Monthly Archives: August 2009

Tofu perfection

Good evening friends!

I hope Monday has treated you well :) As I’ve mentioned in the past, I like Mondays. I mean, I’m tired as all get out, but I also feel refreshed to be starting a new week.

Breakfast this morning was a refreshing bowl of oat bran with almond butter and blueberries.

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Mid-morning after my black coffee, I went for a 15 minute walk and came back to some cheese!

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Then for lunch, I tried another new Kashi meal. Likely, my last for a while since I used the last coupon I had for $2 off (these babies can get expensive)!

Target had ‘em for $2.88 though, so I thought that was a good investment ;-)

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Let me preface this by saying that I don’t usually like to eat carbs with lunch because that is usually what contributes to a 2 p.m. slump! Luckily though, that did not happen today.

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This dish was just okay. The chicken was good and it filled me up, but I didn’t like the pasta to veggies ratio. I could’ve used some more veggies and sauce and a bit less pasta. But that’s just me.

I also didn’t care too much for the overall taste. Not compared to the other Kashi dishes I’ve tried. This one was just sort of bland.

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But, it was a meal and I was full. I headed to Exercise Science class only to find out it had been cancelled due to lack of computer equipment or something. I was disappointed because the lecture is about exercise and metabolism but we’ll get to it on Wednesday ;-)

What to do with my lunch hour still to spare? WALK!

I took off and walked around campus, taking a couple of routes I don’t usually just to get some new scenery. I ended up walking about 3.6-ish miles in an hour. It was awesome!

Snack time…

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Love these things. And almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, which according to self-analysis, I don’t get enough of. So yay!

I came home to make dinner and was already hungry with at least 30 minutes of cooking ahead of me so I popped in the last two Reese’s cups. THEY ARE GONE!!

For my dinner, I used this which is pretty much my new favorite thing. Nasoya, you are geniuses!

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I think I have finally found tofu perfection. I used to get impatient and not want to press all the water out but it really is important. I start out with just two paper towels and gently press on the cubes until the towels are completely wet. Then I take 5 more and layer them on top of each other and press them onto the tofu and place another plate on top. I let it sit there an then gently press the top plate down a few times over the course of 15 minutes or so. Finally, remove those towels and take 1-2 more to press out any remaining water by hand.

Then, I think this breakthrough helped as well…bake the tofu at 425 for 20 minutes! I had been doing 375 and it just wasn’t cutting it. Thanks to whoever suggested that on allrecipes ;-)

Ta da!

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Slightly crispy tofu seasoned with canola oil, cumin, garlic powder and sesame seeds (with ketchup for dipping) and a side of vegetables (broccoli, snap peas, carrots, mushrooms). Perfect!

I think next time though, I will use Josh’s “Slap Yo Mama” hot seasoning because I like it spicy. The cumin was a bit smoky but not really hot.

It’s not even 8 yet but I’ve already had dessert (I’m planning an early bed time):

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Only a few more servings left. I’m actually starting to get tired of it after toinght, so I doubt I will eat any more. Hopefully I can get Josh interested…it is his favorite flavor, hehe.

Good night all!

Where was I…

Hey guys! Sorry I sort of dropped off yesterday. I got in the zone with my house work and did some more grocery shopping before an impromptu girls night at Courtney’s house last night!

For lunch, I had a turkey burger with avocado and mustard and a whole cucumber with some Garden Fresh original hummus.

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Yum!

As a “snack” later on, I had two more Reese’s cups. I think if I don’t get rid of these soon, this might really happen…

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Ha ha!

For dinner, Courtney and I picked up some Meijer sushi and I was quite impressed! Due to lack of selection at the time we went, we settled on a variety pack, if you will, which contained California Roll, tilapia, and shrimp. Some were sweet and some were spicy, we got quite the variety!

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Plus, a little bit of this didn’t hurt either…

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All together now with some salad :)

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I went back for seconds on this salad. It was from a bag but it was SO green and so perfect. I can’t remember the variety now…garden something?

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The sushi was really good. I’ve only had sushi a handful of times. Once at a restaurant (Shogun), a few times from Whole Foods, and now Meijer! So if you are a big time sushi critic, I don’t know how this would fare for you but I thought it was tasty.

