Saturday, July 30, 2011

All in Preparation

Thank goodness for new beginnings. Last week was kind of rough. Getting back on track has only been successful as far as completing all of the workouts I had planned for the week. It was rough because I didn't plan my meals and I ended up eating horribly for about 3 days.  


It's usually the other way around. I would usually work out at minimum intensity, but eat well.  I'm just trying to get back the same "oomph" I had when I first started this journey.  to be clear, I want to lose my tummy and I realize that's way more about diet than it is exercise so to speak. Thankfully, I've already done my grocery shopping for the week and my workouts will be as followed:

Sunday - Rest
Monday - 4 mi run + upper body weight routine
Tuesday - Circuit Training
Wednesday - Circuit Training
Thursday - 3.5 mi run (with group)
Friday - Circuit Training
Saturday - 3.1 mi (Atlanta's Finest 5K Run/Walk)

As you can see I have a race at the end of the week.  This will be my 3rd race ever and I'm going for PR so I really want my diet to be on point!  There were hills I weren't prepared for in my first race and lots of logistical errors in my second race.  I've been running routes with excruciating (at least to me) hills the past two weeks and I know for sure this race will be organized a lot better than the second.

**More Pictures to Come**

Motivate Me & I'll Motivate You!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Penne Pasta Meal Ideas

The whole point of me displaying what I eat is to give others trying to lose weight an idea of "how" I ate and to show how you have to go back to the basics.  Remember that processed foods are created for our convenience, money-wise and time-wise.  I'm not saying I didn't eat processed food and that I don't now (because I do), but more clean eating versus the processed stuff has long term benefits. Everything in moderation.  What's clean eating?  Clean eating is eating foods that are as close to its natural state as possible.  Two good ways to tell if what you're eating is processed:
  1. Did you get that item from the inside aisles of the grocery store? Yes? Chances are it's processed
  2. Not trying to insult ones intelligence, but can you pronounce the ingredients on the back of that box? No? Chances are it's processed.

I'm still in the progress of finding low calorie, clean recipes that can become staples in my lunch and dinner rotation. I found this recipe for penne pasta with spinach (I've been eating a lot of spinach lately) at DPrincess28's blog, Protecting Your Crown & Glory.  You can find exact directions and other details there cause I'm too lazy to do it.  

It turned out well and she was right, this is a fiber loaded dish so beware!  

Here's the ingredients and calorie breakdown
250 calories per serving

I cooked more pasta than the first recipe called for, but I remembered there was another recipe I wanted to try.  I found this one for broccoli & penne pasta salad at Clean Eating Chelsey's blog.  I didn't follow her recipe exactly.  I used the frozen broccoli stir-fry I had already.  Also, I ran out of Italian dressing, so I used what was leftover and a little raspberry vinaigrette.

The raspberry vinaigrette was okay, but I have a feeling the Italian dressing would of tasted better.  

165 calories per serving

Now I've found two EASY, meatless staples to add.  I liked that both meals were meatless because I've decided to incorporate at least one meatless night a week.  I enjoyed both, while my husband is being a fatty lately and didn't want to try either. Oh well, more for me!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting It Together...Back on Track!

I ended up having more fun in New Orleans than I thought I would! It was my second trip there, but my first actually being able to see and participate in a few things.  We saw sites, tasted beignets, shopped, partied on Bourbon Street, hung with friends, and best of all ATE!  But, all good things must come to an end :-(

On our way home, we decided to make a couple of store stops, including the pawn shop (we love a deal).  I accidentally (by accidentally I mean I was not actually in the market for this at the time) found a Garmin Forerunner 305.  The price was too good for me not to pass it up.  They sold it to us for $80. I Googled the item before buying it to make sure we were getting a fair price, because like I said, I wasn't in the market for this  so I hadn't done my research other than seeing other bloggers casually mention it.  For the same model, I saw prices for $129 and up, so I believe we weren't jipped lol.  This item was really on my 2012 wishlist.  So, I'm pretty happy with the price we paid for it.  I can't wait to take it out.  Oh, and I'm probably still going to use Nike+.  I want the Garmin to help me train for faster times and keep me on pace. I don't really care about recording my workouts with the Garmin as of yet.  I like the Nike+ user interface too much.

