Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two words: frozen grapes

Have you ever had these? I had some red grapes that were looking pretty yucky and stuck them in the freezer, and voila! Delicious treat! They are sweet, cold and refreshing. Best part? No cooking. And those days when I don't know what to eat and open every drawer and stare into the fridge, when I open the door to the freezer there is a great surprise! Try it...you'll like it!

Dinner was just ok. My son didn't like it. I thought it was different and tasty, but I'm not sure I would make it again. Feta gave it an interesting twist. I do enjoy trying new recipes and my son is a good sport, because he will eat anything (as long as its not green). I have a lot of feta to use up now. Any ideas? I think I will use it in an omelet tomorrow.

Need to get ready for True Blood. So far, this season, all two episodes, have been a little disappointing. And what was up with those three naked Lilith-type ladies that were covered in blood? Huh? I need more snarky Eric. And Lafayette. And Pam's one-liners. My son is excited for Dexter. Fun night for TV! Gore and mayhem and naked bodies.

Global warming is wrecking havoc on my runs. Feeling hot, hot, hot.

Yes, let's blame global warming and not me. I finally got to go for my run at 10 am (good thing you are cute puppy because you have thrown off my sleep and schedules) and it was hotter than I thought. By the time I was 1.3 miles in, I knew I was doomed and started to turn around. At 1.5 miles, I just couldn't even get my feet to move, so I had to walk. I refused to call my son to come get me, so I  did finish, but it was extremely disappointing. It was just too humid for me and the sun was pounding and there was no breeze. I don't know how people run in the heat! I much rather run in the cold temperatures and layer up. So, I guess I'll be doing this inside until the weather breaks, in September. Ha. Whine, whine, whine.

Tonight's dinner is a new recipe from Fitness magazine that involves black beans, pickled jalapeños, corn tortillas and some other ingredients. Hope it is good-it was pretty easy to put together. And, at the risk of sounding like Oprah, sweet potatoes. I love them. If I don't serve them at dinner, I often eat them as a snack. There is nothing like summer fruit, though! I am envious of folks who have that all year round. While fruit like nectarines are often available all year, they are pricey.

I am not changing by goal of running twice a week, but I am modifiying it. I thought I would be able to do 5 miles outside, but when the weather is hot and humid, I can't be outside running for that long. I look like a tomato. So, inside I go. What are your tricks for making an inside run do-able? Help.

Tomorrow if the puppy is crashed and the stars are aligned, I'll go spin. But, since I have a sec since the puppy is sleeping now, I'm off to do abs. Pat on the back!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mad for Mod Moves Crop

I wore these Lululemon mod moves crops to my hot, sweaty gym today because I knew I would be doing mostly weights and I need a place to stick my iphone. PERFECT! While this might not be the most matchy, matchy outfit, it worked out fine. As I mentioned before, I don't particularly care for the accent on my hips, but I love those pockets.

I did manage to do that shoulder routine that I did Tuesday. Well, almost all of it. I also got to work triceps and did a drop set on my chest. Pooped. Plus, that puppy keeps me moving. I get a workout even before I get to the gym. If she ever calms down, then I can do some abs at home. Fingers crossed. 

Biggest pet peeve? When people (mostly men) leave crazy heavy weights loaded on a machine and leave it there. It's one thing if you are coming back to it, but come on, today there was 50 lb on the machine to do squats (having a mental moment and can't think of it) and lunges. On each side. And it was in an awkward position, too. And there was no one on staff to ask. Ugh. And that is my rant of the day. Pick up after yourself!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Another magazine freebie! Quick

Again, this is from rewards gold and it is for Self magazine. I don't often see this magazine as a freebie. You just need to fill out your info, add in a friends name and email (can be made up) and answer a few questions about your exercise habits. Can't beat that!

click this link
http://www.rewardsgold.com/mags/self/sg_self_pg2gd-nonmem.htm

I like Self, and can spend more than five minutes reading it, which is something. Great for that boring elliptical.

Thanks Hip2save.com

More on Charcoal Wunder Unders. Kona scores!

I ran inside today and it was so beeping muggy and hot in my gym, that I should have run outside. It was an ugly 4 miles, but I did it. With lots of breaks in between, which I know I wouldn't have needed if I were outside. I need to strengthen my inside mental workout. I guess between being sick and graduations, it has been more like 2 1/2 weeks since I really ran, and it showed. But, I feel good now!

I wore my Lululemon charcoal wunder unders and while I do really like them, they clearly showed how much I sweat, and where (yup, right in the crotch). Plus, there is a little bit of pilling in the inner thighs. Yes, I know, my thighs rub together, and I have noticed this on a few of my other black groove crops. I'll have to see if this gets very obvious. I really, really hope not. I haven't been able to get in a store lately to try on the black wunder unders, but I have read there are some issues with sheerness. Are you kidding me????

One of the items in my kona kase was Halfpops. They are crunchy, partially popped kernels of popcorn. I thought this was a great snack if you were really hungry and needed portion control, because it is so, so chewy that it made me eat very slowly. However, I was worried about cracking a tooth and didn't finish the bag. They were nice and salty, and I did like the taste. I also tried Mama Chia, which is like applesauce with chia in it and it was amazing. Lots of omega 3 and fiber. They recommended drinking/eating it an hour before working out and I forgot to do that, and had it after my run. It's only 70 calories and I had an apple to go with it. This was a winner. The website is www.mamachia.com and I have to look into this! Two items to go: Dr. Will Bar  and Osmo Nutrition, which I think is like a crystal light packet/gatorade mix.

I'm going to try to fit in that shoulder routine I did the other day. First, have to take my puppy to the vet. Yup, puppy. Hence the reason I am so tired- I'm not sleeping and I am chasing this little furball around.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Surprise surprise, it's going to rain on Friday. Run inside again?

