Category Archives: workouts

Day 3: Smoothies and Snackiness

For breakfast this morning, I had something I hadn’t had in quite a while…a smoothie!

Then I quickly realized why I haven’t had it in a while. My blender really sucks, I think I need a new one stat. However, several stops and stirs later, this finally blended up to be a good one.

This smoothie contained: 1 cup plain almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen cherries, a few handfuls of spinach, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, and 1/2 tbsp maca powder. The maca gave it a weird aftertaste again, I’m not sure how to mask it better. 

Mid-morning at work, I had a cup of coffee and some nuts.

I really love the taste of natural almonds, more so than roasted or salted ones.  That’s not true of a lot of other nuts!

For lunch, I had another leftover black bean burger on a salad with salsa.

Plus a gala apple and Bora Bora bar, which I don’t think fits into the challenge but it helped round out the meal!

It tasted really good too! I may have to try another flavor once this challenge is over 🙂

For my afternoon snack, I had 1/2 cup of granola with a splash of unsweetened rice milk. This was sort of a last minute decision this morning when I was packing my bag, but it ended up being great!

I also had two cups of tea this afternoon as it was quite chilly in the office with the air conditioning on.

After work, I went for a 2 mile run, stretched and did some abs. It felt good to work up a sweat again, it had been a few days!

I am happy to say that I haven’t had a diet soda in two days, even though today I wanted one really badly. But then I remembered the headache and stomach troubles they give me. Not to mention they cause food cravings.

Thankfully, I made something even better when I got home: a POM Seltzer 🙂

So refreshing and tasty, without all those nasty chemicals and artificial sweeteners!

For dinner, I heated up some leftover beans & tomatoes from last night and threw them on a sweet potato with some leftover veggies on the side.

Then while watching House and 24 with Josh (well, he watches, I blog and straighten my hair, ha ha) I snacked on some dried apples and oats with peanut butter.

010 011 
The snack monster started to creep in, so I came upstairs and brushed my teeth. I have to use a special $16 toothpaste in the evenings to protect my teeth from cavities, so trust me I don’t want to waste it!

Day 3 = Totally awesome.

What are your tips for dealing with “snackiness?”

Pound for Pound: Week 4

In case you are interested in catching up on past weeks, I have made a new Pound for Pound Challenge page!

Honestly, I was not sure what to expect this week. Last week was sort of a roller coaster; it started off really good but then took nose dive toward the end of the week.

Nothing really bad happened, I have just been feeling a little blue thanks to hormones and the usual annoyances of adult life (like money, rent, banks, etc). So that is why I have not blogged until now. But I’m done complaining!

Going into today’s weigh in, I felt pretty confident that I had done the best I could this past week. I tracked my eating very well and felt good about that. I didn’t get my two weight training days in but I did get one. And a yoga class!

I managed to get some cardio exercise in Monday-Saturday, including taking some walks with my dog who needs more exercise in her life!

I ran three days last week, which is right about what I’m comfortable with. Four is good too, but any more and I’m tired, burnt out or hurting. No thanks 😉

So, how did the weigh in go?

  • Last week’s weight: 149.2 lbs
  • This week’s weight: 147.8 lbs (-1.6 difference)
  • Total lbs lost for challenge: 3.8

Obviously, I’m very pleased with that result. I even checked back through my old records and I have not weighed 147 anything since April 2009. Wow!

I also had a breakthrough over the weekend that I wasn’t expecting.

On Friday night, I was feeling pretty meh, so I went to Meijer on the way home and bought a non-dairy chocolate bar (because I’m a vegan emotional eater, after all).

But even though I was going to allow myself to have it, for comfort, I had to work myself up to even eat a piece of it.

Then yesterday, when I was feeling sad, I tried to think of a dinner or a snack that would “cheer me up.” But I couldn’t.

In fact, I was even more in tune with my hunger yesterday than normal. What’s going on?

I think I am a reformed emotional eater! I think I have finally realized that while food (including non-dairy chocolate) can be comforting, it does not make you feel better. It does not solve your problems for you. It’s temporary.

While I feel like I have been in control of my eating for a long time now, this is the first time I felt completely free. Has that ever happened to you before?


