Friday, July 25, 2014

Road Trip Snacking

I was determined to stay on track on my 5.5 hour road trip. Of course, I went straight to Pinterest and found a related blog that I was able to copy some of the snacks she suggested, but I also have some of my own suggestions.

Now my goal is not only to not eat junk food, but also not to spend hella money to and fro our destination. I hate wasting money. 

So here's a few cheap and fast road trips snack suggestions that'll keep money IN your wallet so you can enjoy your trip.

-mixed vegetables
-Greek yogurt

-air popped popcorn
-rice cakes

Can you think of any more?

Meanwhile, it's leg and shoulder day. I cheated the other day and did a couple glute exercises and forgot to stretch right afterwards, now my hamstrings are so sore. I'm still looking forward to working out tonight. It will be interesting and I'm hoping that I can stick to the plan as much as possible in the space I'll have available. I brought my resistance band and will modify all moves accordingly. I'll miss the cardio portion tonight and tomorrow my cardio will have to just be walking since we have a few places we plan to visit with the fam while away.

How do you stay on track while on vacation?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

WIAW: Pinterest Wins

I've had a pretty boring day eating-wise so far, so I decided to share a little of what I ate yesterday, too. Plus, I thought my eggs were pretty. :-)

Thanks to a pin on Pinterest this was my first time adding avocado to my eggs and first time choosing a ripe avocado. Avocado is a healthier way to add the same creamy texture as cheese. It tasted okay to me. I let the boy child taste some and he was not a fan.

Day 22 - Green Smoothie. My tried and true strawberry banana. That will always be my go to.

Simple spinach salad with hard boiled eggs, one yolk

After a very rough night, this next item is all I could think of. I didn't care if this was on my "plan" or not. If I was going to get through my workout and the day period, I needed caffeine. So I made this iced coffee with chocolate creamer and soy milk.

Time to paint my nails

Equipment used: resistance band, 10, & 15 lb weights

Today I worked my back and biceps and after I walked past the mirror and noticed my butt, I decided to add in a few sumo squats and dead lifts. Do you see the sweat?

Thank goodness I prepared my oats the night before. I ate this post workout. My schedule was off because I was up late, so by the time I had this, it was around 11 am.

Bad presentation, I know. :-)

This was a snack later... my tried and true strawberry banana, except this time I added a little Greek yogurt.

For dinner tonight, I tried a recipe for my rotisserie chicken I found on Pinterest that sucked. I won't be using Italian seasoning for this again. Or maybe there were other factors involved, because my chicken came out dry. I slow cooked it for 6-7 hours on low. Maybe I added too much water? I don't know. After adding a little BBQ sauce it was fine (a clean eating no-no).

The roasted zucchini was on point! A Pinterest win. I drizzled olive oil, sprinkled garlic powder, salt, and pepper on top and roasted for 15 minutes. Everyone liked it.

Later in the evening I snacked on granola and finished my half gallon jug of water.

Do you create your own recipes or do you heavily use Pinterest like me, lol?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Training for My Training: Starting a 4 Week Shape Up Plan

While I still have time before my half marathon training starts on August 18th and for the extra motivation to not become a slacker until then, I volunteered to try out a new work out plan designed by one of my SPASisters. Angelena is a mom and certified personal trainer who offers online personal training plans. Please check out her blog at On Fire Fitness Healthy Living.

An online trainer is something I've wanted to try for a while. I am okay with working out alone and don't necessarily need a person staring at me when I make that "this ish is hard face". I'm pretty good at pushing myself, as long as I have a plan.

So, for the next four weeks I will be skipping my usual body works plus abs class at the gym and will opt for the 4 Week Shape Up Plan. The plan includes 
  • docs that allow you to track your goals (i.e. starting measurements, weight, and other goals)
  • a food guide with sample meals and a shopping list
  • meal and snack guidelines
  • 4 weeks of weight and cardio workouts
  • a doc to track your successes and struggles
  • and lastly, many ways to stay connected if you should need her assistance or motivation

Week 1, Day 1
I won't be providing a day to day update, but since I've already gotten a taste of the plan I figured I'd let ya know how it's going so far. 

I had a rough night with my son (sleep training attempt #345, lol) so I was a little off my rocker this morning. I was finally able to complete workout day 1 in the afternoon while he napped. Almost half way through the workout he woke up, but thankfully he hung out without wanting to be picked up while I finished up. I did modify my cardio choice at the end of the weight training because I needed something quick I could finish up while he was still okay. I did a jump rope Tabata workout instead of choosing one of the Tabata workouts or HIIT treadmill workouts provided. I knew the jump rope would be visually interesting to him, therefore I would be able to get through.

