Tuesday, January 31, 2012

To Rest, or Not to Rest

My kiddos are reading Romeo and Juliet right now, which makes me want to wax poetic about every aspect of life, including - apparently - exercise.

For the past four weeks, I have worked out for six days and taken one rest day - without fail.  As all good training programs emphasize, a day of rest is absolutely imperative in order for muscles to repair themselves and for the body to become stronger so that it can continue to handle the stress of more workouts.

Generally my rest days have been Thursdays, as for some reason they are consistently crazy-busy days for me.  Instead of going to Max Life on Thursdays then, I have been running approximately three miles every Sunday.

Until this past week.

I had a jewelry party on Thursday so could not work out, and I also skipped Sunday.  I was ridiculously tired from a busy week, a late Saturday, and had a lot to do on Sunday, too.  I just needed a break - and so I took it.

On Monday, I had my alarm set for 5:00 a.m. so that I could make an early-morning session since I knew an evening workout was out of the question (we had Family Night at school, and I was in charge of running it).

Well...I slept in and did not work out.  However, this was mostly intentional: my back was killing me, and I was in dire need of a visit to my chiropractor.  I thought that throwing around kettlebells was probably not the best idea.

It turns out that I have a thoracic and rib subluxation, likely caused by muscular issues in my neck and upper back.  (At least I think that's what it is.  I try really hard to understand chiropractics, but I am convinced it's just magic.  I really don't get it.)  Basically, my rib is dislocated, which causes my shoulder blade to ache incredibly, which makes turning my head either direction very, very painful.  I had a lengthy appointment yesterday followed by stim, and I have another set up for tomorrow.  Everything was in place when I left yesterday, but since the muscle is messed up, it's likely to be out of whack again tomorrow.

Thank the Lord for ice.

So to make a long story short, I skipped two days of working out last week (since I count the weeks as Monday through Sunday) and have already skipped once this week.

And you know what?  I think that's okay.

I was a little over my calorie count yesterday, and it was all thanks to my sweet tooth.  I didn't teach yesterday and instead had an all-day Pre-AP training.  As usual, the presenter had brought a bag of treats for each table: conversation hearts, Twizzlers, M&Ms, Butterfingers, etc.  I did such a good job of resisting - until the end of the day when I got very, very restless.  I dug through the bag and found a piece of chocolate and debated...and debated...and debated:

And when I couldn't talk myself out of it it kept staring at me from my computer, I just had to devour it.  And, despite me not even liking Butterfingers, it was totally worth it.

As I mentioned previously, it was a super long day, culminating with Family Night, an event that I put on as part of the grant that I coordinate for my school.  Expecting 150 people to attend, we ordered a lot of food:

Ten three-foot subs, four 12-inch subs, a bazillion bags of chips, and 12 bottles of Hawaiian Punch.  And Subway donated three trays of cookies.

I fit all of the Subway grub into my car, and for a whole five minutes, I had to smell the deliciousness of the cookies wafting up from my passenger seat.

And after two hours of setting up, presenting, and tearing down, I succumbed - and ate a chocolate chip cookie.  Unfortunately, one cookie from Subway is a whopping 220 calories.  Uh, excuse me?!  I guess I really didn't need that...

Today, I did a much better job of sticking to the plan, despite it being another crazy-long day.  I taught, worked an after-school study group, worked out, sped back to school for yet another family event/activity expo, went to the grocery store, and cooked an easy, comforting dinner:

My mama's White Chili.

People: make this.  It is embarrassingly easy and ridiculously delicious (and, as evidenced by the recipe below, very approximated):

  • Saute half an onion and some garlic in a little olive oil
  • Dump in two cans of Great Northern beans, two cans of Cannellini beans, two cans of diced green chilies
  • Toss in two sliced chicken breasts (or, if you're super lazy like I am, a package of Oscar Meyer salad-ready chicken)
  • Douse with cumin and cayenne
  • Top with a smidge of cheddar cheese (and tortilla chips if you enjoy extra calories)
According to My Fitness Pal, one serving (and it makes four) has 423 calories, 5.5 grams of fat, 66.9 grams of carbs, 21.2 grams of fiber, and 37.4 grams of protein.  Wow.

I'm off to ice my dislocated rib and start writing a Debbie Downer post for y'all - to be posted tomorrow at some point.  Get excited.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Work Out

I dare you to watch this video and not laugh - a lot:

Cracks me up every time.  There's just something about LMFAO that I absolutely love.  I know: judge away.