**7/26 update: I realized the cradle/charger wasn't in the bag. I went back to the shop and they didn't have it either. So basically they gave me $25 (eBay price) to get one. So really I ended up paying $55 for the thing. Niiiice ^_^

Weekly Workout Goals
Monday - rest
Tuesday - Circuit Training & 3+ mile P.M. group run
Wednesday - 3-4 A.M. group run & Strength Train (upper body)
Thursday - Circuit Training
Friday - Circuit Training
Saturday - rest
Sunday - Yoga or Stretching

My schedule seems a little jacked up to me because I forgot I'm babysitting this week so I had to plan my workouts on days I know working out won't be a problem.  I tweeted last week that I volunteered to watch my BFF's 4 kids! Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking.  Hopefully I can stick to the schedule I've planned for myself.  These aren't normally the days I spread my workouts on.  Anyhow, I need to put myself back on a schedule regardless.  Next week's post I'll include my planned meals for the week. The trip threw me off track as far as meal planning and I may have to go grocery shopping tomorrow.  Huh, so much to do and not enough time in the day! Story of everyone's lives!

Lastly, just as the title says, to really make sure I'm getting it together, I have decided to participate in two challenges of bloggers I have just started to follow.  The first is a 7-day "No Excuses" Challenge by RenewedFitness to basically finish a few goals (mostly non-fitness related) that I started, such as register to take the GRE.  Another goal, but not as important, update my running playlist, which I'm almost done already.  The other challenge is by YumYucky and hasn't started yet.  It's a "Finish What You Started" Challenge.  Now this is the fitness-related one that I plan to do starting in August to rededicate myself to my fitness and desired physique goals.  

That's it for tonight's post.  There'll be new recipe reviews I'm trying or have tried posted later in the week.

Motivate Me & I'll Motivate You!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Addicted to a Good Thing!

Today was an unusual day for me.  Hubby (I need to find a new term because I really do despise the term 'hubby') and I headed down to 'Who Dat Nation' for the weekend to spend time with friends and just get away from the mundane for a few days.  I'm enjoying the trip thus far, a little too much I think.  I packed our lunches: sandwiches, fruit, water, & Gatorade for the trip here, but "the during" is the problem.  My weight fluctuates easily and I'm worried that I will go back home heavier than I'd like.  I'm talking 5lbs.  It's so easy to put the weight on and so hard to get it off.  I guess as long as I can still fit the same pant sizes when I get home is all that really matters.  We will be doing lots of "touristy" stuff while here, so it may not be as bad as I'm making it seem.

While typing this, I should be in bed preparing for the run I finally decided on doing.  I'm in a "foreign" city, so I am a bit nervous.  I found a pretty safe route to run in the morning.  It's in a popular location near a university, so it's bound to have security.  I found the route on Nike Plus and discovered most of the runners in the area I am in run there.  So that's where I'll be headed in the A.M.  I just want to say 1) I exercised for the first time on vacation 2) show how dedicated I am to myself and my goals and 3) create a memorable experience for myself. So, let's hope it won't rain :)

Do you try stick to your routine as closely as possible on vacation? Or do you purposely relax at all costs?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Random Type of Day

Rolling out of bed at's like a good portion of my day is gone already!  I'm still on a quest for consistency.  I haven't settled on what days I'm going to do what.  I'm usually good with organizing my time wisely, but ever since I've gotten serious with this blog (which I've had since last year), it's been taking a lot of my time.  Time I should evenly spread doing other things, but I can't pry myself away from the computer.  And then once I am away from the computer, I'm at my iPhone doing the same thing. #NotWinning.  

Anyway, I want badly to complete my goals.  I really want to meet my "flat stomach" goal by uh? ... I need to figure that one out.  It WAS by the end of the summer, but I don't know.  We'll just say that's pending for now.  I was glad to see that Yum Yucky will be starting another challenge.  I'm a new reader of her blog and saw the mid and ending results of her challenge, not to mention the awesome prize she gave away, so I think that'll help motivate me to "finish what I started".

Today's Workout
Before my run, I did an upper body weight routine from Carrot 'N' Cake's blog.  It was something easy on time that I could fit in beforehand.

I'm supposedly following Nike's 5K Training program to increase my 5K speed.  I attempted 4 miles yesterday, but due to the heat and low hydration and the fact that I rolled out of bed so late I barely finished 2 mi.  Today is kind of my make-up day.  According to the plan, I was supposed to take today off, but since my running group is meeting today (in a location I love), I decided to join in so I won't feel so bad about yesterday.  I have never stopped and walked midway run with them, probably because when I'm running, exercising, or doing anything for that matter in front of other people, I never want them to see me at my weakest point (call it pride, I guess?).  Crazy, but it helps me endure.  Don't get me wrong, I will stop if I just can't take it, but I see it as motivation that I don't.

