Category Archives: websites

Short work week

I can’t believe Monday is already over and I only have to work one more day this week, woo hoo! Sorry for those of you who have to work more than that though. I’ve been there.

Breakfast this morning was oat bran (cooked with water) with peanut butter and a sliced banana. Simple and delicious.

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It was also quite filling! My mom took me to Starbucks this morning (becoming a Monday tradition!) and all I could bring myself to drink was a black coffee. But I really enjoyed it, which got me thinking…that is how I prefer it 😉

Mid-morning I snacked on some carrots + hummus, always a good thing.

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Good snack, bad picture.

Then for lunch, I tried another soup from Dr. McDougall’s!

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I was pretty impressed at how much soup this was, my bowl almost wasn’t big enough!

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This was my favorite one so far! Look at all the veggies:

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I would definitely get this one again! Lots of veggies with barley and lentils mixed in. Pretty filling too.

I snacked on a grapefruit after Exercise Science class which was very interesting today, all about overtraining.

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I normally don’t eat this much fruit in a day but my mom gave me this a while back and I wanted to eat it before it went bad. It was delicious!

I also had a second snack later in the afternoon which was like a homemade trail mix with mixed nuts and raisins. I think next time I’ll add a few chocolate chips too (sorry no pic).

After work, I hit the gym for a quick upper body training session. It was one of those days when I only had 30 minutes to work out and I could’ve easily just blown it off but instead I made due with what time I had!

  • Warm up: 5 minutes walking on the treadmill
  • Chest presses: 20# dumbbells, 1×12, 1×8, 1×8
  • Military shoulder presses: 15# dumbbells, 1×10, 1×8, 1×8
  • Bicep curls: 15# dumbbells, 1×12, 1×10, 1×12
  • Tricep extensions: 20# dumbbell (1), 1×12, 1×8, 1×8

For dinner,  I had a repeat of last night’s black bean burger only this time I had a potato and salad with it (sorry no pic again, I was lazy today).

After I ate, my friend Candy came over for a walk. We did 3.3 miles, which I know for a fact thanks to Map My Run, a really great website for mapping distances.

How do you determine distances? Do you use a website, a Garmin, pedometer, etc?

I was feeling pretty hungry tonight so I snacked on two slices of Ezekiel 7 grain bread with peanut butter and chocolate chips. I’m good now!

Hope you had a good Monday friends 🙂

Day 5 : Back to “normal”

Check out Ms. Jessica’s giveaway of Tropical Traditions coconut oil!

Today was Monday, which meant back to work and the start of a new week! But it is also the first day that I have felt back to “normal” after being sick a little over a week ago and then having my period right after.

Since both can mess with your appetite, cravings, etc. I am glad they are both outta here 🙂

Breakfast this morning was pumpkin oats. I used the last of my pumpkin can so I won’t be having these for a while. They were good but I still can’t figure out what’s missing. Perhaps my tastes have changed?

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This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats (cooked with water), 1/3 cup pumpkin, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and some Skippy Natural PB.

Mid-morning, I enjoyed some new tea the in-laws gave me:

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And some mixed nuts to snack on.

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For lunch, I had some leftover black beans and barley, which I wasn’t too thrilled about at first, but I found some salsa in the fridge which I think gave it the perfect touch. I ended up really enjoying it!

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I got back to Exercise Science class after missing last week, so that was good to get caught up. I’m really enjoying everything I am learning in this class but I’m starting to think I won’t be able to stick through getting another 4 year degree (I already have 2).

So I’m thinking after this semester I may just get my personal training certification and then go back to school later if time (and money) permits. I really want to get to work!

After class, we had a baby shower for a co-worker who is so cute it’s ridiculous. I’m so happy for her. There was also some good food. I just snacked on some tortilla chips and salsa (plus more chips).

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I knew I had to get a run in sometime today and it was going to have to be after work. Luckily, I hopped on Twitter and saw a few others who had either gone for runs or needed to. So that inspired me to get it done!

I did one of my favorite paths near my neighborhood with no time in mind. After I was done, I came back in and looked it all up on Map My Run.

It says I did 2.85 miles in 25 minutes! That’s an average of 8:46/mile! Holy smokes. I’m not sure how accurate that is but I’ll take it.