I'm sincerely apologetic about the lack of blog posts this weekend (and I had been doing so well!), but it's been a busy one.  And, I'm going to apologize in advance for the super short post, but I am absolutely exhausted due to the aforementioned crazy weekend.

Here's a brief run-down:


  • Worked out at 4:15 p.m.
  • Canceled date with psycho
  • Went to dinner with BFF
  • Fell asleep - twice - during Samantha Who? (Side note: my sister got me season one for Christmas, and I am absolutely hooked.  This show is hilarious and really, really cute.  Watch it.)
  • Finally crashed for real at 9:30 p.m.
  • Worked out at 7:45 a.m.
  • Met a friend for coffee and breakfast at 9:30 (I had a misto and a breakfast sandwich: toasted ciabatta with provolone, turkey, avocado, and bacon)
  • Did chores around the house
  • Met another friend for coffee at 12:00 (I had another misto)
  • Did more chores around the house
  • Ate some oats in a jar around 3:00
  • Put on a trunk show at 6:00
  • Went to Bonefish with a friend and finally ate dinner at 9:45 p.m. (mahi-mahi with mango salsa, broccoli, and chickpeas - and one piece of Bang Bang Shrimp and a few drinks)
  • Rolled out of bed around 10:00
  • Went to my new favorite restaurant with BFF for brunch (I normally count Saturdays as my free day, but this week it was Sunday.  Yes, I drank yesterday, but I ate fairly healthfully.  Today was a different story: brunch was a mixture of mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, and other less-than-healthy choices.)
  • Put on a trunk show at 2:30
  • Went to the grocery store
  • Had "family" dinner (goulash, sourdough bread, fruit salad, mini-cheesecake, cabernet)
  • Watched the SAG awards
  • Blogged
It was definitely a fun weekend, but I am absolutely wiped and cannot believe it's over already.  The week is going to start off really, really busy: tomorrow includes a 6 a.m. workout, an all-day training, errands, and Family Night (that I coordinate through my grant).  Tuesday looks fairly similar, except instead of Family Night, we have an event for incoming ninth-grade students.

I'm already worn out - and figuring out how to manage my workout and healthy eating regime through all of that is going to be quite the challenge.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lights? Camera? Action?

Truly, I feel like I've been living in a movie lately.

I promise this blog is not going to turn into dating stories.  (I mean, if that were to happen, whatever would become of my plan for a book proposal?!)  But bear with me.

For the past week, I feel like I have been the role of Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

The most recent gentleman caller had not yet (at least to my knowledge) purchased a love fern, but he has texted me every morning at 6:30 to wish me a "good morning" and proceeded to text me incessantly thereafter, despite my terse, lackluster, and infrequent responses.  Today, he sent me a picture of flowers - you know, "for an awesome teacher!! :)"

Oh, I haven't met this person.  Ever.

Looks like I'm headed straight down crazy-cat-lady alley.

Let's face it: I'm already there.

And frankly, after the experiences I've had with the dating pool in Des Moines, I'll gladly live alone.

Now, let's get to the good stuff: today was really, really long - which means that tonight's post is going to be really, really short.

For breakfast, I had a strawberry Chobani mixed with about a fourth of a cup of All Bran cereal.  For my morning snack, I ate a Kind Bar - they're all-natural and gluten-free (and, quite possibly, my new favorite things).  Lunch was the last serving of Chili Mac with Jack.

And that's where the tables turned.

After school, I headed straight to the mall and to Target.  I was going to get a couple more of those florescent tees from the Gap, but I was not thrilled with the selection.  Instead, I went to Von Maur and tried on fancy pants.  It has always been a goal of mine to buy a pair of Seven jeans, and I am thisclose to be able to fitting into a pair of really, really cute ones.  They look a lot like a pair of ankle-length Gap jeans that I've had for years, which is particularly why I like 'em.  Well, I didn't want to risk waiting until I lost a few more pounds, so I bought them.

That was either the biggest waste (of $170 - for jeans, I know!) or the biggest motivation ever.  I'm hoping it's the latter.

After my horrible decision-making trip to the mall, I headed across the street to the store in which I should purchase stock: Target.  I had one item to purchase: a huge storage tub to tote all my jewelry and look-books for parties.

Well...we know how that goes at Target.

I walked out with a huge tub as well as about eight new plates, all purchased specifically for photographing my food.  I couldn't pass 'em by: they were like 88 cents a pop.