We ran 3.76 miles. My average pace was 10:24.  I'm puzzled at the fact that my first mile was 10:16, but my second was 8:57. Ran down hill maybe? IDK.

This was a I-have-too-many-leftovers-from-other-recipes type of day.  I didn't want any thing to go to waste, so I was fortunate enough to find these two "recipes".  I had almost or at least some things that could substitute in the following "creations".

roast beef and spinach sandwich
1 Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese slice
1 tbsp light mayo
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tbsp mustard
255 calories

chicken fajita-ranch wrap
1 tsp chili pepper (to season tenderloins)
2 tbsp ranch dressing
4 oz chicken, tenderloins
2 tsp garlic powder
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/2 cup green bell pepper
424 calories

Do you prefer working out alone or with people?  Do you push a little harder in others' presence than you would if you were alone?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Give Up Pizza? No Way,...

...but I will find alternatives to enjoy.  My husband and I used to eat pizza once a week like we're kids or something!  I see it as a reward for doing so well during the week and since I count calories*, I only eat one serving to one and a half servings of the regular stuff.  It's no fun just eating one serving all of the time so it was finally time to for me to find a clean recipe for pizza (next, it's pancakes!).  I found this recipe for Spinach and Chicken Sausage Pizza at the Clean Eating Magazine site.

Spinach & Turkey Sausage Pizza

My local grocer was out of chicken sausage, so I substituted with turkey sausage.

6 oz spinach leaves
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (drained)
1 whole wheat thin pizza crust
1 1/2 cups of sliced turkey sausage
3 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese

10 minutes at 450 degrees and it was done #saan!

One slice is 194 calories

Hubby's Verdict: He loved it, so this will be a staple in our dinner rotation (He requested chicken breasts for next time though).  Wifey Verdict: It looks good and tastes good.  The next time I'm going to make several at a time and freeze them.
Finding substitutes for foods I already love were key to my weight loss success.  If you love food and are just starting out, I suggest you do the same because it's easier to stick with in the long run. In my opinion, majority of the recipes I've tried over the course*, have tasted just as good as the unhealthier versions.  I gradually learned what I should eat and what I shouldn't.  I started small by switching to lean ground beef in my Hamburger Helper, then I turned to ground turkey, and now Hamburger Helper is a no-no in this house and ground beef makes rare appearances.

*counting calories for now is helping me with portion control.
*it took me a 1 1/2 year to reach my first weight goal of 50lbs.

What foods can't you "live" without?  Any suggestions for clean pancakes?

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Monday Message

I usually don't have a problem following through on workout plans (unless you count going past 11 days doing Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred), but a conversation elsewhere asked what my workout goals were this week.  This gave me the idea to start paying more attention to planning my workouts.  Hopefully this will help me stick to a consistent routine.  As of now, I am not very consistent with my strength training as far as the days I do them.  I do them more along the lines of ... when I feel like it.  My goals are still to tone up and flatten the tummy, but I realize I need to be a lot more consistent than I have been the past few weeks.  

I've gotten lax over the past few weeks with my eating and exercise intensity level.  I've been doing the minimum and that's about it.  I can tell I've done a good job just maintaining because the scale has literally not budged in a month.  If i want to increase my 5K time and meet other body goals, that's just not going to work.  So I figure I need to bump up the intensity back to where I started.  When I was so "hungry" to lose the weight.  

I started one of the Nike Plus beginners 5K training programs last week.  Day 1 started with 2 miles and then seems as if it will alternate between 3 miles and 4 miles every other day.  
- - -
Today I ran/walked 4 miles.  On a scale of 1 to 5, today's run was a 3.  I should have known better than to attempt running (especially a distance I haven't ran in a long while) in the middle of the day, in this southern heat.  After mile 2, I started breaking down and taking more walk breaks.  After mile 3, I started to feel light headed and a little dizzy.  Never again.  If I wake up late, I will just force myself to run in the evening when the temps are cooler.  Oh, and HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!  The part of the trail I ran was very shady, but I think I probably should have drank more water starting yesterday!  I have definitely learned my lesson.