My goals for this week are:

  • Work on my mood, doing things that make me happy and stressing less about those that don’t
  • Two weight training days, attempt # 2
  • Keep going with journaling and the 9:00 rule

What are your goals for this week?

Melt already!

I had another snowy run today.


Okay, so it wasn’t that bad. But it snowed here last Thursday and still has not melted yet. It’s still lurking on sidewalks, parking lots and jogging paths!

Actually, I had originally planned to run on the treadmill today since my partner and I weren’t able to meet. But one look at the cardio room (it was completely FULL) and I was out the door.

I have to say, even though it made me change my plans, it was good to see that many people in there!

I decided to run a quick mile on the jogging path outside. Even with all the freakin’ snow and trying not to fall on my face, I still finished in 9:53!

Thankfully the white stuff should really start melting tomorrow.

Then I came back in and did some strength training, using an 18 lb body bar. I did 15 reps of each exercise.

  • Bicep curls
  • Shoulder presses
  • Tricep extensions
  • Upright rows
  • Dead lifts
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Calf raises
  • Abs (using 4 lb medicine ball) – I did 5 different exercises, 25 reps each

Thanks to everyone who left me awesome comments on my yoga challenge post. I’m currently searching for the one I’m going to do tomorrow morning!

Good night 🙂

Snow day = Rest day?

Obviously the snow today put a wrench in my workout plans for today.

I was planning on running 3 miles either outside or on the treadmill, but since the snow took outside away (I refuse to fall and injure myself) and work closed early (taking the gym away) what was I to do?

Well, I did walk the dog in the snow, which is always a challenge.


But more or less, today is now a rest day. I was planning on having one tomorrow but I will just trade it out for today.

This would be one of those times I mentioned where “life gets in the way” ha ha.


However, I just read a tweet from Angela about the Whittle My Middle 2 challenge. So in that spirit, I’m going to do some abs before winding down for the night!

How do you handle having to change your workout plans?

Holy crap, this was my 7th post today. Ooh, 7 on the 7th. That’s lucky right? Either way, I feel all caught up now 😉

Cross-training day

Thanks for all the comments on my training program post!

I’m excited that so many of you are also training for races right now. I’m also inspired that a few of you are trying running for the first time. Woo hoo!

Yesterday, I decided to take a cross-training day. I ran on Monday and Tuesday both, so I thought it would be a good idea to give my legs a rest and get in a good weight training session at the same time 🙂

Sarah’s Basic Weight/Strength Training Routine

  • Chest presses – 15 lb dumbbells, 2 sets of 15
  • Shoulder presses – 10 lb dumbbells, 2 sets of 15
  • Bicep curls – 10 lb dumbbells, 2 sets of 15
  • Tricep extensions – 10 lb dumbbell (1), 2 sets of 15
  • Squats – 15 lb bodybar, 2 sets of 15
  • Lunges – 15 lb body bar, 1 set of 15 (each leg)
  • Calf raises – 15 lb body bar, 1 set of 25
  • Lots of abs **

**For abs, I do a variety of exercises both for the “main” abs (rectus abdominus) and the obliques (aka “side” abs). Most of the time, I do 25 repetitions of each exercise and then sometimes I just do each one for a minute or until the muscle fatigues. I get bored really easily with abs (which is why mine aren’t in great shape!) so it’s important for me to switch it up and do different moves and sets pretty much every time.

What do you do on cross-training days?

I’m a new woman

Hello exercise, how I’ve missed you!

Before I left I ate a delicious Larabar. With so many flavors to choose from, I never get tired of these things. Plus it’s nice to have a go-to snack that is vegan and with very few ingredients.


After my snack, I hit the YMCA for a beginner’s Body Pump class. If you have never done Body Pump before, it is a group fitness class that uses barbells.

It is a total body workout: upper body, lower body, abs, you name it. The beginner’s class just lasted 40 minutes (including some basic instruction) so I hit the treadmill for a 30 minute interval run.

Needless to say, I FEEL AWESOME!

I’m so glad I committed to working out today to you guys in my post yesterday. I think that really pushed me to get to it 🙂

When I got home, I made some lunch. My last leftover black bean burger, plus some cauliflower (with Smart Balance Light) and an applesauce.