I sped home, piled all of my jewelry into my new tub and then into my car, and headed to my trunk show.  It was wildly successful and oh-so-much fun, but I completely forgot to eat.  I snacked on three crackers and six slices of cheese - and two amazing dark chocolate and sea salt caramels - with a glass of wine, but that did not at all constitute healthy eating for my last three "meals" of the day.

With the food fiasco and the lack of working out, I'm not feeling too great about today.

Good thing there's tomorrow.

Ciao, bellas.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cheaters Never Win

I started off today with my new favorite breakfast: Stoke-Your-Fire Cereal.  Mix half a cup of All-Bran cereal with one cup of vanilla yogurt and a teaspoon of vanilla protein powder, and you're good to go.  It sounds so basic (and it is), but it is so ridiculously delicious.  It's almost like eating dessert, people.

I had four strawberries for a mid-morning snack.

Side note: one of my former students (who I actually consider more of a daughter or a younger sister) came in and hadn't seen me for a week or two and said, "You look really fit - like, you're working out or something."  That was like music to my ears.

For lunch, I chowed down on some leftover Chili Mac with Jack.  Yum, yum, yum.  I brought leftover jambalaya for four of my colleagues, and they all loved it and asked for the recipe.  Success!

We had a meeting in the afternoon, and I - shockingly - had enough self-control to resist the delicious-looking macaroons that one of my colleagues brought from the French bakery across the street.  Instead, I ate a bar that Mags brought for me to try (complete with nutrition information cut off the box - she knows me!).

Although I was worried I ate the snack too early for my workout, it ended up being perfect because I was able to workout at 4:15 rather than 5:15 this afternoon, which made my schedule so much easier.

It was a super challenging "filthy fifty" workout.  We started with a warm-up of five squats, five sit-ups, and five supermans (AMRAP in three minutes).  We then had to do 50 reps of each of the following exercises:

  • Box steps (25 each step-up with each leg or 50 jumps total)
  • Push-ups
  • Supermans
  • Wall balls (squat, stand and throw a super heavy exercise ball against the wall, and catch and squat)
  • Burpees
  • Pull-ups
  • Straight-leg hip raises (25 each side)
  • Straight-leg dead-lift with 25-pound kettlebell
  • Get-up sit-ups with 15-pound kettlebell
  • Walking lunges (25 each side)
There was no time limit: we simply pushed ourselves to complete all exercises as fast as possible.

Here's the deal: I know that I am "only competing against myself," (blah blah blah) during workouts, but it really, really irks me when people cheat.  And yes, I know that they're "only cheating themselves" if they don't do the exercises that they're supposed to be doing, but for some reason, it still really makes me mad.  One of the girls who started in my group finished ahead of me - because she didn't do any freakin' burpees, the hardest of the ten exercises to complete.  AND, instead of doing straight-leg hip raises, she had both legs on the floor and just lifted her hips off the ground - um, EASY.  

I realize I'm being super catty and should've been more focused on me than on her, but I think one of the reasons I was also overly annoyed was because she was talking about how healthy she is, how the workout on Monday wasn't "hard enough," how she wears a heart-rate monitor and calorie-loss counter (or something) around, how she doesn't follow a diet but just watches her calories and protein/carb/fat ratio, etc.  And then she talked about how she ate pickles and chip dip for dinner last night.


And let's be real: one of the reasons it's bothering me is because she finished before I did, therefore appearing to be "better" than I.  I try not to let things like that get to me, but alas, I'm only human.

After my workout, I couldn't get food in my body fast enough.  (That's how you know it was a good one!)  I took a quick shower and then headed to Palmer's for a salad and an 8-ounce cup of fresh fruit.  And then I had to head to bowling - where I inhaled that entire meal in approximately five minutes.

The salad included romaine, spinach, raisins, peas, cucumbers, red peppers, an egg, and turkey, and it was topped with maybe two tablespoons of raspberry-poppyseed vinaigrette.  The fruit salad consisted of cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and apple.  I also guzzled a liter of water in about three minutes.

This is the first time on the Abs Diet where I have been hungry.  And I was starving.  The only reason I didn't keep eating (not that there was anything more to eat - except for greasy bowling alley food) was because I felt like puking since I drank the water entirely too fast.

I'm a bit hungry now, but it's far too late to eat - and I'm far too tired to throw anything together.  Before I sign off, I'm going to leave you with this list of 60 Must-Read Health & Fitness Blogs that I came across while reading Tina's blog (listed!) this morning.  Check 'em out.