For dessert, we raided the Meijer bakery and found these lovelies!

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Strawberry filled cupcakes with some of the best icing ever! The carrot cake cupcakes from the other night were from Meijer too, they have a great bakery!

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I hope I’m not contradicting myself by talking about how I don’t eat sugar much anymore. Honestly, desserts like this don’t happen in my life that often but here lately…uh…I’m working on it ;-)

Yesterday was the CRUNCH challenge and I managed to get in a total of 270! This includes 90 “regular” crunches, and 90 side crunches for each side. I did three sets of 30 basically. One in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night.

I started feeling the soreness in my arms from the PUSHUPS last night too but still nothing like I expected. Again, I’m wondering if breaking it up into small bits really does anything since you aren’t completely fatiguing the muscle? Any fitness experts want to weigh in?

I am not one…yet :)

Be right back with today’s adventures!

Let’s get crunching

Hello again, back so soon? Yay!

For breakfast this morning, I decided to start cleaning out the freezer and had some Eggo buttermilk waffles with peanut butter and sliced banana.

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Despite not being whole grain, this was really good and filling. I think I was just really hungry ;-)

So, it’s a new day and I’m ready for a new challenge. So far, I have done:

  • 99 minutes of walking
  • 100 squats
  • 80 pushups

I tried to think of what would be next…CRUNCHES!

I haven’t started yet but I’m excited. I think the sets will be higher than the other challenges because I can certainly do more than 10 crunches at a time.

Gotta go get ready for church. Have a great Sunday friends!

p.s. Sarah was right! My legs started hurting last night from the squats I did on Friday and there still a bit sore today. I don’t feel the pushups yet at all, but I’m sure it’s coming ;-)

Win-win

Good morning blog friends!

Yesterday was a good day. I feel like I really got a lot accomplished. And I did 80 pushups!

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I almost made myself do 20 more just to make an even 100 but it was 1:00 in the morning and I needed to go to bed more than anything.

This was a great thing to do though. Not only did I do a bunch of pushups but I got a whole lot of laundry done too! It was definitely a win-win.

Doing this challenge made me feel really strong…

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So I started contemplating what I would attempt to do next???

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Hmm…

For dinner, I made one of my favorite meals including this star ingredient.

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Yep, another turkey burger!

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Turkey burger on whole wheat toast with 2% cheese avocado and organic ketchup. With Brussels sprouts and La Croix. Perfect dinner!

A little while later, I had a serving of ice cream.

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Then we went up to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the UFC pay per view. I really prefer eating at home because there are only two things I will order at the restaurant and unless I’m really craving either one of them (rarely) I won’t bother.

I did snack on some of these though around 10:30 :)

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When we got home, I was hungry, so I had a couple more Reese’s mini cups and a nice cup of peppermint tea (it got cold out there). Worked like a charm.

Hope you all enjoyed your Saturday as much as I did. Thanks for reading!

Feeling it

Hey guys!

Thanks so much for the comments on my last post. I wonder if I will feel the squats I did yesterday by tomorrow? We shall see…

So far today I have done 30 knee/girl pushups. Each set of 10 I do, I do really well until I get to about 7 and then those last few are so hard to push out but I do it. My hope is I can get better at them and maybe even build up to full pushups someday?

I walked 2 miles with my mom and Suzie this morning at a local park. The weather was perfect, a bit on the cool side and cloudy with a nice breeze blowing through the trees. It felt good to just get outside and enjoy the simple things about life today.

Afterwards, I snacked on the last granola bar from the stash Josh didn’t like.

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Personally I thought they were just okay, nothing to write home about but not terrible either. There are just so many different bars out there and I try not to eat them (due to sugar content) so I don’t need to worry about getting these again ;-)

Then I did lots of cleaning and my weekly grocery shopping. I usually go to Kroger and Walmart but today I decided to switch it up and I went to Target and Meijer. It was nice getting a change of scenery and I found some really good deals too!

I had lunch with mom at Jason’s Deli which I’ve been to a number of times now. I wasn’t feeling the salad bar today though, so I ordered the Spinach Veggie wrap, which comes with “organic spinach, homemade pico and guacamole, sprouts, mushrooms, asiago in an organic wheat wrap.” I also got a side of fruit (strawberries and cantaloupe) since I hadn’t had any yet today.