*Note – this applesauce contains calcium lactate and I haven’t yet researched what source they use for this. I know some vegans avoid this (I don’t) so I just wanted to throw that out there.

Lunch really hit the spot! But tonight is girl’s night potluck so I’m really looking forward to that as well.

Might stop and pick up some vino on the way…

Don’t forget to enter the Musselman’s giveaway before 11:59 tomorrow night!

Say chreese!

It has been raining ALL DAY here. But even though the weather is nasty, I’m feeling rather inspired tonight. I’m telling you, I’m generally a happy person but I think this vegan diet has made even more cheerful.

For breakfast this morning, I made a nice pot of stovetop pumpkin oat bran!


Mid-morning, I snacked on a new product that Bianca sent me in a very awesome and thoughtful care package. I was so excited to try it!

I left my camera at home so I couldn’t take my own picture, but the strip pretty much resembled beef jerky, only a slightly different texture and tasted a lot better (to me).

I usually don’t bother with a lot of “fake” meat stuff but the taste and 10 grams of protein was totally worth it! I loved the barbecue flavor too.

Here’s the rest of my stash:


Don’t worry, I’m sending her some good stuff too 🙂 I’m so excited to try everything!

My stomach started growling for lunch at 10:45, which surprised me – that’s two days in a row now! But I listened to myself (and Carrie) and ate anyway. My body is more important than waiting for an “appropriate” lunch time.

For lunch, I had leftover black bean burger on a slice of Ezekiel toast with broccoli and lots of hummus on both. Sorry for the lack of picture, it was delicious.

After lunch, I got a massive chocolate craving and somehow managed to find Green & Black’s at the bookstore, who knew?


This was my first time ever trying this and I was impressed. I ate half and saved the rest for another rainy day 😉

My pre-post workout snack was another Clif bar…chocolate chip peanut crunch. It was just okay, I won’t get it again though. The regular chocolate chip is so much better!

Since it was raining, I ran/walked 1 mile on the treadmill and not any more because I just wasn’t feeling it. But it was a good warm up before I went and did some weight training.

  • Lateral pulldown machine (50-60 lbs) – 3 sets x 12
  • Chest press machine (30 lbs) – 3 sets x 12
  • Bicep curls (15 lb bar) – 3 sets x 20
  • Tricep presses (12 lb bar laying on balance ball) – 3 sets x 15
  • Calf raises (holding 15 lb bar) – 2 sets x 25
  • Lunges (with bar) – 2 sets x 15 each leg
  • Crunches on balance ball – 2 sets x 25

It felt like I really didn’t do much at the time but when I wrote it all out just now, I can see how much I did do 🙂

I was so excited to make dinner when I got home! It featured another new product (thanks again Bianca).


I showed this to Josh last night and he said he wanted to try it! I was floored so I knew I just had to make it ASAP.

I followed the recipe, using water and then I added a spoon of Smart Balance Light when it was done cooking.

The rest of my dinner included Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas (I’m stalking her this week!) and some cauliflower.


The Mac & Chreese (I laugh every time) was pretty good! Josh even said “it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but it’s not the worst either.” I expected him to make a face and spit it out but he didn’t, he ate his entire serving!

It gives me hope that he might try some more vegan stuff in the future 🙂

I think I would like to try another flavor next time to see what it tastes like. The texture was a little different and it had a slight aftertaste but other than that, it was good. Much better for my tummy than real mac & cheese!

Dessert was the other half of my banana soft serve with the usual toppings.


With the colder weather, lots of yummy treats in my pantry and the urge to hibernate, I have decided I need to re-implement a “cut off” time for eating at night.

Unless it does appear that I am truly hungry, I won’t eat anything after 9:00 p.m.

It’s 9:35 right now and I’m totally fine. Going to have some tea before bed. Good night 🙂


Our Wednesday night potluck went off without a hitch. Or a fire, thank goodness. But let’s back up.

Since I had oatmeal for dinner on Tuesday night, I went with a different breakfast.


I stole one of Josh’s Lenders bagels and topped it with peanut butter and a sliced banana. The bagel was really plain and left me wanting more. I need to get some of my own – any good recommendations for vegan-friendly bagels?