I'm also going to leave you with this snapshot of my bowling attire - and the 14-pound ball that I attempted to use since it matched so perfectly.

You're welcome.

(But for real: how great is that shirt?!  I got it at the Gap a few weeks ago and am pretty sure I need to go get more.  First, the color is to. die. for.  It reminds me of second grade.  Second, the fit is impeccable.  It makes my boobs look killer.  Third, it's pretty much the most comfortable thing I own.  I bought one in pink and one in navy, but I'm pretty sure I need one in every other color possible.)

Peace out, Girl Scouts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Newsworthy Day

News Item #1: I lost my slow-cooker V-card.

You may be wondering how a 28-year-old who has been living on her own for the past ten years still even held that particular card to begin with.

Well, friends, I have a confession to make: I have never used a crock pot because I have been absolutely certain terrified that I would come home to a burned down house.

Thankfully, that nightmare was not realized, and not only was my apartment still standing when I got home this evening, it also smelled absolutely delicious because Son-of-a-Gun Stew was brewing:

This jambalaya was by far the easiest meal I have ever made.  I came home over lunch and chopped everything up and threw it in the crock pot; it took all of eight minutes before I was headed back to school.

I came home in the afternoon to a house that smelled so. good.  I wish there was some way I could make this a scented post because whoa: you'd love it.  After working out (six hours past cutting everything up), I dumped in a box of rice and turned the temperature up a notch.  I let that go for 35 minutes and dumped in some shrimp.

One of my besties came over for dinner, so I served steamed broccoli and half a whole wheat English muffin (to sop up the juices, natch).

The dinner was so freakin' good.  Like, I kind of want to make it again next week.  And I'm not going to lie: I'm kind of bummed that I promised all of my leftovers to people at school.  I want to be selfish and keep it all for me.  :)

It was a super fun evening, and Mags and I have vowed to cook and eat together more often, as it's so tough cooking for one.

(To make the evening even easier, clean-up was a cinch.  Seriously, it took me maybe three minutes to clean the slow-cooker - and our bowls and plates.  Unreal.)

News Item #2: I am horrible at drinking water.

Apparently drinking water is important.  I mean, check out this helpful chart (and the guy whose silhouette makes it look like he's got some swag):

I realized this when I read one of Caitlin's posts on Healthy Tipping Point yesterday.  She talks about the importance of stating a "healthy intention" for the week, and she said that hers for this week was to drink more water.  Like her, my water consumption during the day is pretty darn embarrassing, until I realize that notion and chug water like a maniac at 7 p.m. (and then regret that decision when I'm awake every two hours in the middle of the night).

Tomorrow, I will drink more water.  And somehow manage to make it through three 90-minute classes without peeing my pants.

News Item #3: I am now an award-winning writer.

This should be no surprise to you based on the awesome words that you read everyday on this gem of a blog, but today I was commended for my writing abilities at my freelance gig.

It still counts as "award-winning" even if it's just for your company, right?  But it has to give me at least a little street cred that it's for a national company that employs a bazillion people, right?

Regardless, I'm pretty stoked.

Oh, and that?  Totally going on my refrigerator.

News Item #4: Apparently I am old.

I know it's only 10:00, but holy smokes: it feels about two hours past my bedtime.  See y'all tomorrow!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Friends, Not Food

I've been talking for a couple of days about wanting to do a post on my newfound realization that food is intended to be fuel for the body.  And the more I thought about it, the more it reminded me of this:

Remember: fish are friends, not food.  I'm not exactly sure why, but it totally reminded me of "food is fuel, not __________" (you fill in the blank).

I love Finding Nemo and have now used it as inspiration a couple of times.  For instance, my Road I.D. has this etched into it:

But yes: I have been meaning to talk about food as fuel for quite awhile now.  Today marks the start of week four of the Abs Diet, and it is amazing how different I feel already.

As a reminder, here is the diet in a nutshell:

  • Eat five or six small meals each day
  • Try to incorporate as many super foods as possible into each meal
It is not at all restrictive; in fact, several of the meals are - essentially - dessert.  I could drink one of the smoothies for every meal and be a happy girl!

Since I've been following this plan, it is amazing how healthy I feel.  I stay full for a really long time because I'm eating the proper nutrients, and I can tell when I didn't eat what I should have because my body tells me it's not satiated.  For instance, there have been a couple of times during my workout where I realize I shouldn't have skipped my afternoon snack - or that I should've eaten it later than 3:00 - because I was running on empty.