I almost stopped for coffee on the way home until I remembered I had this waiting for me!

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Target has the Celestial Seasonings teas on sale for $1.77 at my Target…total steal!

I am enjoying this with two Reese’s dark chocolate mini PB cups. Perfect for a Saturday :) The tea is goooood.

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I heard the washer stop, so that means it is time to do another set of pushups (that’s what I’m using as my cue today) and switch the loads around.

Somewhere in the middle though, I foresee a big nap in my future :)

Happy Saturday!

It’s pushups time!

Good morning friends!

Well, I’ll tell you one thing. I don’t feel like I did 100 squats yesterday. I’m starting to think the short bursts of activity might not be as effective with some things as others?

I’m giving pushups. So far, I’ve only done 1 set of 10 but it was HARD. I’m not too good at pushups because I don’t do them very often. Oh and I did these on my knees because I’m even worse at “real” pushups!

Last night, I had a bit of a snack-attack (mini PB cups, Cheerios) because even after a great dinner and an ice cream treat, I felt hungry. I think it was all of that walking the past two days plus my eats were kind of skimpy during the day.

But I’m feeling better now!

Breakfast today was another of Amy’s treats…a breakfast scramble burrito wrap!

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This contained organic tofu, veggies (like spinach) and cheese (though I didn’t really taste it).

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I love the tofu scramble, it’s something I want to try and make when I get up the courage, and the veggies were good with it. But I honestly didn’t taste any cheese and the wrap itself got rather dry from microwaving.

I probably wouldn’t buy this one again but I’d love to try and recreate the filling on my own, it was pretty good!

I also had two cups of coffee (working on the 2nd right now) with breakfast. It was a nice change up from my usual oat bran.

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In a few, I’m going for a walk at the park with my mom and Suzie. It’s going to be a beautiful day with just a few clouds and temps in the low 70’s. Yes this is August! It was hot and humid yesterday but a patch of rain came through last night and cooled things down.

I’m definitely a warm weather person (I hate winter) but I find the Fall to be my favorite time of year, so I’m getting really excited!

I hope you all had a great Friday night and have an even better Saturday.

p.s. I used to write about movies a lot before I discovered healthy living and food blogging. After watching “I Love You, Man” last night I had an urge to start it up again, so if you are interested, check out my Rotten Tomatoes reviews and blog.

Squats

Happy Friday everyone! Whew, thank goodness it’s the weekend ;-) I can’t wait to get it started!

You are probably wondering about the title of this post.

After yesterday’s short bursts of walking challenge that led to me completing 99 minutes of walking in one day, I wondered how well I could do that with other aspects of fitness.

So today…I tried squats.

But first, for breakfast, I had a smoothie made with skim milk, a banana and a packet of this Jay Robb whey protein powder:

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When I bought this, I had wanted to get the brown rice protein because I had seen it recommended by so many other bloggers, like Jess, but my Whole Foods only had this and the egg white protein.

Here’s how it looked after the blend!

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I was not that impressed…this tasted mostly like banana and not very chocolatey at all – not like Carnation Instant Breakfast. Man, I wish this tasted like that or that CIB didn’t contain Splenda. Bummer.

Anyway, it still filled me up and got me going for the day. I just won’t buy that again. Not when I’m expecting chocolate anyway.

While I was in the shower, I did 10 squats. Then when I was brushing my teeth, I did 10 more!

Mid morning at work, I snacked on some Fage 2% with almond butter. Seriously good. Maybe better with peanut butter, but certainly not bad ;-)

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I also went back to drinking my coffee black today. I ran out of creamer a while ago and I’m coming down to the end of my milk stash with no plans to replace it (except for maybe some rice milk, I like to alternate). So I had it straight up, which is just fine by me. I’m one of those who likes the taste of coffee :)

At work, I set a goal – every time I go to the bathroom, I would do 10 squats. We have a semi-private restroom at work, so this was no problem. And since I drink water all day long, don’t you know, I did 60 squats at work!

For lunch, I had a smorgasbord of a chik’n patty with spicy mustard, carrots and cucumbers with cilantro hummus and a La Croix.