I finished day 1 in about 45-50 minutes. I completed all exercises, the entire duration with the heaviest weights I own. I will probably have to go to the gym for most of the program where I will have access to heavier weights.

I've taken my before shots, but I may post them when I've completed the plan. Also, I will follow the meal plan almost exactly after I go grocery shopping again next week. For now, I am still eating clean, just not organic. Good news is, I've found a closer farmer's market so I can become more consistent with purchasing grass fed meats and organic produce.

Have you ever thought about online personal training? Are you a workout plan type of person, or do you like to wing it?

Thanks for reading,
Tiffany :-)

*Disclaimer: I received this training plan for free in exchange for my blog review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to NOT Become Obsessed with the Scale

*Disclaimer: I am not a fitness professional nor a nutritionist. I share about topics based on MY results from MY research and experience. Everyone's results will be different. 

Chances are if you have found yourself already obsessed with weighing yourself everyday, after every work out, or after every meal, then you probably can't quit cold turkey. Don't feel bad because I was that way and so are many others.

As I try to switch my focus from weight loss to fat loss, I'm trying my hardest not to rely on the scale. The difference between now and then is now I choose to measure my progress with my pictures and body fat percentage. I like using before and after or then and now pictures the most because I don't know how accurate my scale is in measuring body fat percentage.

If you've read my weight loss journey you've seen that I met a 50 lb weight loss goal in 2010. I haven't really provided consistent updates about my weight loss after the baby, but to date I have lost my original goal of 50 lbs. I gained 40 lbs during my pregnancy, so I've lost an extra 10 since. :-)

How to NOT become obsessed with the scale:

  1. Choose ONE day a week that you will allow yourself to check your weight. Mondays are usually my weigh-in days. I weigh myself first thing in the morning after using the restroom.
  2. For the rest of the week, hide the scale. Seriously. Mine is underneath the sink. Sure, I could easily bend down and get if I want it still, but for the most part, out of sight, out of mind.
  3. Remember that our weight fluctuates throughout the week, so don't waste time putting yourself down if you see you're up 1-2 lbs in the next 2 days. Chances are if you've been eating healthy and burning more calories than you take in, then it's probably water weight.
  4. Choose a smaller sized pair of jeans or other clothing item as a goal. I had a size 8, low rise pair of pants that I used as my goal to get back into after having my baby. I'm proud to say I am back in them and my 6's, too.
  5. Muscle weighs more than fat. 120 lbs on a 5'4 tall person looks different on a 5'11 tall person. 
  6. Lastly, skinny doesn't equal healthy. According to some sites and my BMI, "they" say I should be 125-130 lbs. Honestly, I think I'd look sick. I'm comfortable with the way I look right now. Just working on those abs and muscle definition.
Please feel free to add to my list in the comment section. What are other ways to NOT become obsessed, if you own a scale?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIAW: What did I do and eat today?

This morning I woke up well rested and kid free. My son spent last night and will spend tonight with my mom while I handle some business (his first time away 2 nights in a row :-( ). I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't know whether I should relax until my appointment and workout later or vice versa. Thanks to my Facebook peeps, I chose to get it in early. So I quickly made a green smoothie (I'm on Day 16 of the Simple Green Smoothie Challenge) and I was out the door for a 'dreadmill' run and a body works plus abs class at my gym.

Selfies with my smoothie
I arrived at the gym and to my surprise it smelled lemony fresh. I can really appreciate them doing that because I can be a germaphobe at times. All the machines had noticeably been wiped down...hooray!

I ran 3-miles on the hill setting, alternating between levels 1-5. The first mile was kind of slow and hard and reminded me of my bad run from last Saturday. I almost thought I would burn out earlier, but I focused on the really ratchet music in my earbuds and that helped me push through. I gotsta have my Southern Rap when I do cardio on a machine!

After my run I joined my fav instructor for a body works plus abs class. As I mentioned before, she does her class a little different. Today's workout was the start of another 6-week series. We did a little HIIT the first half of class and finished with circuit training. By the end of both workouts my cheap dri-fit shirt was soak and WET! It was pretty disgusting but I worked HARD today!

Had a quick post work out snack of Greek yogurt with a little honey and a banana before I had to get ready for an appointment.

I didn't plan for lunch, but knew I had to go food shopping later. I was starving. Have you heard the saying don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry? Let's just say a package or two was opened on the ride home.