There is no way I would've been that in tune with my body even a month ago.

Another part of the diet is the free day.  While it seems counterintuitive to eat crap, David Zinczenko (creator of the Abs Diet and editor-in-chief of Men's Health) insists upon having one day per week where you throw out all the rules:
  • "It will help you to learn control.  If you can make it through six days of healthy eating and reward yourself for your effort, you'll develop mastery over the human desire for instant gratification."
  • "It'll help you change your body.  A successful diet plan is about how you eat most of the time, not how you eat all of the time.  It's about learning to eat healthier foods, not sacrificing tasty treats for the rest of your life.  And a high-calorie day of eating, now and then, can actually help you lose weight by revving up your metabolism."
The free day is very important to me, as much of my social activity revolves around food.  I like to eat and cook delicious things, my friends like to eat and cook delicious things, and we like to eat and cook delicious things together - or try out the fun local restaurants Des Moines has to offer.  

While I've definitely been taking advantage of the free days (usually Saturday afternoon/evening and Sunday evening), it's starting to kind of take a toll on me.  For instance, I did not do a very good job this weekend.  On Saturday, I ate a skillet of grease for brunch and then a bowl of ice cream in the afternoon - followed by wine in the evening.  On Sunday, I ate crab cakes with a cream sauce for dinner - with a glass and a half of wine.

Needless to say, I felt so gross this morning.  Yes, all of the food was delicious, but I'm not sure all of it was worth the icky feeling of today.  Perhaps I should stick to one free meal instead of a whole day of gluttony.

It's amazing how eating healthy can really, truly affect your sense of well-being and your ability to be "in tune" with your body.

I honestly feel so much better when I'm not eating junk.

And on that note, here was tonight's dinner:

Chili Mac, with Jack - courtesy of the Abs Diet.  It was so good, and the portions were huge!

And right now my stomach is trying to tell me it's hungry.  I might whip up half a smoothie so that I don't wake up in the middle of the night with a growling tummy.  My Fitness Pal is telling me I still have ample calories left for the day, so I'm going to go use 'em up!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Rant

Did you miss me yesterday?  I thought so.

The day ended up getting away from me: I started with an 8:30 boot camp class that really kicked my butt. It was a relay-style class that included bear crawls, crab walks, and lots and lots and lots of sprints and squats.  It was hard and exhausting but still felt really good - and I got progressively more sore as the day went on.

Then the weekend tradition of breakfast and errands with the BFF commenced.  We went to the Drake Diner with a coupon, and I devoured a skillet with potatoes, cheese, sausage, egg, and loads of veggies.  You know, had it not been for the oil that it was apparently drowned in, it wouldn't have been all that unhealthy.  There were way more vegetables than there was potato or cheese, but the oil totally made up for it.

(Look at me trying to rationalize even though yesterday was my free day.)

Anyway, stay tuned for the upcoming post about food as fuel - in which I will discuss this dining experience.

After errands, I took a quick nap before heading over to another friend's house for a dinner party.  It was so much fun.  We hadn't seen T&K&E for what seemed like ever, so it was really, really nice.  Plus, dinner was delicious: baked chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes.  I also had a glass and a half of wine.

Then I headed to Star Bar - my personal favorite hangout - and had another few glasses of wine.  Oops.

I got home relatively early but decided to just crash instead of blog.  I figured you would understand.

Much of today was spent like this:

I was camped in front of the TV watching the Law and Order: SVU marathon, spooning Charlie...

...while Chloe was curled up behind my legs on the opposite end of the couch.  We were a bunch of bums, to say the least.

I headed out around noon with my sister for a bridesmaid dress fitting.  There's nothing quite like stripping into your bra and panties for another woman to measure various body parts.

Bear and I decided to ease the pain from that experience with sushi.  :)  We each had a squid salad and then split the spicy tuna and the Iowa roll.  It was okay but definitely not the best sushi I've had in a while - it tasted kind of...not fresh.

Food coma set in, and I headed back to claim my spot between the kitties on the couch.  After a couple hours of being unable to nap, I finally mustered up the motivation to head out for a run:

With weather like that, wouldn't you be dying to hit the pavement, too?  It was drizzly, slippery!, and cold all day, but I knew that I'd feel like a blob if I didn't head out...