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I also walked some today. I walked over a mile from the car, took both of my 15 minute breaks and got out for 30 minutes again at lunch time.

Mid afternoon, I drank some chamomile tea and ate a cheese snack.

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But then I got hungry again, like majorly, so I took my second break and walked to the bookstore for a snack.

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The choices were limited of course, but I got this bar because it only has 6 grams of sugar and contains 4g fiber and 6 protein! I also tried a new drink:

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SoBe Lifewater 0 – Acai fruit punch. I think I’ve tried almost all of these now and this one if MY FAVORITE! I loved it. But I don’t want to drink these too much because, naturally sweetened or not, I don’t want my body to get hooked on sweet-tasting stuff again. But it worked for today.

On the way back to my car this afternoon, I took a longer way to the lot, which had me walk about a mile and a half.

So, in total, I’ve walked 101 minutes and so far, I’ve done 90 squats. I never changed my clothes, I never walked into a gym. I feel great! I’m going to do 10 more before the night is over…might as well hit an even 100 :)

For dinner, Josh and I went to Shane’s Rib Shack, which we had been to before when my family was in town from Texas. I got pretty much the same thing, only my sides were different.

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Chopped BBQ chicken with potato salad and green beans. It was good, especially for someone who doesn’t love BBQ, but I’m completely satisfied. I gave Josh my Texas toast.

I didn’t do it this time but Josh said something about me photographing his food to show how differently we eat from each other. Would you want to see that every once in a while? It would be interesting for some of you I’m sure. We are VERY different :)

Well, I’d better go, we’re about to watch “I Love You, Man” which Courtney has declared a classic. She and I have similar tastes, so I trust her. Hope you all have fun, good night!

p.s. I’m eating ice cream soon, just so you know ;-) Once it’s outta my house though, it’s on hiatus.

99 minutes

This morning, I started the day off with some oat bran with blueberries and PB. I wonder what it would be like if I cooked it with some of the blueberries in it already? Like blueberry pancakes?

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You have probably heard many people say that if you are having trouble fitting exercise into your day, just break it up into smaller sessions. It adds up, right?

Well, today I decided to do a little experiment. At work, I started parking 1.09 miles away from my building, not only saving me money by downgrading my parking pass to a further away lot, but also giving me an opportunity to walk 17 minutes to get to work. Yes, I did this on purpose ;-) And yes, I naturally walk that fast, I didn’t push it or anything.

Then I decided to start utilizing my breaks at work. We are given two paid 15-minute breaks, usually one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Too often mine go by without me even leaving my computer. So I used both of those today and got up from my desk and went for a stroll around campus.

How did I do it? I put it on my calendar!

After my first 15 minute break walk, I came back and ate some mixed nuts.

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Then, I decided to eat my lunch away from my desk today. I walked to a nearby building and ate outside, enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and working on some ideas for the blog and other projects.

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I had some tuna with Smart Balance mayo over a bed of greens, grape tomatoes and cucumber. And a lovely La Croix. Singlehandedly responsible for getting me off of Coke Zero again!

After I finished eating and was fresh out of ideas, I still had 30 minutes of my lunch break left, so I went for another walk. Now mind you, I’m not power walking or breaking much of a sweat but I’m definitely moving the whole time.

Mid-afternoon, I snacked on some cheese after using my second break of the day to get some fresh air again. Another 15 minutes added to my tally.

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Then after work, I went to the gym and did a quick session of weights. I did mostly upper body and abs since I was giving my legs enough of a workout today. But before I got started, I warmed up by walking on the treadmill for 5 minutes.

Then I trekked the 17 minutes back to my car this afternoon and drove home. I was hungry so once I got home it was dinner time!

I made a turkey burger with cheese, tomato and mustard on a slice of whole wheat toast with leftover squash and zucchini from last night.

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Then I had some chocolate for “dessert”…

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The mini PB cup got jealous, so I had one of those too!

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Then I did some housework, ran an errand and just got back home and found myself hungry again. I almost made a bowl of ice cream but I remembered that I’d eaten it twice already this week and I knew it would do nothing for my hunger and I had already had a sweet treat for the night.

So I had this instead!

