Category Archives: A better me

Meal Prep Monday

After a less-than-productive Sunday, I decided to skip a concert (read: waste money) and do some meal prep this evening.

Thanks to Pinterest and experimentation, I pulled together four recipes for meals this week. I apologize that the picture doesn’t do the food justice, but I am very pleased with how everything turned out. Mostly I am pleased that my fridge is now full of good food that I can take for lunches this week.

IMG_6576I started with my favorite brussels sprout salad recipe. Personally, I am okay with eating this cold. Today I didn’t have any onions, so I just used a little onion powder instead. This recipe makes 10 servings, but at 78 calories each – I’ll probably have two servings as a solid side dish.

The next recipe I tried was a new Pinterest experiment – Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp. I opted to grill the shrimp instead of baking. I also used Siggi’s plain yogurt instead of greek, because it’s what I had in my refrigerator. I skipped the green onions, as mine had wilted overnight. Even with my deviation from the original recipe, I think it all turned out pretty good. We shall see how it reheats! Four servings at 141 calories each.

I still had the kale from my CSA share, so I took the advice of my sorority sister and used this Bobby Flay Sauteed Kale recipe. When I discovered my red wine vinegar expired in 2012, I opted for balsamic instead – and I think that was a fine sub. Again, four servings and 143 calories each. I’ll probably pair this with the shrimp for a meal.

Finally, I had picked up a container of already chopped multicolored bell peppers and red onions – so I grilled those with a little olive oil. Then I browned a pound of 99 percent lean ground turkey and threw that together for a fajita dish of sorts. That made four servings at 150 calories.

I am realizing now that I had also intended to cook the bunch of asparagus I have in the drawer, but that’s going to have to wait for another day.

I’m hoping these things will be satisfying and a nice change from the usual things on my menu. It was time for a reset! I go back to the trainer on Wednesday morning which is certainly much needed.

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Greens and Things

If you know me, you know that I love farmers. Growing up on a farm with grandparents who kept a pretty elaborate garden, I was pretty spoiled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In college, one of the houses I lived in also featured a pretty great garden; we also had one of the best farmers markets in the country! Anyway, being so far from California I have really missed farm fresh produce! I try to make it to the farmers market when I can, but much of the time it just doesn’t happen.

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) has been a growing trend in the industry, and a great way for family farmers to do very well. I have toyed with the idea of buying a share for the past few years, but have always been a little hesitant because it always seemed like it would be entirely too much each week for one person to realistically consume. However, this year I stumbled upon a cooperative out of Pennsylvania that had a small share that promised three to four items per week. I decided to give it a try! At the same time, I decided to buy a fruit share as well. So, for 26 weeks – now through late October – I will be receiving a small share of vegetables, and starting in another five weeks I will receive fruit too.CSA week 1

Tonight I picked up my first share! The box contained one head of green oak leaf lettuce, radishes, rhubarb and a bunch of kale. I am looking forward to trying out new recipes, new foods and eating healthy and local!

No recipes to report tonight, but I put some of the lettuce to use – having taco lettuce wraps with some Cinco de Mayo leftover seasoned turkey meat! The lettuce was crisp, sweet and the perfect alternative to a high-calorie tortilla!

With my new job and morning workout “routine” (I am using routine as a loose term at this very moment), I have found that i have a lot more time on my hands in the evening. I think that means there will be more time for trying plenty of experiments in the kitchen and sitting down to write a little bit more as well.

On another note, No Weigh May is going strong. The first few days it was very bizarre to not see the scale in the bathroom and step on! I am very anxious about my progress – this week is the week between training sessions. While I have been really good at working out on my own (including a five-mile PR yesterday), I think I have let my treats (read: Girl Scout cookies) get a little out of hand. Back to the trainer on Monday, thankfully!

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No Weigh May

Over the past year, I’ve worked hard to keep my running miles up, going to the gym regularly (sort of), and watching what I am eating. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I have been vigilant enough. The scale has not moved. My clothing isn’t fitting any differently, and it certainly hasn’t gone down in size.

Six weeks ago, I started a new job – hopeful that the decreased travel and more regular schedule would lead to more of a routine to life. At the same time, I enrolled in a six-week group training weight loss challenge at the gym. First of all, the name is misleading, as there was no competition to the group, just a challenge within your own mind/body, I guess. Two times a week the four of us got together with the trainer for 45-minute workouts. Yesterday was the final day, and I still await the official results. However, I did not lose the pounds as I expected.

I know, I know, it’s not that pounds that always matter. I talk about that with others all the time. I tell myself the same thing. However, it has still been weighing on me pretty heavily – pun not intended, but I am totally leaving it in.

WallIf you know anything about me, you know that I do a lot of reading and research. I have read more articles and stories about weight loss, running, diet and nutrition plans, and everything else than any one person should. That said, I am falling victim to the scale – just like I have read about so many times.

I got a FitBit almost a year ago. Shortly thereafter, I bought the Aria scale so that I could sync my weight to the app and have everything all in one place. Now that my scale syncs wirelessly, I step on it every morning before I get the day started. On one hand, it is beneficial to see the natural fluctuations in the body, but on the other hand, sometimes that three-digit number can totally throw off my day. I have been really negative about that stupid little number recently.