Last night I did something I don't normally do.

I got on my treadmill at 630 at night.  Yes, I have a treadmill and I don't use it very often because when I do, I feel that running is torture and not satisfying. Anyway, I was feeling stressed and soft (my new word for flabby), and I just did it. Just like Nike says. Although I think my verb tense is wrong or something.

It was very ugly. My treadmill is about 15 years old now and I think I have to get it calibrated or something because I was DYING running at my normal, slow speed. That is first on my summer to do list.  I could barely get two miles done and that was with me catching my breath every 5. Oh boy. But, I was also: very tired, worked a full day, recovering from my cold still, and very bored, even though I was watching John Oliver on the Daily Show. None of my treadmill tricks were working. But, I did do it and that is something.

I had hoped to run tomorrow, but the forecast is showers with flooding possible, so depending on everything, I might run inside. I used to laugh at those people who run when it is raining, but I get it now. Although I think there is a difference from torrential rain to a little sprinkle. You all know how I feel about running inside. In case you need a reminder: I rather eat glass.  Women's Health had an article online about Motivation Running Tips. They include:

1.  Success. Picture yourself doing what you need to do.  Okay, I can do that. They recommend doing it before and if necessary, during a workout.
2.  Find your mantra. I already do this and some of mine are "you can do this" "if you can do tabata you can do this" and this one is terrible but works, "everyone is watching."

The third and forth tips involved getting yourself out the door and smiling. Those two are not problems for me, although the smile is usually a Hey it's over and you did it!

So, everyone please do a reverse rain dance and cross your fingers for sunshine, because I really want to run. Yup, you heard that right. And I;m going to try one of my new treats from Kona Kase.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Much better! All about the SMUSH!

It felt good to workout! Honestly. Although I know that I am going to be super sore later. We did a lot of shoulders, and I am going to try to do that same routine at home on Thursday. If I type it, then it has to be true, right? I used to split my workouts half weights and half cardio. I know all the different research and how weights continues the calorie loss even after you stop exercising and that HIIT takes the cake (oh I wish). Lately I have been cardio heavy because I am trying to shed pounds. Now that work is almost over, I can add another day of weights back into my routine. I'm hoping the combo will do the trick because the shorts that I just tried on were a bit snug.

I love my Lululemon No limits tanks. I usually wear them spinning since they are so lightweight. I decided to wear it today since it is 95 again here and my gym heats up quickly. Usually I wear a 4 in bras and a 8 in tanks, since I often find Lululemon tanks and tops very, very fitted, and I don't need to feel like I am wearing a bathing suit inside. Also, often I feel like the sleeves are extremely tight, and I really don't have big arms. So the point of this whole sizing thing is I wear a 6 in the No Limits but it really doesn't give me a lot of support. It was not a good idea today, since we did all sorts of squat jumps, lunge jumps and just jumps. I think next time in the store I will try a smaller size just to see how it fits. It's all about the smush. That's why I love those Energy Bras. Keep those fabulous colors coming!

But, I know that exercise is only a small part of losing weight. You can't out exercise a bad diet. Someone said that to me once and it really stuck. For me, that means being really diligent about planning my eating. Of course it helps this week that both my kids are away so I can cook some fish and vegetables, too. Here goes:


Breakfast was oatmeal and chocolate peanut butter, cherry Fage greek yogurt
Snack before gym was Kind bar
Snack after was cheese stick, since I really wasn't hungry, but wanted some protein anyway
Lunch was apple pie protein smoothie
Snack: maybe another avocado adventure
Dinner: leftover grilled shrimp with peaches and brown rice
Before bed: eggo waffle and more chocolate peanut butter

Like I said, if I type it it has to be true!
I also have a long day at work tomorrow, so I am going to plan out tomorrow's meals right now. Gotta go....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Can't wait to exercise! What? Really! Kona Kase review.

As I mentioned previously, it has been a very hectic few days! On top of all of the end of year activities and my work starting to wind down, I got one of those dreaded colds and had laryngitis and a yucky sounding cough. It feels like my chest cold is just starting to go away and I finally can talk and breathe without sounding like death has warmed over. As a result, I haven't exercised in one week, which for me is a VERY long time. And, to make matters worse, it has been nonstop celebrations, which means food. Lots of it. And all of it tasting good. I think I put on weight. I know I put on weight. I can't remember looking this awful in a while.

So, instead of just complaining and being disgusted with how I look and feel, I am jumping back into the swing of things right away. If I let this inactivity go any longer, it could get ugly. 

Tomorrow is my day to workout with a trainer and I know that is always motivating. I'm sure I'll be sore for days afterwords. Friday, its either run or spin and then the reverse on Saturday. Sunday is Tabata. No excuses. Remember, I have to fit into all the Lululemon clothes I have. After Thursday I am done work and can get back to taking care of me. Later tonight I will map out a eating plan as well. Although it is so ridiculously hot here, who feels like cooking? It's going to have to be me.

I ate two things from my kona kase. These pictures are actually missing the two items I already ate.


The first was a Kind bar, with Madagascar Vanilla Almond. It was delicious. They say to eat it an hour before working out. I had it as a snack at work. It was kindof filling. The other was a OneBar and it was a mango bar. I love dried mango and could eat it by the truckload, but it is pure sugar. This is one pure serving of fruit with no added sugar and it was sweet on its own. Also, totally delicious. I ate it as a snack, but next time would have to have some yogurt or something else. I really like this. Tomorrow maybe I'll try the mamma Chia or clif shot. 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oh No. Is Oxygen out of Air? What other magazines do you read?