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1 cup of Cheerios (regular, not sweetened) with 1/2 cup of skim milk.

At least this snack has some nutrition :) And a helluva lot less sugar.

Now, as you can see, or if you did the math…I walked for 99 minutes today. That’s more than an hour and a half!

If I had started the day off saying, “I need to walk 99 minutes today” I don’t know that I would have done it. But since I thought “I need to make good use of my breaks and get away from my desk” I ended up walking that much without any pressure. I have no idea how many miles it is, but if I were to guess, I’d say at least 5, which is almost equal to 10,000 steps or the recommended daily amount to remain a healthy and fit person.

I think it is easier to look at it as a 17 minute walk here, a 15 minute walk there, 30 minutes here and so on. Looking at the whole of 99 can be overwhelming. I sort of wish I’d worn my pedometer today like I used to back in the weight loss days. That was fun…it really did inspire me to walk more.

I am tired, but no more than normal. My legs don’t feel overworked. I’m not fatigued in any way. I could get used to this.

I had so much fun with this little “experiment” that I want to see what else I can do with my time. How many pushups can I do in one day? I know I struggle doing more than a couple sets of 15 at the gym, but what if I broke it up over the course of a day? How many crunches could I do? Squats?

This could be fun…but it’s good night for now.

Two days worth

Hey party people! I’ve got two days worth of food and drink to show ya, so let’s get to it.

Tuesday morning, I had what I thought to be my favorite oatmeal combination (but honestly the banana and almond butter is winning out this week).

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When I got to work, tragedy struck and we were out of coffee! How does that even happen?

Fortunately, we have a cafe upstairs where I got to not only satisfy my coffee needs but also support local business :)

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Medium coffee with a splash of 2% milk.

Mid-morning, I snacked on some mixed nuts.

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Lunch was a mixed grains salad with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, a Morningstar Farms Chik’n patty and some plain hummus.

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I must also declare my undying love for La Croix. It’s like soda, only water, and without sodium, artificial sweeteners or anything nasty. I am in love you guys!

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After lunch, I went over to the gym and did some strength training with Farrah. I’m not too sore today so I’m wondering if it’s not time to up the weights again?

Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some Fage 2% with peanut butter.

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I love the 2%! It’s not that much different than the 0% but it’s just a tad bit creamier and slightly less bitter than it’s counterpart. Don’t be afraid of a little fat.

For dinner, I whipped up a quick turkey burger with avocado and organic ketchup and corn on the cob.

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This was not as good as previous times I’ve had it…the burger was a bit dry (I think I cooked it too long) and the avocado wasn’t quite ripe yet. So it could’ve been better but it got the job done.

After dinner, I took Suzie to the park and met my friend Candy for a 2 mile walk. It was so nice and breezy out, I still can’t believe it’s August. It’s like Fall came early!

Dessert was a small cup of ice cream with two mini dark chocolate PB cups. I promise this is the last time you will see ice cream on here…at least for a while ;-)

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~~~

Today, I started out with the current favorite (it is constantly changing):

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Luckily someone brought in their emergency stash of coffee today…tragedy avoided.

We had a party at work this morning, so I snacked on some veggies with salsa and 2 tbsp of mixed nuts.

After the party, I went on a 30 minute walk around campus. It was a bit warmer today but after tomorrow, we should be cooling off again, craziness.

Lunch was a can of vegetarian chili. I think I am going to have to lay off this for a while…ahem, too much fiber. Sorry if that is TMI ;-)

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About an hour after lunch, I went to my Exercise Science class which was totally interesting but I felt weak and sleepy. Sometimes when that happens, I know I need food (as opposed to caffeine) so I dug into my snack not long after I got back.

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Not the best choice but I’m trying to use them up. It was good though and made me feel better almost instantly.

I snacked on some leftover tortilla chips before leaving work and also took another 15 minute walk outside :)

At Courtney’s, we started the night off with some vino!

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Red or white? I’ll have a little bit of each, please.

Dinner was tomato pizza burgers on Arnold’s sandwich thins, with grilled zucchini and summer squash (which I made) and sweet potato fries. It was glorious :)

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For dessert, we had carrot cupcakes. Now I know my previous post boasted on how I don’t eat desserts like this and stay low sugar and blah blah blah. Well, I’m also human and I believe in having things like this on occasion and you will notice that I don’t tomorrow, the day after and so on.

