Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

What I Ate Wednesday: 3/6/13

Well, hello there.  How have you been??  I know, long time no blog.It’s been over a week since I even logged into WordPress.  I guess you could say I took a little holiday from social media.  Not intentionally, of course.  Life just got in the way. I wish I could tell you I was on a real vacation, but sadly, I wasn’t.  I wish I could tell you that I was purposefully taking some me-time.  Nope, just busy.

But what better day to make a come back if not on Wednesday????  Thanks of course to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the linkup!! So let’s get this party started!  First of all, let me say that I am not a workout-in-the-morning kind of person.  I am a sit-with-my-coffee-and-blog kind of person.  But yesterday, I got up early to get on the treadmill before my shower!  30 minutes of incline intervals.  After the treadmill, I jumped off and did 50 squats, 50 lunges, 25 push ups, and 25 overhead presses.  I was a sweaty mess by the time I got in the shower!

treadmill time

I didn’t take a picture of it, but my breakfast this morning was a protein shake.  I simply take a scoop of my cookies n’ cream whey protein powder, add a tablespoon of PB2, the rest of my cooled-off mug of coffee, top with water, then shake.  Yummy!! It had also snowed overnight.  Not much, but enough to delay school for an hour.

snow on my flowers

It also delayed me getting to work.As you can see from the tracks, I attempted multiple times to leave my driveway but it just wasn’t happening.  I would drive up, slide back down, drive up, slide back down.  The hill doesn’t look like much in the picture, but it definitely gets steeper closer to the road. So, funny story ….  I had a meeting at 10am at a client’s office very close to my house.  But my presentations were still sitting on my desk.  I texted my boss and asked him if he could grab the presentations and meet me out at the client’s office.  I even sent him this picture of my driveway to prove I wasn’t making this up.  Well, 30 minutes go by and I don’t hear from him.  At 9 o’clock I text him again.  Nothing.  So hubby tries to make it out of the driveway in my car.  He did it on the first try.  Whatever.  I made the path for him.  Anways, it takes me 20 minutes to get to work.  I walk in the door just at the moment we need to leave for the client’s office, and I notice he is not there.  So I call him on his cell phone, asking him what the plan was.  He said he would meet me there.  Fine.  But then I asked him if he got my text messages.  He said he had just woken up.  It was 9:30am!!!!!   Seriously??  So it’s a very good thing that I did drive all the way to work (only to drive right back to a place a few miles from my house), because otherwise no one would have had the presentations.

 

driveway tracks

By the time the meeting was over and I was back at my desk, it was 1pm and I was starving!!!!  I brought a salad from home.  It doesn’t look pretty. Perhaps it doesn’t travel well.  Or perhaps it doesn’t photograph well.  But it was delicious. Mixed greens, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, hard-boiled egg, cheese, jalapenos, sriracha and ranch.  With deer meat. Yes, I said deer meat.  Hubby is a hunter so we typically have a venison roast in the freezer.  We recently put it in the crock pot so I’ve been using the leftovers for salads and wraps.  So yummy!

deer salad

For dinner, I was in the mood to cook.  But the only meat we had left in the fridge was ground beef.  So I made pizza meat loaf.  One of the kids’ favorites!!  (And possibly mine too).  With mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

kids eating meat loaf

(And before you comment on her lack of clothes, she won’t keep them on.  But it works out well during meal times because they she doesn’t get food on her clothes)!

my plate

So there you have it.  What I ate Wednesday.  I may have left out a few little snacks here and there.  But for the most part, that was it.Tell me – what did you eat Wednesday???  And did you prepare it yourself or did you go out?

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Weekend Recap: Snow and Putt-Putt

As I told you on Friday, I was planning for a fabulous, productive 4-day weekend.  My To Do List included lots of housework, studying, running and playing with the kids.

looking out the window

On Saturday, they were calling for snow flurries. I was surprised when it really started coming down!! The kids were thrilled!!

let it snow

It wasn’t enough for snowballs or snowmen.  But they were some big fat flakes!!  And just as quickly as it started, it was gone.

sky

On Sunday, hubby woke up with a stomach bug.  ;(

So he spent much of the day laying around, while I spent the day doing homework and studying.

