the Biggest Loser workout. I wanted a quick cardio workout just to balance everything out. The workout was 10 minutes (not including cool down). I have to say that I didn’t think I would like it at first. The first minute or two seemed to be a little too easy, especially the warm-up. The warm-up didn’t get my heart rate up that much. But before long, I was sweating and huffing and puffing and I was falling in love with the work out a little bit. I think that next time, I may do the cardio before the strength though. My legs were kind of exhausted from the many squats and lunges from my earlier workout, so I struggled with the jumps and squats of Biggest Loser. What I especially love is this workout is not run by Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper. It is run by real past contestants who have real bodies. I will keep this workout in mind next time I am short on time, but want to do something. Just because a workout isn’t 45 minutes doesn’t mean you aren’t getting benefits. Do you have a preference for doing strength before cardio? Or vice versa?

After my workout and a very long shower, I was ready for lunch. My body was craving salads. I don’t often crave veggies, so I won’t refuse my body what it needs. :)

I kind of threw a lot of stuff into a bowl: spinach, grape tomatoes, yellow pepper, a small handful of cashews, some corn, a link of spicy Italian chicken sausage I bought at Whole Foods yesterday, and I topped it with a couple of tablespoons of hummus. Mmm . . . it was tasty! It had protein, veggies, and healthy fats. Just what my body needed. Along with the salad, I had an unpictured piece of organic bread with the rest of my vanilla almond butter.

That salad was full of so much stuff that it actually kept me full for the rest of the afternoon. I love that! The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up on blogs and watching Law and Order: SVU.

Corey came home a little early from work and we decided to take Callie somewhere to play in the snow. The roads were horrible. Snow and ice everywhere. We decided to go to a cemetery that is next door and play there. I’m sure that sounds weird, but we walk along the path there all the time and it is a beautiful area.

Rewarding Callie with her favorite treat: cheese!

Callie playing with her new toy

Corey and I had fun watching Callie frolic and we were both taking lots of pictures. It was weird letting my husband take most of the pics, but he does have a degree in photography. So I guess he knows what he’s doing. ;) My job was to stand in one spot and try not to slip on the ice. I am extremely clumsy, so we were both worried about that. But I’m happy to report there were no injuries! I do have to give credit where credit is due though. Some of the pictures in this blog post are mine, but others are his. His pictures came out beautiful!

I think Corey and I only spent about 15 or 20 minutes playing around with Callie. At that point, we were both turning to ice. We also didn’t want Callie to get hurt on the ice or get too cold. I’m sure she would have liked to play forever, but it just wasn’t possible.

When we got home, we wanted something quick. I had not had bacon or eggs in a few days and I had a serious craving. So breakfast for dinner it was!

I had an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich on multigrain bread. Along with the sandwich, I had a second egg on the side. All that playing in the snow made me starving!

Because the roads (and interstates) are so bad, I’m not sure if I will go into work tomorrow. At the very least, I will go in late. I’ll see how it goes. I hate to miss work, but I don’t feel comfortable driving on roads where people are getting stuck and are barely able to go above 5 mph.

Is anyone a college football fan? I’m not really a football fan period, but my husband graduated from Auburn so he is kind of into the big game right now. I am feeling so sore from my workout today. Jackie Warner and Jillian Michaels have both worked my core something good over the past couple of days. Now I’m going to feign interest in this game a little bit longer and hope for better conditions on the road tomorrow! Good night everyone!

Back to Reality

Today was my first day of work of 2011. I haven’t been at work since December 22nd and I had a very nice break. But it was time to get back to life and to reality. It had to happen eventually.

Even though I went to bed at a decent hour, I still struggled to get up this morning. After a week and a half of sleeping in, getting up at a 6:30 alarm was tough. I started the day with a new favorite: egg and bacon sandwich with cheese and hot sauce. I also added some spinach to add an extra nutritional boost.

When I got to work, I had an awesome surprise. My boss left a late Christmas present on my desk. It was a Borders gift card for $100. Woo-hoo!