However, I'm not sure it was a wonderful idea.  I've been recovering from a horrible ear infection for the last several days, thereby leaving my immune system relatively non-existent, and I'm sure the cold did not help that at all.  Oh well.

I ran a measly 2.7 miles anyway.  I headed out the opposite direction than normal and realized quickly that I must live on the top of a very gradual hill.  Regardless of the direction that I go, I always end up running uphill much of the route.  And that, my friends, is not fun.

One thing I thought I'd mention is how much I hate idiots when I run.  Let me set the stage: it's about 5:00 p.m., and it's starting to get dark out.  The ground is slippery due to the rain and there are patches of snow and ice everywhere.  I'm nearing the end of my run, and all of a sudden, there's a cacophony of honks.  I turn my head, and there's an idiot DB screaming something at me from out his car window.  I'm assuming it was some sort of catcall or comment about how awesome I look in this spandex-y get-up:

Regardless, it really ticked me off.  First and foremost, it scared the bejeezus out of me.  I thought I'd done something totally wrong - you know, from the safety of my sidewalk.  Second, what the heck are these idiots thinking?!  That girls like and/or appreciate that kind of attention?  This girl doesn't.  Let me run my spandexed butt off in peace.

Rant: concluded.

I quickly showered and hit the road - in a car this time - to head to BFF's for "family" dinner.  It was a good night, complete with Made (BFF's cousin was the triathlete coach in a recent episode!) and ghost hunting, courtesy of one of our friend's six-year-olds.

Dinner was also delicious:

Crab cakes, roasted potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a fruit salad.  It certainly wasn't the healthiest of all dinners, but that's precisely why I ran this afternoon - I knew it'd be absolutely delicious (BFF is an amazing cook), and I knew I'd want to eat my heart out.

Despite my less-than-wonderful food choices today, I was only 41 calories over my allotted amount (thanks, wine-with-dinner).

Oh well.  Exceptions every now and again are definitely permissible.  I mean, if this "diet" is going to be a true lifestyle change, it has to be something I can make work.  And if a free day and a semi-free day make the rest of the week manageable, that is something I'm definitely okay with.  :)

Off to bed, y'all!  I'm wiped!  G'night!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Granny Em

I hope everyone loved the previous post about poop - and the alliteration in that sentence!

But tonight, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming of boringness: what Emily did today.

This morning, I whipped up a quick Almond Joy smoothie before heading off to work.  I was a bit frantic because my coffee mugs (the one for hot and the one for cold) were both dirty, the French press still had yesterday's grounds in it, and I didn't have time to clean the gadgets.  So, I was coffee-less.

Enter: BFF.  She is interning at my school right now and brought me a total surprise - a cup of my most favorite coffee in the world, complete with a splash of skim and two Splendas.  She knows how I like it!  SO THANKFUL FOR HER!

(In case you were wondering, Bruegger's is the best coffee in the whole wide world.  If anyone would like to buy me the Bottomless Mug, you'd be my hero forever and ever.)

But I digress.  I skipped my morning snack because I just wasn't hungry.  I know, I know: not good. 

For lunch, I ate an El Desayuno Wrap, courtesy of the Abs Diet.  I had this a few days ago for breakfast: eggs, cheese, and salsa on a whole wheat tortilla.  It is really delicious and really filling.

But then I didn't get home until about 3:30, so I was starving for my afternoon snack: dry-roasted almonds and an apple (green, of course).

I went to boot camp today after missing Wednesday and Thursday, and I was super nervous that I was going to die.  Thankfully (and obviously), that didn't happen.  Today's workout was 25-50.  On one side of the room, we had maybe eight or nine exercises - of 25 reps each - we were to do with kettlebells.  On the other side of the room, we had the same number of exercises - of 50 reps each - we were to do on the kickboxing bags.  We had to see how many rounds we could do in 25 minutes.

It. was. tough.

And I was drenched. in. sweat.

But it was oh. so. worth it.

It's really hard to remember all of the exercises we're asked to do, so I'll just mention a couple.  I think the most difficult thing we did today was the gladiator rows.  For this exercise, we were in side plank position and had to row the kettlebell back with our top arm.  So hard.  Another tough one was the moving push-up.  We were in push-up position and had one hand on a kettlebell, did the push-up, and then walked our hands so that the opposite hand was on the kettlebell for the subsequent push-up.  Again, so hard.