It was still so cold outside.

Therefore, I kept the workout inside on both Saturday and Sunday.  45 minute interval with some incline, some speedwork, and some weights.

workout

Thankfully, it warmed up on Monday because we were ready to get out of the house.

We’d promised my son at the beginning of the week that if he had an all-blue week we’d take him to play putt-putt.

me and the kids

kids

It was actually his first time to putt-putt. He had so much fun.

She enjoyed just running around from hole to hole, watching everything that was going on.

at putt-putt

Hubby and I had a little bet going to see who would win. I had an early lead but I lost it. I think I got too cocky.

Now I owe him a back rub!  😉

me

For dinner on Monday, I made us salads.  Can you guess which one is mine?!?  (Hint: I think I’m addicted to sriracha).

And, while I was at it, I went ahead and made my lunch for the next day too.  (Love it when I’m on the ball like that)!

salads

That’s the weekend.  And then it was back to the grind on Tuesday.   But I’m happy to report that I got a lot done!  Including 100’s on my homework and my test.  YAY!

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Best Body Bootcamp Recap – Week 3

Well, the third week of Boot Camp is over.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as diligent this week with my workouts.  I only did 1 of the 3 Strength workouts.  But I did do all of the cardio, plus some.  I don’t really have a good excuse, other than all my workout stuff is in the basement and it’s really cold in the basement.  Thankfully my treadmill is not down there or else I probably wouldn’t have done the cardio portions either.  🙂

bootcamp_large

Here’s my weekly recap:

Monday – 1/21

Strength workout

Tuesday – 1/22

Cardio interval with core workout

Wednesday – 1/23

100 burpee workout

Thursday – 1/24

rest day

Friday – 1/25

Friday we were stuck inside because of the ice storm.  So I jumped on the treadmill for a 45 minute cardio interval.  I alternated speed and incline every 5 minutes while watching The Biggest Loser on the DVR.

Saturday – 1/26

A repeat of yesterday with the same treadmill workout and finished out the same episode of the Biggest Loser.  I’m really into it this season.  This is actually the first season I’ve ever really watched.  Sure, I had seen bits and pieces before.  And honestly what turned me off before was Jillian.  I couldn’t stand listening to her yell at people.  But this time it’s a little different.  I’m watching with a different goal in mind.  I do like Bob, though.  And I like this new trainer, Dolvett.  And this season, I really like that they brought the kids in to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic.  If you’re not watching, you should check it out.

Sunday – 1/27

Another treadmill workout.  But this time, I mixed it up.  Here’s how it went:

Minutes 0 -5:  Walk 4.3mph on 8% incline

Minutes 5-10:  Run 6.5mph on 1.5% incline

50 air squats, 50 walking lunges

Minutes 10-15: Walk 4.3mph on 9% incline

Minutes 15-20: Run 6.5mph on 1.5% incline

25 push ups, 25 sit ups, 1 minute plank

Minutes 20-25: Walk 4.3mph on 10% incline

Minutes 25-30: Run 6.5mph on 1.5% incline

1 minute wall sit, 1 minute plank, stretch

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This coming week, I am going to try to stick to Tina’s prescribed workouts exactly as written.  If it’s cold in the basement, I’ll put on a sweatshirt.  No excuses.