My time also isn’t exact. I left the house at 6:03 p.m. and reached the front door again at 6:28. So it’s a guesstimate. I even walked for a few minutes including a warm up and cool down so I was quite impressed with that.

I do think I am getting faster, as my 1-mile runs with Farrah have proven. I texted her after this run to tell her I wanted to go fast again tomorrow but she wisely told me to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. Ha ha.

After the run, I did lots of stretching including pigeon pose to keep my hips from getting tight and lots of downward facing dogs. I love yoga.

For dinner, I made some baked tofu which I am now confident in keeping in my diet for the time being. Thanks again to those of you who commented on my soy question in a previous post. I really appreciate the feedback.

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I’ve decided I’m a big fan of mixed veggies. It’s just the right combo of starchy and green. I think I just like mixes in general instead of just having one veggie on the side.

I’m currently watching “Dancing with the Stars” hoping my man Chuck Liddell makes in another week!

I also snacked on this and perhaps a bit more PB 🙂

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I think I will have some tea and call it a night soon. Hope you had a great Monday!

Feeling green

I’m trying to remember what life was like before I discovered green monsters…having trouble…remembering.

I have found that these are an excellent way to start off the day. The way I made this one today, it gets me a dairy serving (1 cup 1% milk), fruit serving (2 really, it was a LARGE banana), some good Omega-3’s (flax) and a whole lotta veggies (several handfuls of spinach)!

The only thing that keeps me from not being able to drink these alone as breakfast is the protein lack. I’ve seen several other bloggers make their green smoothies with a scoop of protein powder, so I’m definitely going to have to try that.

Today I had mine with a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter.

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For those of you who dabble in green smoothies, or smoothies in general, what is your winning combination?

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend 🙂

If you are interested…I found this really great website called I Am Second which features videos of musicians, athletes, actors, and also some people like you and me (not famous) who have been through struggles in their life and they all talk about how they came to know God. Its pretty awesome, you should check it out. So far I’ve watched Jason Castro, Brian Head Welch and Darrell Waltrip 😉

Hollywood likes numbers

Since this is my challenging week (plus) of no longer weighing myself, imagine my surprise when I see this article on People.com:

Melissa Joan Hart Reveals Her Bikini Body

Melissa (I still think of her as Clarissa), according to the article, has lost 42 lbs, down from 155 to 113. Now to me that seemed awfully low, but she is 5’2″ with a small frame (or so I tell myself). The point is that articles like this place a lot of emphasis on the numbers. When we see SHOCKING stories of celebrities’ weight gains or losses, its almost always matched with how much. I suppose in some ways, its Hollywood’s and the magazines’ need for those precise numbers to draw people into their stories, but also perhaps its for us because lots of us here in America are focused on numbers.

I would’ve enjoyed this article more if it had simple kept the title (which was fine) and mentioned in the article that she has lost weight (and reached her goal) from healthy eating and exercise, and NOT mention how many pounds or how long it took (although I do think her 14-month program is very realistic). I believe this puts pressure on a lot of people who will compare themselves and feel they don’t match up or they aren’t doing as well as the person in the article. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do that once in a while.

That being said, Melissa is a breath of fresh air after seeing so many of these “get thin quick after having a baby…” celebrity stories.

But, at the end of the day, how a person feels about him or herself should come from within and hopefully the future generations will grow up being taught to love their bodies for its uniqueness and not compare it to others because we were all made differently.

What do you guys think? Should a person’s weight (in numbers) be kept private?

Do you count?