Yesterday I posted a link to a free subscription to Shape. While I like it,  I can usually skim through it in a few minutes and maybe fold back a few pages. It does feature a lot Jillian Michaels, from the biggest loser, so that helps a little bit. I feel the same way about Fitness Magazine. It seems like exercise is not emphasized as much now and hair and makeup and sex and money and other random topics take up more pages (BTW, that's what Glamour is for). The magazine that I feel is the gold standard, however, is Oxygen. I save all my issues and go back over them and always bring a few pages with me to the gym. I don't do so well with the recipes, though, since I like easy and ingredients that I have on hand (those seem complicated to me). It is an expensive magazine, but one that I kept renewing. And let me say, that those women are amazing looking. Another magazine that I like, but haven't renewed in a few years is Muscle and Fitness Hers. I did feel that the workouts got repetitive (lots of biceps), but I save those as well.

But, in regard to Oxygen, Robert Kennedy, the founder/publisher passed away last year and I read online that the new publisher shut it down due to bankruptcy. I don't know if that means it is a done deal or what, but OH NO Oxygen.

I will tell you that I do read men's fitness magazines and find great ideas there, too. If you go through ebates.com, like I told you to do a long, long time ago, you can get subscriptions for sometimes 25% -50% off. I am also always getting emails from discountmags.com. with great deals.

My guilty pleasure though? Entertainment Weekly every Friday. The bullseye is terrific!

So, what are you going to read now? Any ideas?


Friday, June 21, 2013

Yesterday Epic Fail! Summer colds are the pits!

Despite having the best of intentions, yesterday was a very bad eating day. And I'm not holding my breath about the next few days either. We celebrated my son's 18 birthday (for what seems like18 straight days), we are sending my daughter away for the summer and work is winding down and there are celebrations/food everywhere. So my goal of eating very clean hit a bit of a roadblock. And then it crashed and burned. I was able to do it for part of the day and not the rest, and I think this will be the pattern for a few more days. 

Normally, I exercise pretty religiously Friday (run), Saturday (kick) and Sunday (tabata), but that too isn't happening. It seems like we have plans all day every day for the next couple. Last night, before I went to bed, I mentally planned out taking a quick run- I should be able to squeeze 30 minutes somewhere. But, my scratchy throat has become a cough and I can barely breathe, let alone huff and puff. Nyquil has left me a little groggy. Nope, no running today.

Yikes. So the key here is to NOT let it become a pattern! Recognize that sometimes life does get in the way. I am trying very hard to enjoy these few days because they don't happen often and it is all good stuff. I know there will be time when this is over to get back to my schedule and healthy eating habits. Once Monday comes around, it is back to boring here and I can get back in black (lululemon that is). I mean,  back on track. 

As I was browsing online the other day, I saw on mashable.com a list of 8 social networks for fitness freaks. This is the link.

http://mashable.com/2013/06/17/social-network-fitness/#

I have found that it really helps to be accountable to someone. Usually this is ME. Now it is YOU and ME. But, I am all about using whatever is out there to motivate you and keep you going. Check out the link- it's a great idea!

The Konakase came and since I have a cold and no tastebuds whatsoever, I only tried one item out of the box. I'll be reviewing when I have a few more to talk about, but first impressions: YUM and it seems like a excellent deal. I'll keep you posted....

Free subscription to Shape magazine- Jillian Michaels

This is a totally legitimate way to get a free subscription to Shape magazine. I have done this many times and it is super easy. Go to the link at the bottom and it will take you to rewardsgold. Just fill out the information/survey. I have never received unsolicited emails and it doesn't take too long to fill out the application.  I must admit that I don't give real email addresses for my friends that I refer. While Shape may not be my favorite go-to magazine, I do get an idea or two in each magazine. And it's free!

Free One Year Subscription to Shape Magazine

Thanks, SwagGrabber

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fruit Salad to Die For. Kona Kase is here!

Last night was my work potluck.  Since I knew this was going to be a crazy weekend with lots of desserts and not a lot of exercising, I was very proud of myself for eating just 2 slices of my absolute favorite pizza. As usual, pizza and dessert were the first to go. BUT, one dish that everyone couldn't stop talking about and even going back for was a summer fruit salad with mint and sugar from Epicurious.com. The recipe as printed is as follows:


1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 lb blackberries, left whole, or 1 1/2 lb sweet cherries, pitted and halved
3 firm-ripe medium peaches or nectarines, halved lengthwise, pitted, and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
1/2 lb seedless green grapes (1 1/2 cups), halved


Makes 6 servings. Pulse mint and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sprinkle mint sugar over fruit in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

She didn't use blackberries because they were not sweet. Honestly, I am more likely to eat any fruit salad when someone else cuts up all the fruit and serves to me. But, this was so delicious and so easy that I could see myself preparing this at home for me to eat. Plus, I have lots of mint growing in my garden. Apparently, groundhogs don't mind mint because I keep yanking it out. 

My scratchy throat turned into a full head cold. I'm NOT happy. My Kona Kase arrived yesterday and I threw some bars into my lunchbox. Can't wait to try them out! I'll be reviewing soon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reebok realflex transition review. Trader Joe's Saves the Day!

I think I might really like these new shoes! I'm going to try to fit my orthotics in them next time I wear them, because I definitely felt my flat feet wanting to roll in, but it wasn't a deal breaker. They were super grippy and I did a lot of awful step ups onto a bench yesterday and they seemed fine (although my legs today do not seem fine). The big test will be group kick on Saturday. I'll keep you posted, but so far so good. They certainly look good. (Next to my Thorlo socks).

Once upon a time, I was hungry and went to shop at Trader Joe's hoping they were sampling something yummy. I had never eaten peach salsa before and I immediately bought half a dozen jars. That was a very long time ago and I still eat peach salsa at least once a week. I just love it! One of my easy, fast and healthy meals involves a tortilla (I like Cedars 80 calorie whole wheat), a cooked piece of chicken, some avocado, and some shredded cheese. That seems kindof bland, until you add in the secret ingredient: peach salsa. 