I did have ice cream two days this week, but I’m chalking that up to temporary illness, haha ;-)

Check these babies out!

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It was so good and the icing was superb! There were only three of us there tonight so I took the fourth one home to Josh since carrot cake is his favorite :)

Hope you all had a good night. See you tomorrow!

p.s. Check out Melinda’s awesome coupon giveaway…lots of organic products!

Feeling alright

Hey guys, happy Wednesday :)

In the words of Bon Jovi “Ooooh, we’re halfway there…”

Aww, yeah!

I don’t have any food pics to share with you yet but I hope to have those up tonight. Basically, after a long day at work and a nice walk at the park with Suzie and a friend of mine, I was whooped and fell asleep around 9:00. But I woke up at 11:00 to go downstairs, turn my phone off, wave at my husband (literally, I was too tired to speak) and then go back to bed, ha ha.

But I’m feeling good today. I don’t have any cold symptoms and that tired worn down feeling is gone, even if I have been feeling the need for more sleep lately — I think I’m ready for hibernation mode since it’s been so cool outside. We’re having 70’s this weekend after a brief heatwave over the next couple of days. What is this?

But, I still took some Vitamin C this morning and I’m still washing my hands every opportunity I get :)

Weight Update

I looked at my calendar this week and realized that it has been a month since I started working toward a lower sugar lifestyle. I officially began this journey on my husband’s birthday, July 27th, and here we are a month later already, I can’t believe it. Read my post about it all here: What’s going on?

Since I prefer to look at my weight progression over the course of a month, rather than week to week, I thought it was high time for an update. I do weigh myself every Monday but I don’t feel like it is worth it to mention every single week since we know there are times when it fluctuates for reasons that we cannot control.

On 7/27, I weighed in at 160.5 lbs.

On 8/24, I weighed in at 151 lbs.

So, in a month’s time I was able to get back into my comfort zone by paying more attention to the foods I was putting into my body, cutting back on processed junk, exercising moderately and resting when I needed to rest. It is easy to get caught in a rut of desserts (like baked goods, candy and ice cream) and sugary foods (like sweetened yogurts, energy bars, fruit). It’s like an addiction. Now that I have that under control, I no longer feel the urge to eat sugary foods, even fruit. I do like to have a serving with breakfast for the nutrients and because it goes well with oatmeal but other than that, I don’t really crave it the way I used to.

I do eat dark chocolate almost every night but it’s enough to satisfy me and dark chocolate does have antioxidant qualities (that’s my story anyway). I do have the occasional dessert but only on special occasions (like Wednesday nights with my girls) and I am not keeping them in the house! I do have a container of ice cream in my freezer right now from the other night when I was feeling ill, but it’s not staying there, ha ha.

I also realize that it’s easy to get caught in exercise ruts too. I think sometimes I would exercise more so that I could eat dessert, and that is not healthy either. I also ate way too much when I was running/training and it has been a hard transition now that I don’t run long distances anymore. I’ve had to relearn body needs vs. wants and habits.

Now, I just try to stick to moderate workouts, including a good mixture of walking, running, weight training and yoga. Plus occasionally venturing onto new cardio machines like the stair master and rower. I’ve also come to appreciate days off from exercise or at least lighter days and not packing a gym bag to work every single day. Today is one of those days…I wore tennis shoes though so I can at least take a few short strolls to clear my head :)

Exercise, like dessert, can be overdone. I think I am finding a balance, slowly but surely. I still plan on tracking my calories for a while just because it has been interesting for me to see the days when I need more than others and what foods keep me more satisfied at what times. I set no goals for the day and it is in no way obsessive. If it becomes that way, I will end this little experiment.

In summary, I feel great. I feel like I’m in control again and I certainly don’t feel deprived in any way. I feel like I’ve found what works best for my body and I have no plans of changing that any time soon. It is important that we all find what works for us and this won’t necessarily be the same as another person in your life, another blogger, etc. It’s something you have to find for yourself, even if you are inspired by others along the way.

Thanks friends! Be back soon :)

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