I have spent half of it in my head already. And since they sell lots of fitness DVD’s too, then I will probably get a couple of books and a couple of DVD’s to add some nice variety to my workouts.

Work was actually very busy today. Since I hadn’t been to work in a while, there was lots of paperwork to catch up on. I had a midmorning snack of a couple of clementines.

A little while later, I had a nice lunch of some leftover chili. Chili just gets better the longer it remains in the refrigerator! :)

I also had a couple of Hershey kisses that were in the office break room.

I guess I should be thankful that too much chocolate gives me a headache. Otherwise, I may have taken a few more pieces. ;)

The afternoon passed by quickly. I ate an afternoon snack of grapes and a couple of handfuls of Peanut Butter Puffins (unpictured).

After work, I had been thinking that I would do some more strength training as my workout for today. However, yesterday’s run left me feeling a lot more sore than I thought I would be. My calves are killing me. I guess a 40 minute jog/walk still takes a toll on my body when I haven’t run in months. I am determined to continue my training so that I can get stronger and more fit.

My calves weren’ t the only things that were sore. I did Jackie Warner’s total body circuit workout on Saturday (New Years’ Day!) and my body is still feeling the effects. My triceps and abs hurt the most. I guess my first workout of the year was a good one. :) So with all those sore muscles, I decided to use today as a rest day. I feel guilty every time I take one and to take a rest day this early in the week makes me feel extra guilty.

Part of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is to listen to my body and give it what it needs. I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a day off so that my muscles can recover . . . as long as one day of rest doesn’t turn into five. ;) I am really determined to continue this streak that I’ve been on throughout the year.

I was pretty hungry after work. After yesterday’s rice bowl at Moe’s, I was craving something somewhat similar.

This bowl consisted of brown rice, some hamburger meat, corn, and kidney beans. I added healthy amounts of ketchup and mustard. It was super tasty and filling. I think that next time I may add some sautéed peppers for more veggie power.

And now the rest of the night will be spent relaxing in front of the television and hanging out with my husband. :)

Cardio Boredom

I definitely enjoy strength training more than cardio.

Breakfast: more Pumpkin Pancakes with some maple syrup

This is kind of funny because there was a time when I never did any strength training. I focused entirely on cardio because I was trying to lose weight and I figured that was the best way to do it.

 

Lunch: more leftover Pizza Pot Pie with an unpictured spinach salad and homemade Italian vinaigrette

Now that I am focusing more on strength, I find that I actually enjoy my workouts. On strength days, I look forward to my workout. Maybe it’s because lifting weights makes me feel strong. Sometimes I swear my biceps have grown an inch after one workout. :)

Snack #1: Trader Joe’s Triple Gingersnaps

However, on my cardio days I dread my workout. I know that it’s because there is very little variety. I have no motivation to run when it’s this cold. The elliptical has begun to bore me because I have done it for so long. So I do workouts On Demand that don’t seem that difficult and I pretty much just chug along. I can tell while I am working out that I’m just not pushing myself. How can I achieve better endurance if I’m not pushing myself as I should. What do you do to combat exercise boredom?

Snack #2: half a whole wheat bagel with a little butter and honey

Today was a strength day and honestly, I was looking forward to it all day. I had plans to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, as well as her Quick Trouble Zones workout. My triceps and biceps were still sore from Monday’s workout, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Delicious hodge podge of items: baked chicken strips, brown rice, corn, baby peas, and generous amounts of ketchup and mustard

I am kind of obsessed with Jillian Michaels workouts lately. There is something about lifting weights that makes me feel powerful. And when I can increase my weight or increase the number of reps that I am supposed to do, I feel like I am actually making progress. Forget the number on the scale because my muscles are going to be huge! :)

Here’s a random question: is it expected to give a Christmas gift to your postal carrier or garbage worker? This is my second Christmas living with my husband. As I mentioned before, we didn’t do many Christmas traditions last year. So this is the first time I’ve ran into this question. I was contemplating baking them cookies, but then I wasn’t even sure of the logistics required to give my gift to the garbage worker. Is anyone else giving gifts to these individuals? Is it expected at all?

Now I must get ready for bed. I’m exhausted!