I'm sure other companies make peach salsa, but I have never tried them. My kids kindof make fun of me when they see me take out the salsa. 

I have been fighting a scratchy throat for the last few days and woke up a little congested. I think I'm getting a cold and am very bummed! Who has time for that?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This just made me laugh!


tumblr_m5zlkhvhKf1r1u0gno1_500.png

I hope the picture is clear. If not, it says, "To make squatting over the public toilet even easier" and it shows a bunch of people doing squats with their hands up by their ears. By the way, have you done these before? We do them frequently in tabata and they are so much harder than just a plains squats.

There is nothing worse, well that's not really true, than using the bathroom after an intense leg workout! I think you are smiling and know exactly what I'm talking about! Actually, since I teach preschool I only sit on the floor or on very little chairs and I feel the pain then. Or, how about when you go to wash your hair and you lift your arms over your head after an arm/shoulder workout. 


Another awesome avocado adventure. I mean recipe. Ta Ta topper.

Like that title? 

I found this recipe on Pinterest and followed it back to Fitsugar and then sweetonveg.com. 




Monday, June 17, 2013

Motivation Mondays Number 1!

I think this will be an ongoing topic for Mondays, as they generally are the worst day of the week, right? I jumped up at 5 for no reason this morning. Maybe I was thinking about True Blood? Birds singing too loudly? I don't know, but I wasn't happy. Anyway....
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Sometimes we overindulge or skip exercising over the weekend and need to get back on track. Sometimes the start of the workweek is overwhelming and we need to to make sure our head is in the right place. Sometimes we are just sleep deprived after sleeping in on a weekend. Whatever the cause, and there could be lots of them, Monday is the start of a new week and can be the start of something great. Really!


So for the next zillion Mondays, we can talk about what gets you going and what tricks work for me. I don't think you are going to hear anything that you haven't heard before, but we can all suffer together!


One of the big things that gets me motivated is new clothing. I hate to sound materialistic and it is certainly an expensive habit, but purchasing a new item of clothing makes me go workout. I think of all the money spent on that particular item and know I need to get my money's worth. That alone gets me out the door. Plus, if you are exercising a lot, clothes get worn out (right?) and need to be replaced. Now I'm not suggesting a new top every day, but maybe this is something to keep in mind as a splurge or as a goal achieved. Plus, as you keep working on goals, think about how fantastic a new top or a pair of crops will look. Smiling yet? I have a collection of Lululemon bangbusters, and before they made them reversible and raised the price, this is what I would pick up as a little pick me up. In fact, I have this very one! TJMaxx and Marshalls also have an excellent selection of gym clothes, reasonable priced. And I get just as happy with a new pair of Thorlo socks. It doesn't have to be a major investment. Something to think about!


Bang-Buster-Headband-Reversible.jpg



Reebok, I think I love ya! You make my heart sing...


I have been looking for new cross-training shoes for a while now. I use them primarily for kickboxing and tabata, so I wanted something with a lot of cushioning and support for lateral movements. I have big, wide, flat feet and had bunion surgery on one foot ten years ago and am trying to avoid that for the other foot. I wear orthotics in my running shoes, you know the ones I love saying, Asics Gel Noosa Tri. So as you can imagine, I am very particular about my shoes!

I went to Dicks Sporting Goods over the weekend. I don't know if you have a Dicks near you, but don't get me started. I hope my experience was specific to my location, because I know they carry a lot online. The woman who helped me was lovely, but they had so few shoes for training. I get that if you need running shoes, you probably need a specialized shoe based on if you pronate or overpronate and all that other stuff. Yes, there were a lot of running shoes to choose from, but, running shoes will not give me the support I need. They didn't carry Reebok. What's up with that? With all the cross fit shoes that Reebok makes now, aren't they missing a huge market? They carried a few of the Nike Frees, but they had only one in my size. In an awful color. BTW, I really don't get the Nike Frees. To me, it seems as if my foot is hitting pavement. Ouch. So I walked out with nothing, which is frustrating because I really was ready to spend some money.

Yesterday, after tabata, I collapsed on the sofa for a while. My legs were like jello! One of my babies was wedged in with me and we snuggled for a long time. And then I got my second wind. Hurray for second winds. 


I went to a Reebok outlet, which is about 25 minutes away. Honestly, I completely forgot it was there. I won't make that mistake again. Not only were the shoes cheaper than what I could find anywhere else, it was BOGO. You know me, I love a deal. The staff was super helpful and more than one person came over to see if I needed anything. Not a huge selection of training shoes, but about what was available at Dicks. I ended up with 2 pairs of the RealFlex Transition. I'm very excited to wear them tomorrow. Fingers crossed.


I also ended up with two water bottles that are soooo loud, I will never leave them anywhere (I have left water bottles everywhere, like my lip glosses).


Right? Yikes. 

I was really too tired to look at the clothes, but there was a lot of really nice looking stuff. In fact, I am glad that I was too tired as my Lululemon stash is overflowing. I do feel that often I wear my exercise clothes more than I wear "regular" clothes!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tabata torture! Dr. Oz chai smoothie

Well I was right to be worried about Tabata. Note to self: don't run 5 miles the day before this class- you need your legs! I knew in the first few minutes that it was going to be ugly. There were a lot of awful exercises, but the one that got me was a jumping jack, and when you bring your legs together, you bring them right into a squat low enough that your hands can almost touch the ground. Then you explode up into the jumping jack part with your hands up. I don't know if I am explaining that well, but trust me, it was not fun. We had about 4 minutes of abs, which was okay, but then I realized when we had to do a zillion pushups, that my abs were too tired. It's amazing how much abs help out when you are doing pushups. The class is only 45 minutes and about 35 minutes into it I ran out of fuel. It is a fine line between eating enough to power through it and not throwing up. I don't ever want to do that. Next time I might have a few Gu chomps before class.