Snacked on some almonds a few hours later…


For lunch I tried another Dr. McDougall’s selections. No broken bowl this time!


The lentil soup was really good! I’d put it in my Top 3 of this brand. Only one more to go (will be lunch on Friday).


Before my workout, I munched on half a Clif bar and had the other half afterward.


Unfortunately, it was raining like a mug, so we were forced to take our workout to the dread-mill. But we did a good 3 miles and then some abs afterwards.

When I got home, I was a little hungry and knew dinner would be an hour later than normal, so I had a spoon of PB.


Like the Christmas tree background?

Suzie models it better.

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Our potluck this week was Mexican themed. We had some bean dip (with lime tortilla chips not pictured, but eaten heavily).


Before it came out of the microwave, Court said it looked like dog food, so we kept talking all night about “how good the dog food tasted” ha ha.

For our entree, Beth made delicious black bean tacos, which I think turned out great.


She went the extra mile and purchased the taco shells that stand up on their own. These are so much easier to eat and don’t fall apart nearly as much, I highly recommend them!

Mexican style veggies on the side. I topped my tacos with lettuce, tomato and taco sauce (not pictured).


In lieu of dessert, we enjoyed this (not Mexican) bottle of wine 🙂


I hadn’t had Riesling in a while…it was yummy! Tastes more like champagne than wine to me. Not as strong as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. I’m still a red girl, but this was pretty good.


While sipping wine, we watched “Trekkies” which I had never seen. Made me feel sort of okay about being a fan of the things I am because I am not that bad. Right?

What are you an obsessively, totally geeked out fan of? Confess!

Need a yoga mat? Check out the Aurorae giveaway over at Hangry Pants 🙂

Two months

Happy December everyone! I can’t believe it’s here already. Thanks everyone for your sweet comments, I had a much better day today 🙂

I have been vegan for 2 whole months now. It sure seems like it’s been a lot longer than that and slight mishaps aside, I think it is going really well.

For breakfast this morning, I had pumpkin oat bran with raisins, chocolate chips and peanut butter.


This breakfast almost held me until lunch but around 10:30, I got a little hungry so I snacked on some almonds.


Lunch was totally awesome today! I didn’t blog about it before but I made this awesome tofu on Sunday night:


And then today, I had the leftovers, plus some broccoli topped with salsa!


I had just the broccoli but wanted to put something on it badly. This was a great choice, I highly recommend it. I think next time, I’ll try hummus. But sometimes I do like broccoli plain, just not today.

Lately, I have been buying the Kroger brand tofu and I have to say, it is really good. I might actually prefer it. The texture is great and it bakes really well (425* for 20 minutes).

Later in the afternoon, I had half of this Clif bar:


Then I hit the gym for some weights!

I warmed up with 15 minutes of running on the treadmill (about 1.3 miles) and then got to pumpkin pumping iron 🙂

  • Chest presses
  • Military shoulder presses
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Lateral raises
  • Front raises
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Calf raises
  • Core: Back extensions, crunches, side crunches, reverse crunches, leg lifts, etc.

After the workout, I ate the other half of my Clif bar. I’ve noticed it makes a big difference to eat before and after a workout to keep me from being ravenous when I get home from work.

On the way home, I started thinking about what I wanted to have for dinner. Brown rice and vegetables just sounded so boring, plus I’d already had a few vegetables today.

Hmm…what to have for dinner?


PB&J oatmeal, of course!

Sometimes you just have to go with what you are craving. This was delicious and really hit the spot, especially on a cold night.

After my dinner settled, I went for a walk with my friend Candy again. She is due to have a baby any day now so we’re trying to move things along, ha ha. But it was a good walk and I was hungry again when I got home!


Times two! Tortilla chips are a food I love a little too much but I finished off the bag and won’t replace it any time soon 😉

Hope Tuesday and the first day of a new month has treated you well. I love the beginning of a new month, it makes me so motivated to try something new or start implementing a new healthy habit.

What new goals are you setting for this month?

Good night friends!

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.


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.


Good snack, bad picture.

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


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


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


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.


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 🙂