I had to have those Kettle chips...I craved the salt. ;)

When I finally got home, I took pictures of my purchases for my upcoming updated grocery haul post and I drank the rest of my green smoothie from this morning. I made this smoothie for the first time using soy milk instead of cows milk. It was really good and filling.

my go-to: strawberries, banana, Greek yogurt, soy milk
For dinner, I cooked a taco salad without the shell for me (still striving for abs). I'm enjoying my fun, but semi-healthy meals as of late, because I know once August 18th comes around, it's back to the same meals every day with one cheat day a week. Why? Because I can tell a big difference in my performance when I eat super clean.

Oh yeah! Remember at the end of one of my posts, I said Nike and I had to have a talk? Well, I got my replacement in the mail for my broken watch. I was like a kid on Christmas Day! Yes, I'm ready to take "her" out for a run!

For the non- cows milk drinkers, do you prefer soy, coconut milk, or something else as a milk replacement? I have a nut allergy, so I don't think I'll be trying almond milk.

Hope you had a good day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Liebster Award

Thank you Polly at Polly Defies Gravity for bringing the existence of the "Liebster Award" to my attention and choosing me. :-).

Here are the rules for Liebster Award:
1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Display the Liebster Award and the rules
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
4. Write 11 facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 11 other bloggers (who have less than 200 followers).
6. Write 11 new questions for your nominees.
- - -

Questions From Polly:

1. What would your autobiography be titled?
The Quiet Storm: Life and Times of (insert my full name here)

2. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Funny, Cautious, Sweet

3. You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
Brown Chocolate-y Brownie, because I like neutrals and I always look at the brown, black, and grey shirts on the rack before other colors when I shop, lol. SN: I force myself to choose a different color, though.

4. If you had an invisibility cloak, how would you use it?
Hmm, I'd use it whenever I had a speaking engagement because I despise public speaking.

5. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
"Someone Like You" by Adele
6. If you had to plan a parade, what would be the theme?
It'd be "Chocolate Around the World" because I'm currently craving chocolate candy. Not just any chocolate but real dark or milk chocolate. :-)

7. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I really can't recall. But wait as soon as I publish this post, I'll think of everything. :-/

8. Name one skill you wish you had.
To speak Spanish fluently

9. What super villain would you be?
Storm from X-Men. Was she considered a villain?

10. If you could make or change a law, what would it be?
I'd make a law to increase teacher salaries ;-)

11. What is the sexiest name you've ever heard?
Idris Elba :-)

11 Facts About Me:

1. I was EXTREMELY shy as a kid.
2. I was so self conscience of my body as a teen that I wore light jackets in the summer to cover my arms.
3. I changed my college major at least 6 times before finally graduating.
4. Sometimes I eat off the floor. LMBO
5. I almost had a panic attack when I went zip lining.
6. I'm up way too late working on this and my baby will probably be up soon because he refuses to sleep through the night yet.
7. One fast food I will never give up... Chic-Fil-A!
8. I've diagnosed myself with OCD...don't mess with my kitchen counter tops!
9. I love to sit for hours and watch YouTube vlogs. I watch it more than cable now.
10. I have a million "in progress" projects going on in my home right now.
11. I'm a reality TV junkie

Bloggers I Nominate:

1. Running Vegetarian
2. Get Fit!
3. Choose Joy Fitness
4. Still looking for blogs to nominate!!!

New Questions For My Nominees:

1. What did you do on the best vacation of your life so far?
2. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
3. Do you prefer ice cold or room temperature water?
4. What talents do you have?
5. What was your last dream about?
6. Have you ever met a celebrity?
7. What is your career or future career?
8. What's your favorite season of the year?
9. What makes your nervous?
10. Have you ever built a snowman?
11. Are you a member of any clubs?

Have fun!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Am A #SweatPink Ambassador!

I checked my e-mail the other day and to my surprise I was accepted as a "Sweat Pink Ambassador" for Fit Approach! Fit Approach is an online health community. It's for us to connect, motivate, and inspire each other to live the best lives we can. I'm all for that and anyway I can help, I'm there. That's part of why I started this blog; to have one source to direct folks.

We as women often wear many hats (the community is open to men as well). Personally, I'm a wife, mother, the housekeeper, accountant, the nurse, the admin, and the list goes on. And then there comes me. Sometimes my personal fitness goals are put on hold or sometimes I'm just too tired to work on them. So I can see why communities like this exist. Fit Approach and many other online health communities can be just the motivation one needs to get up and moving. Besides, if we don't give ourselves 100%, how can we give ourselves to others? I don't know about you, but exercise is my "me time" and makes me feel like I'm hitting reset on all things stressful.