In addition to the workout schedule, Tina also has you choose two goals for the week.  My 2 goals were to drink 64oz of water and take my vitamins daily (that’s one goal) and also to make sure to do my nightly routine every night, which includes taking my contacts out and washing my face, among other things.  I’ve gotten in a bad habit of falling asleep on the couch and then just crawling into bed without taking off my makeup or taking out my contacts.  (Yes, I know how bad it is to sleep in contacts.  In fact, I got a corneal abrasion several months ago because I was sleeping in my contacts.)  So I need this extra motivation to help me form a good habit at bedtime.  Or maybe if I win the $1,000 in the end I could use it towards Lasik so that I don’t have to worry with the contacts at all.  🙂

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Last Things Thursday – 1/24/13

1. Last food you ate:

Fish tacos.  Whole wheat tortillas, broiled tilapia, broccoli slaw, cheese, salsa and jalapenos.  YUM!!

(Totally should have taken a picture of those!!!)

2. Last beverage you drank:

Water.  And lots of it!

3. Last workout:

Yesterday’s 100 burpee workout.

4. Last thing you pinned:

Pinned Image

This is awesome.  Especially considering I had a Tall Vanilla Spice Latte (skinny) this morning.

5. Last text message you sent:

Hubby was at the grocery store today.  Asked me to guess how much he spent.  My response:  “$99 no beer or $114 with beer.”  He said “With, of course.”  The total was $117.  So I was within $3.  I asked him what I got for being so close.  He didn’t respond.

6. Last blog you visited:

My Elf friend, Claire, in the UK:  http://flakeandcake.wordpress.com/

7. Last place you visited:

Besides work, I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday.

8. Last show you watched:

Big Bang Theory, of course.  🙂

9. Last thing you baked:

Bite Size Apple Pies.  So easy and everyone loved them!!

Pinned Image

source:  bettercookies.wordpress.com

10. Last photo you Instagrammed:

A sunset, of course.  In fact, every night this week there’s been an amazing display of color in the sky.

sunset

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What I Ate Wednesday: 1/16/13

Happy Wednesday, y’all.

(Of course, by the time I’m actually posting this, it’s already Thursday.  So who am I kidding?  I should just go ahead and say Happy Thursday).

Today’s breakfast is a little unusual (for me).  I normally have a protein shake.  But this morning, we had leftover Crustless Quiche from the previous night’s dinner.  There was one piece left and it was all mine.

Spinach, feta, yellow peppers, and eggs.  No crust.  Sooooooo good.  The entire family devoured it.  I will make it again very soon and when I do, I will post the recipe!
Spinach pie

Topped with a little salsa.

bite

For lunch, I was out with a client at Aubrey’s.

I didn’t want to whip out my camera in the middle of my working lunch, so you’re just going to have to imagine what the Cranberry Chicken Salad would look like.  (It was both beautiful and delicious)!

Here’s the description from the menu:

CRANBERRY CHICKEN Grilled chicken, dried cranberries, candied pecans, feta cheese, Red Delicious apple, fresh greens. 11

With balsamic vinaigrette on the side.  So yummy!!!

Healthy Living Kitchen

When I got back from lunch, the UT Medical Center’s Healthy Living Kitchen was doing a cooking demonstration at work!  They were talking about heart health, cholesterol and sodium.  Then he showed us some pretty mean knife skills.  How to chop a pepper so that you don’t waste any of it (very good to know)!  And then he made this Quinoa.

quinoa

So we all got to try their Quinoa Stir Fry.  Yummy.  (Though, I personally thought it needed a lot more heat.  Like maybe some sriracha sauce on top!!)

recipe

After work, I still had to go to the grocery store.  It wasn’t a dire situation … yet.  But it was close.  I had a hard time packing the 7-year old’s lunch yesterday morning.  We were out of a few essentials, so I had to improvise.  He got a hard-boiled egg in his lunch!  (Which is totally fine with him – he loves them.  It’s just not normally something most people would put in a 2nd grader’s lunchbox).

bird's eye voila

So since I got home from the grocery store around 7pm and still had to figure out dinner, I made it as easy as possible.  I love these little frozen meals by Birds Eye as a base.

skillet

Then I add in my own extra veggies and seasoning.  Last night it was extra broccoli and some of the OMG sauce from GGG Foods I was telling you about in my last post.  This gave it a little kick.