So, that’s when a friend and I decided that we would do something about it! “No Weigh May” has been declared. She and I are putting the scale away for the month! I am hoping that I will instead be more motivated to work harder, because I am not seeing the number every day – which sometimes leads to complacency or settling with what is there and subsequent diversion from healthy foods and habits.

Will this change my mind on using a particular weight as a goal? I’m not sure. I still have a goal weight in mind. Of course, I also have a jeans size in mind too – we’ll see which one I can attain first. Everyone holds their weight differently, as I am WELL aware – so I just have to see how my body changes over time.

I have signed up for six more weeks with the trainer. I have also decided to work on giving up diet coke (again). I was successful once before, I can do it again. I have also vowed to really get the morning workout routine in place for the mornings I do not see the trainer. As Memorial Day (read: bikini season) approaches rather rapidly, it’s time to kick things up a notch and reach some goals. Here goes nothing!

Note: I had never seen anything on “No Weigh May” before today. Out of curiosity, I Googled it before posting this, and apparently it’s a real thing!

A Little Behind

Well, it’s clearly been a while since I have posted. Marathon training is in full swing, though I haven’t been training as hard as I would like. I look at my training log and I am proud of how far I have come, but I think that I have been slacking a little bit. This weekend I missed my long run – 16 miles. I am a little stressed about it, but I have to just keep looking forward.

Today marks five weeks until the marathon. If I follow the plan as it stands, I have 19 runs left. That’s 136 miles. That leaves me with a three-week taper ahead of the race itself. I am wrestling with what to do for the remaining long runs. The plan says 18-20-12-8. I am trying to decide if I should shift to 16-18-20-10, or something like that. I am going to do some thinking this week and make a decision before I head out for the run on Saturday morning.

I have vowed not to miss a single mile the rest of the plan. I have been doing very well with making progress on the weight loss again, so I need to keep it up. Of course, I say that following three days in Atlanta where I gained around five pounds. Hopefully that will come off this week easily. I am headed to the Northwest this week for work – so it’s going to be a big challenge to keep on track with the diet and exercise plan, but I can do it!

I lost my FitBit on the way to the airport on Thursday morning, so that was a little disappointing. I really miss it! I definitely can tell how much that little thing motivated me to do some extra activity. Luckily for me, their customer service is so incredible they’re replacing my lost one for free! I am very impressed and can hardly wait to receive it! I can definitely say that I am no longer feeling any remorse for spending so much money on getting the Aria scale too — their customer service has won me over!

And with that, I had better get to bed ahead of an early flight tomorrow. The next five weeks are going to be intense!

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Success isn’t Achieved Overnight

I continue to remind myself every day that I won’t wake up tomorrow and be magically at my goal, but everything I do today gets me one step closer. While the scale may not be moving, I have to persist.

Having this FitBIt has rejuvenated my outlook. I am drinking at least 80 ounces of water every day, which means more steps taken just back and forth to the bathroom! I’ve been taking the stairs in the office – something I haven’t done in the 4 years we have been in that building. I walk a little extra when I go to lunch. I have been walking all the way home from work instead of taking the bus. When I haven’t reached my steps, I keep walking. I even walked the long way home from the gym.

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I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday but I reached my step goal – which means I was still more active than previous non-gym days. I feel very good about that. I didn’t go to the gym today either – there’s a nasty rain storm that is supposed to blow through and I didn’t want to get caught in it. I realize that’s just an excuse, but I did walk down to the grocery store just to reach my steps for the day. In fact, today I have already gone over 11,000. I am setting a goal to reach 15,000 tomorrow. It’s Friday and I have a lot of meetings at the office, so it may be difficult, but I think I will push myself to go a little further each Friday.

I am keeping to the goal of reaching the 10k without counting any work at the gym. I love that I can get bonus calories via LoseIt just for going above and beyond on steps. That’s a bonus on top of the workout calories I “gain” back. I am hoping that I can keep up this momentum. Just 36 days until we go to Mexico!

I know it isn’t a healthy habit, but I weigh myself every day. While I only record Friday morning weights, I like checking in each day and am not too hard on myself with the daily fluctuations. I am sure that I will get the Aria scale to go with my FitBit soon too. While the scale hasn’t really moved this week, I am hoping that there’s a little progress in tomorrow’s weight. I can say that I feel like my tummy has gotten a little smaller. I may just be imagining or willing myself to think that there’s been a change in the tummy, but I am pleased with just feeling a little better about it. I haven’t taken measurements in a while. I plan to do that around the end of the month. I am hoping there’s some progress.

Well, off to wander around my apartment a little bit more to add a few more steps for the day!

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Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Fritters

I know, I know. I haven’t done a great job at keeping this updated. I also haven’t done a great job of working out as hard as I have wanted to either. I am reaching a really frustrated point, where even in the good weeks the scale isn’t tipping. I am not happy about that at all. But, there’s nothing I can do but keep looking forward.