So check them out and #SweatPink!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My 1st WIAW

For about 75% of my 10k training I was on Mission: No bread, No white, No sugar, No processed foods except for cheat days. Plus, I did a 30-day green smoothie challenge for the month of May (see pics on my instagram). I saw a HUGE difference in my abdominal area and I lost the last 5 lbs of my baby weight and then some. Maybe one day I'll have the nerve to post the progress pictures. But, side note: my ab area looks better NOW than before I was even pregnant!!!!

I decided to jump on the bandwagon for WIAW or What I Ate Wednesday posts for a few weeks. Almost every time after I meet a goal, I relax a little too much for days afterwards. These past couple days of "relaxation" has involved too much bread. Or maybe my body craved the carb? I thought by posting pics of my food for a little bit may help keep myself accountable until my half marathon training starts in August. Once that starts, I'll be motivated by performing well on my long runs.

So here's what I ate today...

Breakfast - On July 1st I started the 30-day green smoothie challenge hosted by Simple Green Smoothies, so this is a strawberry & banana smoothie with frozen spinach cubes (to keep my spinach longer, I blend it with a little water and freeze it in ice cube trays). I'm on Day 9.

Lunch -  An open-faced chicken salad (store bought) sandwich

Dinner - You know how you have random ingredients in the fridge and you don't want them to go bad? This is how this little concoction was created. This could actually be a real recipe, but idk. This is boneless pork with sliced tomatoes and green bell peppers (EVOO, salt & pepper). Pork fajita, maybe? It taste good.

No need to lie. This temptation said, "drink me" everytime I opened the fridge. The hubs just looooves to bring tempting foods in the house, ahem. I hadn't had a Coke in a minute, so I gave in.

Snack 1

Snack 2
After dinner I did around 30 minutes of Jillian Michael's Hard Body DVD and ran/walked 3.5 miles. Snack 3 was 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt with a little all natural honey and a sprinkle of granola on top.

How do you stay motivated to eat healthy? Have you caught onto the green smoothie craze yet?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Upcoming Goals: Fall Half Marathon Season

Now that the Peachtree is over, I have a lot more confidence that I can go to my next challenge, running my fifth half marathon. I call it a challenge because, of course, I don't know how even less "perfect" training will be with a baby. Can't just get up and go, ya know.

My original big plan in the beginning of my pregnancy was to start training for my next half marathon 3 months post partum. This was supposed to be my motivation to get back to running. Good thing I didn't need that; I had clothes to get back into, and there was no way it was that serious to go running with my son in his stroller in the cold temps we had. I had him in October and wanted to run a half at the end of March, which means I would of had to start training in December/January. Umm, yeah, that was a little far-fetched. Not saying one couldn't do it, but I couldn't for so many reasons. I did run a 5k, though.

I haven't registered yet, but the race I'm thinking of is in November so I will start a 12-week program on August 18th. I really don't want to register until I'm at least half way though training. The price increases are only $5. Expensive is expensive period and I've already missed the much lower registration fees. Maybe I'll find a discount if it turns out I'm able to run it. Off topic, but in the past, I've never paid over $55 for a half marathon, but I've been wanting to do this race for forever. Sigh.

I've decided to try the Nike+ Coach feature. In the past I've used Hal's plan, but I want to give Nike a try for the extra motivation. I like that it prompts you that you have a run the next day. I already track my miles with it, so it will tell me if I am on track with my time goal, and I love the interface. A big plus, I don't have to constantly refer to a document or sheet of paper to check which day of training I am on. It'll all be on the app.

An even bigger plus is that my husband has accepted the challenge of training himself. This would be his first. So at least I'd have someone alongside me during those long runs. I can't make the group runs much, or rather the places they meet aren't really stroller friendly, so he'll have to do. LOL. J/k... 'cause he reads my posts.

My focus from now until August 18th is to build strength. I'm going to focus even more on incorporating weight and running less often. I just want to maintain a 4-mile outdoor run until next month. Yesterday's workout felt pretty good. I did a body works plus abs class at the gym and ran 2 miles on the treadmill hill setting. My next workout will be Wednesday... and it may have to be a Jillian Michaels DVD day.

Now it's time for Nike and I to have a conversation...