dinner

And then I added even more kick on my plate by topping it with the Sriracha sauce, of course!  🙂

Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce 28 Oz

I seriously love this stuff.  In fact, I had to buy more at the grocery store tonight because we had just run out.  I’m thinking about just carrying some with me in my purse so I always have it with me.  LOL  I’m kidding.  Sorta.  🙂

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Thankful Thursday – Twenty Times Over

Today’s Elf4Health Challenge asked us to write down 20 things we are thankful for.

version3edited Elf for Health Holiday Challenge

So here goes…..  it might be a little predictable and trite, but how can I not be thankful for my family???

1.  My loving and supportive husband

2. My smart and energetic 7-year old son

3. My adorable and sweet 2-year old daughter

4. My crazy family

5. My fun-loving friends

6. My (continually improving) health

7. My job (it pays the bills)

8. My co-workers who make said job worth getting out of bed for!

9. My comfy bed

10. My cozy, warm house

11. My hometown of Knoxville, TN

12. My neighbors

13. My country

14. My freedom

15. My Nikon DSLR

16. My back deck situated on a hill (where I watch every sunset)

17. My sugar-free creamer which makes my coffee my favorite part of my morning

18. My squat rack and basement gym

19. My smart phone

20. All my faithful blog followers

I am very blessed!

 

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November Bulu Box Review

 

I have no idea why all my photos are sideways.  I apologize – you’ll have to tilt your head to see it.

What’s included:

Almased:  A metabolism booster which supports fat loss and ensures muscle retention.  It’s in powder form and you mix it with milk or water.  I chose water.  It’s supposed to be a meal replacement for weight loss or a supplement for wellness.  I was not a fan.

CocoaWell True Energy:  a pill that supposedly enhanced energy, fights fatigue and stress.  It’s hard to tell with only one pill if it works or not.

Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant: a crystal-infused towelette.  I do have to say, this came in quite handy since I started running during my lunch hour.  It’s so nice to wipe the sweat off before putting work clothes back on!

Perky Jerky: a healthy satisfying snack flavored with guarana

FRS Healthy Energy Chews:  formulated with quercetin, a powerful all-natural antioxidant

I really wanted to like these FRS healthy energy chews, but the flavor was so weird.  It almost tasted like medicine halfway through the chew.  I might buy those again, but I wouldn’t get the pineapple mango.  (Which is crazy because I love love love pineapples).

The Perky Jerky, on the other hand, was awesome!!  Very tasty.  I could have eaten triple the amount they gave me in this sample.  YUM!!  I will definitely be buying this one.

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Monday Motivation – 11/19/12

Also titled “Maintain Don’t Gain Wellness Challenge Tip #3”

Warning:  There’s not a cute little sign in this post.  This week’s tip is regarding SUGAR.  Do you know how much sugar you are consuming every day?  Start reading your labels – sugar is hidden in most every processed food.  Even a small kids carton of 100% apple juice contains 22 grams of sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than 20 grams of sugar per day.  For men, they recommend no more than 36 grams per day.  And for children, only 12 grams per day.  So if your child drinks one small carton of 100% apple juice, they have almost doubled their recommended sugar intake for the day.  Shocking, I know.  Because you think 100% apple juice would be healthy.  But it’s all sugar. Excess sugar can alter metabolism, raise blood pressure, skew the signaling of hormones and damage the liver.  Hmm… sounds a lot like what alcohol does to you too.

In fact, a team of researchers from the University of California argue that sugar should be considered a controlled substance just like alcohol and tobacco because it poses enough health risks.

In an opinion piece called “The Toxic Truth About Sugar” that was published Feb. 1 in the journal Nature, Robert Lustig, Laura Schmidt and Claire Brindis argue that it’s a misnomer to consider sugar just “empty calories.” They write:

“There is nothing empty about these calories. A growing body of scientific evidence is showing that fructose can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases. A little is not a problem, but a lot kills — slowly.”