I'm also sorry to anyone I stood near in the food store! I decided to take a quick stop in since it was on the way home, but I'm sure I was pretty stinky despite wiping down and spritzing up in the car.

I found this Dr. Oz smoothie on blenderbabes.com and it was pretty good.



Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of allspice
  • 2 tbsp almond or cashew butter
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 heaping tbsp plant-based protein powder (ideally vanilla flavor)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 cup Ice
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients into the jar in the order listed
  2. With a Blendtec: Press the SMOOTHIE button
  3. With a Vitamix: Start on variable speed # 1, turn the machine on and slowly increase to speed 10, then flip to high. Blend for 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.

The only thing I did differently was I used So delicious vanilla coconut milk, which had 70 calories per cup, because that is what I had in the fridge. 


I forgot I took a picture of the yummy avocado snack I ate yesterday. Can't wait to eat it again today. First, I have to figure out what is for lunch!


 Ever watch Big Bang Theory, and hear Sheldon wax on about his favorite spot in the sofa? I might have to pull a Sheldon and get everything I need and not get up for an hour, or whole day. Good thing kids are busy today. Phone, water, remote, book, blanket, cat or two. Later!

Looking for more great snack ideas! Tell me yours!








Yummy avocado snack. Tabata again oh no. Ta Ta Topper.

I found a new snack and I am so excited. It's not really portable for work, but perfect for home. I found it on Fitsugar, I believe. Super easy and super healthy.

So what you do is toast Ezekial bread, slice up some avocado and put it on the toast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, a little drizzle of olive oil and then top with some Franks hot sauce. I think you could also use sirracha sauce, which I love, too.

How awesome is that?

My legs are a little sore after yesterday's run, so I'm a little nervous about Tabata today. I don't know if I should hope for more upper body than lower. That means pushups... lots and lots of pushups.

I don't have a picture yet, but I thought the Lululemon Ta Ta Topper was perfect. I actually found the bottom part to be less billowy (that means, I didn't look quite pregnant) than the Back on Track tank. The top part is a little bit tight against the girls, but that was ok. The purple was gorgeous and I hope Lululemon brings it out in more colors. Please, please, please! Still waiting for my mod moves crops, but that should take another few days since it comes by pony express. Today I wore my black clamdiggers from a few years ago, my energy bra and last year's purple swiftly vee neck. I really like the swiftly because it is so lightweight, but it really accentuates every flabby spot I have. I also have on my new voyage hoodie. I probably could have sized down, but I do like being able to put long sleeves on under a sweatshirt. The black is perfect right around my midsection. The arms are very long, but that doesn't really bother me. I think I like this better than the scubas, which are always so tight and short on me (even the old ones). That's my Lululemon review of the day!










Ignore the mess in the background. My daughter is going away for 5 weeks and we have been packing easily for 6.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Peanut butter & co Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream is Dreamy

I think you all know by now how much I love chocolate peanut butter. I liked them on Facebook and they often post recipes. I made the Triple Chocolate Energy Bites from Kitchen Meets Girl and I just have to share:


Ingredients
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients except for the cocoa powder together in a medium bowl until combined. Allow the mixture to chill for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Once chilled, roll into small balls - I used a 1" cookie scoop to form mine, but you can make yours whatever size you like. Roll formed balls into cocoa powder if desired.
  2. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
The only things that I did differently was I skipped the vanilla (it was sweet enough, I can't believe I am saying that) and added a scoop of chocolate protein powder (Designer Whey). The problem will be trying not to eat the whole bowl! 

I got passed while running. Mod moves reviews. Day 4

It's 8:30 am I am back from my run already! I have the whole day to goof off...I mean recover.

I went to bed very early since my sleep the night before was interrupted, so I was ready to go bright and early. I wore my Lululemon mod moves crop in zippy green. Looking at the photo, the pockets kindof accentuate my hips, but I really love those pockets. The waistband is also a little on the tight side, but that is my goal- to get it not so tight.  I stick my phone in there and it is deep enough that it won't fall out. I wore an old pink swiftly tank. It kept riding up, though. I think the luxtreme, or whatever these crops are made of, don't provide the friction that luon does.






I actually ran 5.2 miles. I stopped to walk briefly twice, so I ran extra. Actually, I took a different way home because my usual loop is only 4.8 miles and I knew if I passed my house, I would not keep going. Anyway, I got passed on my run and I had to really concentrate on not speeding up or getting frustrated. I was only at mile 2 and knew I had a long way to go, so I didn't want to overdo it too early. And don't get me started on hills!

Going to hop in the shower, put on my compression socks, and curl up with The Hit, but David Balducci. Then I'll plan out today and tomorrow's meals and get to the grocery store.



Friday, June 14, 2013

The elliptical is BORING. Quick: get a free LHJ subscription


This is totally legitimate. Head on over to ValueMags.com and find the top green tab that says free magazines. LHJ is on the left, second row down. Click on it and fill out the info for a free subscription to Ladies Home Journal. After submitting your info, click NO to all offers on the next page. Easy peasy. Allow 6-10 weeks for your first issue to arrive.
Thanks Hip2save.com

Too tired to spin! No excuses Friday.

There is nothing like, as a parent, getting a phone call in the middle of the night. Although for me, my middle of the night was actually 10:30 and I had already been asleep for over an hour. My son was leaving work and the alarm went off and 1 1/2 hours later, everything was fine and he finally came home. After the panic of the phone call and knowing he was waiting with police, it took me a looooong time to fall back to sleep. Let's just say it has been many years since I watched the Daily Show live. John Oliver was very funny last night!