I have ordered (and will receive tonight) a FitBit, which I am hoping will be another tool to remind me to be active, measure calories burned, and a nice motivator to get things back on track. I have not been diligent this year, even borderline complacent, when it has come to diet and exercise so it is time to change that.

Last night I decided to use the food I already had in my house to try a new recipe, and I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I needed to use the huge bag of kale I had (which I always end up wasting a good portion of) and some sweet potatoes. So, to Pinterest I went! I started with this recipe from Yes, More Please and adapted a little – I didn’t make the dipping sauce. Instead of regular oil, I used coconut oil — which made the house smell delicious and also (I think) made them a little more healthy — or at least closer to paleo-compliant. The coconut also played REALLY well with the sweet potato. I served the cakes over a little mix of salsa, black beans and corn that I simmered while the cakes fried. While fried food isn’t the best way to get back on track – these little buggers were light in calories and delicious. I probably should have had some fruit with this (mostly for color on the plate), but I need to get to the store today.

I still need to do a little recap of the kickass Nike Women’s half marathon from a few weeks ago. Maybe I will do that this week.

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So Far, So Good

Well, I’ve not been great at making sure I post here every day, but I’ve been keeping up with the working out. Friday I got my booty kicked in a class at the gym. My triceps are still sore!

Saturday morning I had planned to do my long run, but I was so sore that it wasn’t going to happen. But, I did get a 45 minute elliptical session in before heading out wine tasting. I suppose I over-indulged in the cheese and sausages, but at least I’d been active!

Today, Easter Sunday, was a beautiful day. I woke up early to go for a run but decided to relax a little longer and then run some errands. I went down to the Nike store to check out all the half marathon gear for next Sunday’s race. I ended up buying a neon yellow running tank top. It’s a little bold, but I figured it would be good for marathon training this summer and fall.

I took a nice little nap this afternoon with the agreement with myself that I would go for a run after. So, this evening I set out for a long run. I don’t care for long runs at the end of the day because I prefer to run on empty and in the morning, but I went out and did it. Eight miles on the National Mall. It was a perfect day, except for the wind. I didn’t plan very well and ended up running into the wind the last 5 miles or so, which sucked. It also slowed down my time a little bit, but I feel good that I got out there and put in the miles.

Here we go with another week. Race on Sunday, where I’m hoping to knock out a PR. I’m going to have to really push myself. Then I’ll be on the road for a week – where the challenge to eat well and workout every day will be tough.

Pictured: The view on my way back on the bridge back from Arlington. If you look closely you can see Lincoln, Washington Monument and Jefferson!

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Cancun!

Well, as of Wednesday night we have plane tickets! Our vacation destination has been decided – Cancun, Mexico! We are all very excited. With that excitement comes some extra motivation to get my butt to the gym each day! I’ve had success so far. I ran on Wednesday night – four miles, still not as fast as I wanted but getting there. I am hoping race adrenaline will carry me next Sunday. Last night I decided to change it up and I biked 9.5 miles for about 45 minutes — so not a terribly grueling pace or effort, and then did some ab work on the machines.

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As I mentioned, I had been doing a lot of research and thinking about motivation. I decided yesterday to not focus on the ultimate weight goal, but rather to break it down to my goal for this trip — then set a new goal when that is achieved, and so on. I weigh myself “officially” on Friday mornings – and I am down a little over a pound in the last week. Now that I am full time back on this plan, hopefully the pounds will start to shed again more rapidly. At two pounds a week or so, I should be right on target to meet my vacation goal in advance of the trip. Baby steps!

With all the Easter candy lurking around the office (and my house as I prepared gifts for people), it has been difficult to resist – but moderation is always key. I am easing back into this plan. The remainder of April will be focused on basic calorie counting and working out. May will bring something a little more strict. I am considering giving up all alcohol for the month. We will see how that pans out.

I have to get one last long run in this Saturday morning early before the race next Sunday. We’re going wine tasting Saturday afternoon – so working on building up that calorie deficit before we go!!

66 Days

The time has come. Last year was a good year – I was very motivated to get fit, lose weight and run many miles. But, somewhere along the way I lost some steam. strong

While I’ve not gained back but a few pounds, I can feel it and I am not happy with the progress, or lack thereof. I’ve spent days, weeks, and even some months making excuses or half-assing my approach to diet and exercise. Well, this morning I have decided enough is enough. No more excuses. I have 30-60 minutes every day to do something active. I have proven to myself that I can make healthy eating choices, despite what others around me are doing (temptation).

I don’t want to play the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” game, but the reality is that I could be a lot closer to my goal if I would have just stayed on track. But, alas, I am where I am – and must push forward.

The timing for this little coming-to-jesus with myself is perfect. Our book club is going on vacation this June, just 66 days from now. This is just in time for my 31st birthday. That is just enough time for me to get very serious and make more strides in reaching my ultimate goal weight. If I plan to run a full marathon this October, which I do, I need to be a lot closer to my goal weight than I am right now.

So, with this new goal of 66 days of working out and no excuses also comes a goal of blogging the journey every day – even if just a few thoughts. It’s time to get back on the right path!