After the workout, I met some of my best friends at Gusto, an amazing pizza place in Des Moines.  While they enjoyed wine (jealous), I guzzled water.  (Tomorrow I can drink again!  But who's counting...?)  I also had one piece of thin-crust Thai chicken pizza because I was famished after working out.

Finally, I went home and whipped up Quinoa Mac & Cheese.  I saw this on one of my all-time favorite blogs and knew that I had to try it, too.  It took a bit of preparation, which meant dinner was pretty darn late, but it was delicious and so worth the wait:

It definitely wasn't Kraft Mac & Cheese (my favorite food ever), but it totally satiated my craving for cheesy deliciousness.  And because quinoa is a complete protein (and not an actual grain like many people think), it is very, very filling.  I packed it full of an entire green pepper and two Roma tomatos so that I could get even more bang for my buck.

I had one-and-a-half servings, which totaled 370 calories, 40 grams of carbs, 19 grams of protein, and 15 grams of fat (darn cheese).

Stay tuned - sometime this weekend - for a discussion of eating for fuel versus eating for eating's sake.

But for now, I'm going to catch up on Grey's Anatomy and pass out because - if you couldn't guess from last night's post - I've turned geriatric.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Dissertation

I have another favorite thing to share with you all tonight - something I've been debating on sharing for weeks.  On one hand, I want to tell you all of the amazingness that has happened in my life, and on the other hand, I don't want to succumb to the "TMI" beast.

But, then I figured that since I pretty much spew verbal diarrhea on a daily basis and tell everyone more than they want to know in real life, I should probably let it all hang out on the Internet as well.

You're welcome.

Anyway, for quite a while I have battled some intestinal issues.  They haven't been bad enough (since college, at least) to see a doctor, but they haven't exactly been pleasant.  (I am trying to go into as few details as possible here, but you should hear the thoughts rambling around in my brain right now.  Again, you're welcome.)

Let's just say the "runners' trots" were hitting me pretty much all. the. time.

But I digress.  When I started this whole healthy-living thing, I also started taking some supplements: a multivitamin (in chewable form), fish oil (in horse pill form), and....wait for it...Metamucil.

It makes me so happy to know that Metamucil's target age is 65 and that - at 28-years-old - I'm raving about it to anyone who will listen.

But let me tell you: it is ah-maze-ing.  I feel so much better when I take Metamucil daily, and I can totally tell when I've missed a dose.  I just feel so much...cleaner....when I take it regularly.

And there's no doubt why.  The health benefits are fab: containing 100% natural psyllium fiber, Metamucil is clinically proven to help lower cholesterol, making it not only good for your digestive system but also for your heart and overall well-being.

But now for the nitty-gritty (literally): Metamucil does not taste wonderful.  I have to constantly stir, stir, stir so that it does not clump up in the glass of water.  (It's probably not good that I try to choke down two huge capsules of fish oil at the same time, but oh well: kills two birds with one stone.)  And I'm not going to lie: I use my chewable vitamins as motivation to gulp the whole drink down.  Seriously.  They taste like gummy bears.  And, apparently I'm like five.

Despite how much I abhor actually drinking the stuff, it is OH. SO. WORTH IT.

Yep: this advertisement pretty much sums up everything I wanted to tell you without having to go into graphic detail.  You're welcome.

And now, dear readers, I will leave you with a funny.  One of my friends/colleagues and I are somewhat mature young adults who are trusted with the task of educating the youth of America.  For some reason, however, we cannot stop talking about poop - like, ever.  We even go so far as to email each other our Dookie Dissertations.  So when I was planning this post for you all, I - naturally - thought of my Number Two gal.  And when I went to search for an appropriate image to illustrate our conversations for you, this is what I found:

For the fourth time tonight, you're welcome.

Back to our regularly scheduled postings - complete with my boring workout regime and food diary - tomorrow.  Until then, know that I stayed on track with my diet today but did not work out due to a previous commitment.  (This was planned, so don't yell at me.)

What's the grossest (or most beneficial) supplement you've ever tried?  Care to share any dookie dissertations with the rest of us, or is that just something I find appropriate to discuss?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rest for the Wicked

I think Cage the Elephant's Ain't No Rest for the Wicked could be the anthem for my life.  As you all know, I am busy pretty much all. the. time.  With my full-time job as a teacher and the many part-time "jobs" that accompany that (i.e. serving on a bazillion committees, coordinating a grant, etc.), writing for LivingSocial, selling jewelry through Stella & Dot, and serving as co-chair of Planned Parenthood Young Leaders, I don't have much free time.  In what little spare time I do have, I'm working out like crazy, trying to cook healthfully, attempting to clean my apartment, and oh, hanging out with my friends.