Of course I am still went to spin. I know that once that music starts pumping, I will be roaring to go. Also, if I gave in every time I was tired, I would never get to the gym. I'm thrilled, though, that it is pouring, since 5 miles does seem very daunting today.  Plus, as part of my mini-goal, I am eating clean for three more days. I am also hitting the gym each day. No excuses Friday.

I wore black Lululemon Wunder Unders. I got this right before the recall. I have seen reports online that the black wunder unders are coming into some stores now.  I also wore a black no limits tank- the perfect tank for spin since it provides me with no support whatsoever. New nimbus gangbuster -and boy did that soak up a lot of sweat. Of course, my favorite Thorlo socks. I saw these at the cash register at Nordstrom, but I got mine at TJMaxx. Half price. Love it!




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lululemon is looking for a CEO!

I stopped in to Luluemon last night to get my daughter's groove pants. I was so excited to get the mod moves crop in some of the new colors that had been released and... SOLD OUT. What? So I had to buy it online and it takes one whole week to get a delivery from Lululemon.  Really, that is a crazy long time. I also tried on the Cool Racerback in groovy strip nimbus and really loved it, but the white was too see through for me. Maybe if it was more black/soot and less white. Anyway, I did end up with the Ta Ta Topper. I bought the black with stripes and purple. It provides enough coverage over the midsection, which I really, really need right now. It seems very similar to the Tame Me Tank, just racerback. I did return the two groovy shorts I bought the last time I was in there. The zippy green was okay, but the vertical striped nimbus was so tight around the legs and waist. How can two items the same size be so different? So frustrating! Are you listening new CEO?

This was a much better eating day. Don't know why, as I pretty much ate the same things as yesterday. Dinner was a boring, but easy, breaded chicken (secret ingredient pecorino romano) and Alexia Sweet Potato Waffle Fries, which were so great. I didn't have time to cook my own sweet potato fries and these only take about 20 minutes. As I have said before, I love Alexia.



The forecast is another downpour tomorrow. My poor peonies. June has been wet and wetter. A summer Noreaster on my day off? Ugh. So I am taking a spinning class tomorrow and will plan my run for Saturday, although that means I have to miss my group kick. I hate to miss it, but I know that I will run much better outside.

How are the goals going? I did pretty well today. Knowing there is an end in sight is helpful, too.

Whittling the middle (I hope) day 2 update. Looking for new shoes.


Well day 2 was much harder to eat clean.  Not looking forward to day 3, my day when I practically live in the classroom. I feel like I get into school and hunger takes over. I can eat so much better when I am at home.

Breakfast was oatmeal and a tablespoon of peanut butter. And a very small dumping of sugar and creamer into my coffee. Woo hoo. I didn't taste a big difference. NOT. Snack was carrots, cherub tomatoes (love) and chobani pineapple yogurt. Lunch was overnight oats from Eatingbirdfood.com and an apple. Then it hit me about 3:00 and all of the sudden I was starving. I ate an apple and cheese stick and then there was nothing left to eat.  Luckily I only had a half hour left, so I kept on drinking water. I generally don't let myself get to the starving point, because then I want to eat everything in sight! I made it home and ate a hardboiled egg that I prepared before I left for work yesterday morning. That was enough to hold me over to dinner. Phew. 

My daughter wanted to go out to eat because it was just the two of us for dinner again, and I had to say yes. But, we went to Legal Seafood and I had shrimp, broccoli and jasmine rice (Jasmine Special). No bread, no wine, no dessert. The idea of being accountable (to you) is very powerful. That is why having a goal (big or small) and sharing that goal is so important. I picked 5 days because I knew my schedule with kids and activities, knew it was doable, and felt that anything over that for me would be too much denial. I like to throw a cheat/treat meal in the mix and knew that would be on day 6. 

But, where I am struggling is that when I do eat healthy I tend to eat the same things over and over again. So, I'm asking you for some new healthy snack ideas. I find that I eat a lot of the same things: apple and cheese stick or peanut butter, veggies, crackers and hummus, yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit. Every once in a while I throw in a protein bar. And avocado. And of course my nightly eggo waffle with chocolate peanut butter. 

I'm still a little sore from my workout yesterday. I did realize though that I need new sneakers. I used to have a pair of Reebok zig cross trainers that I loved. They provided me with a lot of cushioning and were mesh across the top so my big fat, wide feet could fit without any rubbing. I bought two pairs because I was afraid they would be discontinued, and guess what, they were discontinued. Now I am wearing a pair of Asics cross trainers. As you know, I love and love saying, Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7. I'm not sure which Asics model I have now, but they are just okay. There are so many great looking shoes that I am a little overwhelmed and don't even know where to start. Reading reviews online is confusing and not really reliable because everyone has something that they love or don't love. Often I find shoes feel great in the store, or the first few workouts, and then they don't. So, I'm open to suggestions. I might have to take a trip to those outlets sooner than later. 



Remember, it takes work, but keep it up!  I'll let you know how I am doing, so we can all commiserate together!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Whittling away at my middle...one day at a time


So did you make some goals? Think about what you need to do to change? I told my kids what I had planned (groan) so they could get on board...or at least cheer me on. I can see my kids driving out for ice cream while I'm at work. Have you ever seen that Eggo commercial, where the children say, "When mom's on a health kick, we are all on a health kick." Haha.

Day one was a success! Tuesday was an easy day, though, since I had the day off and could eat when I was hungry and what I want. Work is crazy and I usually have to eat standing up, when its convenient, and in about 30 seconds flat. None of that is conducive to eating healthy, but no more excuses. I packed up so much food to bring and didn't eat any of the crackers or other junky stuff that was available. I must admit to waking up a little hungry. Plus, I went easy when dumping in sugar and creamer in my coffee. Dinner last night was a request from my daughter for Skinny Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet from IowaGirlEats.com. I have gotten a lot of really fabulous recipes from her and I recommend checking it out. Her pictures are so gorgeous that I didn't even take some of our meal. This recipe has chicken, some red sauce, pesto, garlic and a little bit of pasta. What's not to love. YUM.