We’re a nation that’s sweet on sugar: the average U.S. adult downs 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, according to the American Heart Association, and surveys have found that teens swallow 34 teaspoons.

No one is claiming the effect of sugar is quite that potent, but, says Brownell, “it helps confirm what people tell you anecdotally, that they crave sugar and have withdrawal symptoms when they stop eating it.”

Dr Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California.  You can watch his 90 minute lecture on YouTube here:  Sugar: The Bitter Truth   It’s FASCINATING.  He is an excellent speaker.

And I highly recommend you read this 2011 New York Times article written by Gary Taubes:  Is Sugar Toxic?   Gary Taubes has written a number of articles and books, all regarding nutrition.

After reading the article and watching the video, I’ll let you make your own determination about whether sugar is bad.  But I know I’m going to start avoiding it like the plague.

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Monday Motivation: 11-5-12

As I told you on Thursday, we started a new Wellness Challenge at work to get through the holidays without adding any extra pounds.  My first tip is about drinking water!  Do you drink enough water every day?

Do you know how important water is for the human body?

We’ve all heard you should drink 8 glasses every day.  This is actually just an average.  If you weigh more, you need more.  And of course, if you exercise, you need to replace the fluids you lost when exercising.

Top 11 Health Benefits of Drinking Water

source

You will be amazed of the benefits of drinking water as follow:

    1. Lose weight: Drinking water helps you lose weight because it flushes down the by-products of fat breakdown.  Drinking water reduces hunger, it’s an effective appetite suppressant so you’ll eat less.  Plus, water has zero calories.
    2. Natural Remedy for Headache: Helps to relieve headache and back pains due to dehydration.  Although many reasons contribute to headache, dehydration is the common one.
    3. Look Younger with Healthier Skin: You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated.  Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity.
    4. Better Productivity at Work: Your brain is mostly made up of water, thus drinking water helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated.
    5. Better Exercise: Drinking water regulates your body temperature. That means you’ll feel more energetic when doing exercises. Water also helps to fuel your muscle.
    6. Helps in Digestion and Constipation: Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion.  Fiber and water goes hand in hand so that you can have your daily bowel movement.
    7. Less Cramps and Sprains: Proper hydration helps keep your joints and muscles lubricated, so you’ll less likely get cramps and sprains.
    8. Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Healthy: Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack.  Water adds with lemon is used for ailments like respiratory disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism and arthritis etc. In another words one of the benefits of drinking water is that it can improve your immune system.
    9. Relieves Fatigue:  Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.  If your body lacks water, your heart, for instance, needs to work harder to pump out the oxygenated blood to all cells, so are the rest of the vital organs, your organs will be exhausted and so will you.
    10. Good Mood: Your body feels very good and that’s why you feel happy.
    11. Reduce the Risk of Cancer: Related to the digestive system, some studies show that drinking a healthy amount of water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water dilutes the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortens the time in which they are in contact with bladder lining.

Wow!!  After reading that, just tell me you don’t want to rush to the kitchen and chug down a big glass of water!

Furthermore, if you’re drinking soda, here’s a little food for thought:

So if you drink soda, I encourage you to start replacing just one soda a day with water.  You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but imagine the health benefits if you did!

Here’s this week’s challenge:  Take note of how much water you are drinking every day.  Is it enough?  Do you need to increase it?  Need help?  I found a neat product called Hydracoach.  It digitally calculates, monitors and reminds you to drink your water.  How cool is that?!?

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Monday Motivation – 10/22/12

Time for a big dose of inspiration.

(I need this today after a really fun weekend.)

 

Why is it so easy to get out of the habit and so hard to get back into it?

Question of the Day:  What new habit will you start today??

(My answer –  I am going to set my alarm for 20 minutes earlier so I can get a quick workout in before my shower.  Every. Day. This. Week.  No excuses.  I want this to become a habit).

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