If you run long distances, do you follow a set plan or make up your own? What's your favorite way to cross-train? :-)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race

Well the day has finally come and it has gone. I ran the largest 10k in the world, the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Peachtree Road Race with over 59,999 other people. This race has been an Atlanta Tradition for 45 year now. It's become so much more than a race. If you don't know about any other race in Atlanta, whether you are from the city or not, you know about "the Peachtree".

For years, I'd see past participants on the 4th of July wearing their race tees not really caring too much about it, but in high school, only because I needed volunteer hours, I started volunteering for this race. I think my first year volunteering was in 2000 or 2001? I enjoyed it so much I volunteered every year after that until 2006, I think.

All the while, not even knowing what a 10k was, lol. I just liked doing my job, cheering the runners/walkers on, and most of all the PERKS of volunteering for THIS race! We used to get all type of freebies and the runners would thank us as they ran by.

It was not until I became a runner in 2011 that I wanted to do this race...well I take that back, the last time I volunteered I said I would walk the race, but for some reason I never did. In 2011 I wanted to run it, but it was too late to register. I mustn't forget to mention that for summer running in Atlanta...there's a saying, "heat, hills, and humidity" for describing the Peachtree. And the route is uphill the entire freakin' way. There's actually a hill nicknamed, Cardiac Hill.


On to my personal experience...

So, the two weeks leading up to race day, my training had been kind of shaky. I'd missed 1 or 2 runs and didn't give it my all on 1 or 2 either. I'd also missed some cross-training days. 'tis life, I guess. So race morning, I was kind of nervous. For safety reasons and knowing how the weather could potentially be, I can say I hydrated well. I've been on a personal gallon of water a day challenge.

Race morning I was kind of nervous. So nervous I didn't know what to eat and couldn't remember what I usually ate the morning of my long runs...crazy. But my schedule had been off for the past couple weeks, so I'd actually been doing my long runs in the evenings versus the morning.

Glad my hubs was running the race with me. This took my mind off of all the technicalities, a little. This was his very first 10k race, so I wanted to be there for him as well. We drove to the first MARTA station to ride the train, but the parking was full by 6 am. At first I started to panic lol. See when I start typing this stuff out I notice how ridiculous I CAN be, lol. But anyhoo, I went to another station on the line that was 5 minutes away which had plenty of parking. I just hate being late. And I have been late for a race before. It was smooth sailing once we bought our passes and arrived at the starting line.

We took a few moments to use the restroom, warm up, and takes selfies. And then we were off!

Miles 1-2 were spent dodging the crowd until it thinned out. I'm glad I brought my music to play just in case because I couldn't tune out other people's heavy breathing, yelling, talking was just too much of a distraction.

Miles 2-3 were spent mentally preparing myself for "Cardiac Hill". Although I had practiced the route many times, I was still nervous. Cardiac hill is almost about a 1/2 mile of steady incline. It actually isn't bad. The "bad" part is completing Cardiac hill, getting a small break and then here comes the start of another ANOTHER hill.

Cardiac Hill - Source

Police escorts driving up Cardiac Hill - Source
Now I knew in order to get through I would have to pick up water at the water station. Something I normally don't like to do. The water helped. I was beginning to get cotton mouth and it helped my breathing...I guess that makes sense.

I walked to drink my water, caught my breath and then set back out. I kept chanting to myself "make it to 10th street, make it to 10th street". I knew at 10th street the finish line would be near. I had a couple of "WTF" moments after I finally did reach 10th street. Where's The Finish Line!?! But the crowds were going wild for everyone and that gave me the boost I needed. I always get this burst of energy in the last moments before I cross.

Before I knew it I was crossing. I finally made it! I checked my watch (& unofficial time on the site later in the day) and I had made it! After 12 weeks of commitment with a now 8 month old! I met my goal, which was to finish at a 10:30 or below average pace.

Now, this was not a PR for me, but being 8 months post partum, I am extremely proud of myself! This race was a test to see if I could rebuild my base in order to reach my next stay tuned. :-)

the Peachtree Finish Line After Party!
One more thing... As far as race organization goes if you ever thought about this race in the future; it's extremely fun with bands at every mile, businesses passing out beer and other alcoholic beverages if you're into that, crazy costumes, the fellowship, and support is all great. Plus, the Atlanta Track Club always puts on a well organized race. We racked up on finisher snacks, too. ;-)

sn: I kinda hate this pic, bc I LOOK fat!
Piedmont Park
Later that day we relaxed with family, ate good bbq, and watched fireworks! The day was perfect.
What did you do for the holiday?