The only changes I made were cooking the chicken in my toaster oven instead of sautéing it. I did that earlier in the day and just reheated it when the whole dinner was ready. I just poured Lowry's Garlic Herb Marinade on top and skipped the pesto in this step. I also used 4 TABLESPOONS of pesto by mistake (whoops) and it came out so good. You can decide how much you love pesto and adjust accordingly. Of course this added some calories to it.


This is her recipe:

For the chicken marinade:
4 small chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Lowry’s Garlic Herb Marinade
2 Tablespoons prepared pesto


8oz penne pasta


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 small onion, minced
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
8oz tomato sauce
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon flour
4 teaspoons prepared pesto

  • Combine marinade and pesto in a large Ziplock bag then add chicken breasts and squish to coat. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
  • Saute marinated chicken in a large skillet sprayed well with non-stick spray over medium heat for 5-6 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove to a plate then cover loosely with foil to stay warm and set aside. Carefully wipe out skillet with a spatula or wet paper towel. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil then season with salt and add penne. Cook until al dente then drain and set aside.
  • Still over medium heat, add oil to the skillet then add onions and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until tender, then add garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for 30 more seconds. Carefully add chicken broth then let simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and evaporated milk then whisk in flour and pesto. Simmer until thick and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes. Add cooked and drained pasta then toss to combine. Portion out to plates then top with cooked chicken.



Of course I bought the white mod moves crop from Lululemon, and what gets uploaded yesterday? Some nifty colors. I have to make a trip to Lululemon to pick up a pair of Groove pants that were hemmed for my daughter, so I can hopefully check it out in person. I'm going to do my best to be in and out and not walk out with anything new. I'm going to turn my head from that sand to savasana bag, even though it is right above the cash register. 

My thoughts on the stock plunge and Christine Day stepping down? I hope whoever steps into her shoes will recognize that there are core pieces that don't need to be changed and should always be available. That for the prices being charged, seams and fabric need to be perfect. I have older garments that still look great, and I am still going to buy new items. That color blocking is ugly. And to bring back some of the special details that sets Lululemon apart from other apparel brands. I personally think the company grew too quickly and analysts put a lot of pressure on them and they forgot who the customer is. Anyway….

Good luck with day 2. You can do it! You can do it!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What to do when you plateau




Whether it is weight loss or fitness, at some point you are going to get stuck. The fancy name for this is plateau. Let's not kid ourselves, it sucks. So, I realized after taking pictures of me for this blog that I am stuck. I don't weight myself, but I can tell how my stomach sticks out in these pictures that something needs to change. This is so unattractive. (But, I do love this Lululemon Back on Track top. I thought it did a better job of hiding the pooch, but I guess there is no hiding). Anyway, here is what I know and what I plan to do:




First, the important thing is to remember that this is normal as your body adjusts to the new you-whether it is a new weight or a new set of reps. The body is pretty amazing when you think about it. But, all that awesome-ness doesn't help you when you are frustrated and mad. Congratulate yourself on getting to where you are! That is a huge accomplishment. 

Second, accept that you are going to have to shake it up a little to jumpstart your body. Change, while not always easy, is not a bad thing! Something different is good physically and mentally. Try a new fitness class. Add on 10 minutes to your cardio. Do three sets instead of two. Switch out your regular pasta for whole wheat. Maybe one glass of wine instead of two (ouch). There are options and some of them may be big, like trying running, and some may be small, such as half of teaspoon of creamer (that is me!) in my coffee in the morning.

Then, after you have an idea what you are going to change, make a goal or a list and put it somewhere that you can see it every day. Think about it before you get out of bed. It only takes a sec and gets you into the right frame of mind. 

If you have family or coworkers to help you and cheer you on, use it! My kids are great for getting me out the door (they really just want to get rid of me), but they know the right things to say. "You'll feel better when you are done."  "You won't be tired after the first song." "You just bought a new pair of groove shorts at Lululemon and you have to get your money's worth." Or, "You are going to be in a bathing suit soon." 

Make sure your goal is do-able. I find lots of short-term goals are less overwhelming and easier to manage than a big one. I could never say I am going to lose 5 pounds by july because it isn't reasonable and for me, it isn't detailed enough. 

Finally, remember that it takes time. This is the worst part because it is HARD and we all like immediate results, and that won't happen. 

So here is my plan:

1. I am going to eat very clean for the next 5 days (it's Tuesday). That means taking the time in advance to think about my meals and plan them out. Thursday is my hardest day since I am at work for almost 9 hours.

2. Once school is out and I have the summer off, my goal is to run twice a week instead of one. This will be tough because it gets hot and humid, and I can be a baby, but there is no excuse.

I'll let you know on Sunday how my first goal goes. Being accountable is a good thing!

Do groundhogs like basil? Overnight oats.


My groundhog is back. He lives under my deck. Every once in a while I look outside and see this big, fat, stupid looking thing in my garden or even on my deck. Soon I expect to see him sitting in one of my chairs laughing at me. Groundhogs live 5-8 years and last year my garden was decimated. (I'm blaming him, even though I have deer and bunnies, too, because I have caught him red-handed, or red-pawed as the case may be.) I've turned my vegetable garden into a flower garden, and oh are my peonies stunning right now. But, the reason I am bringing this up is a co-worker gave me a stevia plant. It is so sweet and delicious and I'm afraid if I plant it in my garden next to the oregano, mint, basil and cilantro, the groundhog will love it and never, ever leave. Regardless, any ideas on how to use this plant? I can see putting some leaves in some tea, but any thoughts? 