After reading Caitlin‘s post about Calorie Counting, I was inspired to talk about my own experiences with writing down those all important numbers.
When I first began my “lifestyle change” in January 2007, I started using a food journal that looked pretty much exactly like this one:
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In these journals, you write down counts for calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein and fiber and each section is separated into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. There are check off boxes near the top where you can track your daily water consumption. There is also a section for exercise and a few blank boxes for whatever else you want to count for the day: sometimes I kept track of soda consumption or sugar grams.
I think each one lasts about 90 days, so I went through 3-4 before I realized I could just start keeping all this information on the computer in an Excel spreadsheet. I kept my used journals for a very long time, looking back on them occasionally to see how far I had come and to get some meal ideas if I was feeling particularly uninspired that day. However, when I moved this summer, I decided to part with them. I sort of regret it sometimes but in many ways I don’t, it was good to let go and focus on what I’m doing now.
When I moved onto Excel sheets, they were a basic replica of my journals, only they didn’t cost $14.95 each! I think an Excel spreadsheet, for those of you who are technologically inclined, is a great option and good to keep on your computer at work so you can keep track of your eats throughout the day. Plus it adds things up for you 🙂
exceljournal
In early 2008, I started training for a mini-marathon so I wanted to start keeping notes on runs as well. I started using a basic notebook and kept track of what I consumed, how many calories I’d had and what food groups I was eating from. I really got into the Food Guide Pyramid when I was training for the mini-marathon as it was around this same time that I started reading Cristin’s “Eat Like Me” blog and I started my own over on Xanga (way before I moved on to Blogger and now WordPress). Now that is fun to go back and read 🙂
At the time, this site was really helpful for me because it shows you what food groups you’ve eaten from as you input your food and it analyzes it for you to show you where you are coming up short; it even gives you a vitamin and nutrient analysis. During this time, I was at my lowest weight, but I know now that is because I was focusing 100% on cardio, running 6 days a week, whereas now I’m in a healthy routine of cardio + weight training and other activities, which have added some more muscle mass. I still like to, from time to time, stop over at the MyPyramid site to see where my daily intake stacks up in regards to the food groups. But I don’t use it every day anymore. In fact, I’ve read a lot of places that it’s not very up to date and tends to be carb-dominant, though I try my hardest not to ascribe to anything but a well-balanced diet; the ideas do get in my head sometimes by accident.
After that, I started using the computer again, but this time only to count calories. And then I moved on to a Weekly Meal Planner (not sure where I got this from but I think it was a blogger or magazine website) which allowed you to look at your meals for the entire week at once, which was very good to do retrospectively. I also liked to write in notes where I already knew what I would be eating on a certain day (like restaurant outings, celebrations, etc.) so I knew where to adjust the rest of the time and plan accordingly.
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Sorry I can’t get these screen captures to come out better, but I hope it gives you a basic idea anyway.
There have been periods where I have not counted at all but tried to just keep a tally in my head or just be conscious and eat healthfully as much as possible. This works sometimes for me and sometimes it does not. I have a tendency to emotionally eat and to see how much I ate differently than I actually did. For this, my food blog has been EXTREMELY helpful. But for me, it is still a good idea to keep track, even if it is informally, like I do now (don’t worry, this was just the total after lunch):
From yesterday

From yesterday

That being said, I don’t adhere to any specific number each day, I more or less just like to be aware of what went in and what goes out so that it’s obvious to me when I’ve eaten too much and need to work out more. But I’d say on average, I hover around 1800 calories a day. Sometimes 1600, sometimes 2000. But I’d say 1800 is definitely my comfort zone and the number I tend to end up at naturally. There have been days when I’ve not counted everything until the very end and at least half of the time, I am good as “guess-timating” my meals and snacks for the day when I throw them in lunch bag — that is, I am able to correctly identify the right amount of food (calories) without actually knowing the exact number. But this is not fool proof, that’s for sure!
Some days, I jot down a count all the way up until dinner, but I have no way of knowing how much dinner was, either because I’m at a restaurant that has no nutritional info (or it’s wrong!), or I’m at a friend’s house and not sure what all went into their recipe, etc. I don’t sweat those…I know how much I had the rest of the day and as long as that’s good, one meal every once in a while not getting counted is perfectly ok. Sometimes I can guess because I have studied food so much over the past few years and there are sites like The Daily Plate that can help you get a rough estimate of just about anything. But don’t obsess!
Now that I have rambled away long enough, I want to know from you readers: Have you ever or do you currently count calories? What methods/mediums have you used to do this and does it work for you, whether you are trying to lose or maintain your weight?

Today’s breakfast and Foodbuzz

Poached eggs (with S + P), turkey sausage and “chocolate” milk (skim milk + sugar free chocolate syrup)

So I finally caught onto this Foodbuzz website, it’s great! I can’t wait to review more restaurants and submit my own recipes. Check it out!