I might have a new favorite breakfast. I got this recipe from eatingbirdfood.com and it is pretty perfect for hot days. I usually have oatmeal with milk, a sprinkle of chia seeds and my Peanut Butter & Co chocolate peanut butter mixed in. I love it and it keeps me full, but sometimes I break into a sweat (or hot flash). So this morning this is what I tried:


Last night I put this all into a bowl and stuck it in the fridge- 

1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup Almond Plus 5g Almond Milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Designer Whey)
1/2 T chia seeds
1/2 t ground cinnamon
14 t vanilla


This morning I added 1 t almond butter and some blackberries, which I had in the house. It was pretty yummy. It kept me pretty full, so I will definitely be eating this again. Perfect for lunch at work, too.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Still recovering from Tabata. BB Creams. What to eat when there is nothing to eat.


At the end of each round at Tabata, if you are doing it correctly, your body should just want to stop on its own. One more pushup? Not in this lifetime. Twenty seconds doesn't sound very long at all, but by the end of a round, it might as well be 20 years.  As I was lying in bed at 6 am this morning thinking about getting out of bed, I realized that my body was sore and maybe I could just lay there and play on my phone and be very happy. I think my body had stopped. It was totally mind over matter to get out of bed. That, and the lure of coffee. And I had to be at work. But as I lay there I realized that it was a great workout :)  It was a different instructor and she did only body weight exercises. One that particularly killed me was the last round and she called it frog jumps. To do it you start in a wide squat and squat down even further to touch the ground in front of you, then jump forward and land in another squat. As you are jumping, raise your hands up in the air. Jump back and forth. Up and down. Over and over. Let's just go ahead and kill those quads and glutes. All in all, a very good time.

It was graduation weekend and I ate a lot and didn't get to the food store at all, which is so not like me. So tonight for dinner we are having turkey tacos. All I really do is sauté some onions and garlic and then add ground turkey. After it is no longer pink, I add some chili powder, garlic powder and taco sauce. I have  more taco sauce, shredded cheese, avocados and tomatoes available. Depending on our mood, and what's available in the house, we eat it over nacho chips or flax tortillas. As a side, I have a Goya rice. Easy peasy and everyone loves it.

Since I was so tired this morning and had a little extra time, I put on BB cream. I have two that I really like. The one on the left is Dr. Jart and I love it because it is a little dewy. Perfect for summer. The one on the right is Bobbi Brown, and it is a little yellower, but blends in perfectly, and evens out my skin tone. They both have SPF, although Dr. Jart is 45. I don't feel like I look overly made up when I wear BB cream, so I tend to wear them more often than not. As I get older, my skin is certainly blotchier, so this is good for me. As far as the "extra" in BB cream? I don't know, it still seems a bit like tinted moisturizer to me, but it stays on better. 











Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lululemon shopping. Throwing up at Tabata? Bobbi Brown on QVC


Well, there were black groove pants at Lululemon today! With a few different waistbands. Oh happy day! The luon didn't feel as thick as old luon but still good. I don't think the old thick material is coming back, and it is time for me to accept that fact. It's too hot for me to buy pants now, so I can wait til the fall. I hope they upload some crops though. That would be a big problem for my wallet. I also picked up the mod moves crop in white. I was really hoping that the latest upload would have these in a different color (have green, purple went so fast) because I'm really digging the pockets. I figure I have two weeks to return them if they do get released. I also broke down and got two pairs of groovy run shorts - the new black and white vertical stripes and zippy green. I tried the mod moves top on and just didn't love it enough. The purple was very pretty and not sheer at all. I really wanted to love this. I have the black short sleeve turn it up tee and this really reminded me of it, just with a different neckline. It didn't totally lay right on me  either and looks so much like the other top that I was able to talk myself out of it. Pat on the back. But….I saw the Sand to Savasana duffel and absolutely love it. My store only had the black and that looked super. I'm not sure how bright that pink would be. That bag is going to cause me a lot of mental debate as I have a perfectly fine Lululemon bag that I do love. Anyway, that is my two cents on today's excursion. Crazy crowded in the store!

Today I took a Tabata class. Wow, does that class kill me (especially since I missed last week because of air conditioning issues).  The way it is taught in my gym is 20 seconds of intense exercise, and then 10 seconds rest. The exercise, usually two that alternate although sometimes it is the same one over and over again, is done for a total of 8 times, so really only 160 seconds. Let me tell you by the end of each round, your body just wants to stop. The class is only 45 minutes, and by the end, I am so done. I probably didn't explain the format too well, but the point is high intensity cardio with short breaks. All of the scientific studies say that this type of exercise burns more calories than any other. I find that I my heart rate is very high and my muscles get burnt out, so I believe it. I think this is a similar workout to the Insanity DVD. I would definitely recommend this type of class, knowing that you can always modify it because it is intense. Have you taken a class like this? Did you love it and want to throw up or throw in the towel? 

Today I wore my energy bra (no bouncing allowed), my new charcoal wunder unders, and black clarity tank. 


wow- those pictures came out dark. and look just like the outfit I wore the other day!


By the way, Bobbi Brown is appearing on QVC Tuesday I think and there is a pretty great special value. It includes: 


 Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Twilight Night Shimmer Ink
     Rich Lip Color in Nude Rose

     Shimmer Brick in Wild Rose

    Foundation Stick in your shade choice

    Extreme Party Mascara in Black

    One Mini Blender Brush

    One Mini Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush


    I  think I am set with blush, since I love the new stick sheer color cheek tint, and I have issues applying the gel eyeliner, so this might not be such a great bargain for me. Plus, I have my eye on that duffel bag. Decisions, decisions.