As you also know, I've been sick lately.  I just finished up one round of antibiotics and had to start another two yesterday for a raging ear infection.  

I don't know if it's the exhaustion from being busy, the fatigue from being über sick, the effects of the antibiotics, or what, but today was a breaking point.

I feel like poop.

I bucked up and went to school because it was a horribly busy day: field experience in the morning and three meetings in the afternoon.  I headed home as soon as possible and crashed on my couch until about 7:30 when I peeled myself off for dinner.

That means that yes, I skipped my workout.  (And yes, I skipped my weekly bowling league.)

I was so worried about missing boot camp, so I called my mom to help me rationalize.  She told me it'd be stupid if I worked out in the condition that I'm in, so I took that to heart and slept through our challenge day.  I also knew that since it's the challenge day, it'd be a harder workout than normal, and I really don't think I was strong enough this afternoon to complete it.  So, it was probably for the best.

Today was also not a good day food-wise.  It started out fine with a peanut butter and blueberry pancake.  I missed my morning snack, though, and when the 12 pizzas arrived for my student meeting, I ate a piece of cheese pizza.  And a pumpkin and chocolate chip cookie from a colleague.

No self-control.

When I got home, I ate a Blackberry Parfait Martini courtesy of the Abs Diet, followed by a graham cracker a couple of hours later.

While the only thing that sounded good to me this evening was Kraft Mac & Cheese, I peeled myself off the couch to join BFF for dinner at Star Bar, our favorite hangout.  And while I really wanted pasta in sauce of creamy deliciousness - or a whole vat of Star Fries (tater tots) and honey mustard - I instead opted for blackened catfish tacos with a cabbage slaw and avocado salsa and a side of black beans.

Sadly, I went 230 calories over my daily allotment today.

Oh well.  I'm sick.

Stay well, friends.  This bug is not fun.

My Fitness Pal

She really is my fitness pal, even though the post is about a different type of fitness pal.  :)
I'm sad to say, but my mom pretty much kicks my butt at anything to do with the iPad or the iPhone.*  She's also pretty much a health and fitness rock star, so when she told me about her new favorite app, I knew I had to try it.

My Fitness Pal is accessible on the iPad, the iPhone, and the computer (and, I'm sure, on any other device Internet is available).  And, it syncs.  So, if I upload what I ate for lunch at school on my iPhone, I can access it on my iPad at home.  Or, I've found the recipe database to be easier to access on an actual computer, so I'll enter something that way and have it *magically* show up on my phone.  It's great.

The food/recipe database is absolutely ridiculous.  The only thing I've eaten in the last four days that I've had to enter myself was the Peanut Butter and Blueberry Pancake from the Abs Diet Cookbook.  And, I probably just didn't search hard enough for that since all of the other Abs Diet recipes are already entered.

The only trouble I've had so far with the app is adding workouts.  It's super easy if I want to add a run (like I did on Sunday), but it's a lot more difficult when I want to add kettlebells (like I did yesterday) or various abs exercises (like I did today).  While I've been updating my fitness as much as possible via the app, I'm not sure how accurate it actually is.

Another feature that I really like is the breakdown of nutrients:

I like the above chart so that I can see the basics.  And even though it looks like I enjoy carbohydrates a little too much, it's telling me that I need to actually eat more carbs and less protein.  Very interesting.

Finally, I appreciate that it gives me a little lecture when I don't do what I am supposed to:

I clicked on "complete entry," and I hadn't eaten my allotted calories.  (The top of the screen showed how much I'll weigh in five weeks if I keep up my eating and exercise behaviors, but I hid that for now.  If I'm pleased with my progress in five weeks, I'll give you the numbers.  Deal?  Good.)

I will likely eat a graham cracker before I go to bed (although it's obviously not a "complete" meal/snack per the Abs Diet guidelines), so that'll help.  However, I'm also sick right now and just not super hungry.  So, there.  Don't lecture me.

Anyway, I have been using My Fitness Pal for less than a week, but so far I have entered every single thing I have eaten, and I am more than pleased with the app.  I definitely recommend it.

What programs, techniques, organizational tools, etc. do you use to track your diet and exercise?

*I'm still teaching her the tricks of Blogger, though.  :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is how I feel right now:

Because I. am. mature.

For the past couple of days, my ear has been hurting; I thought it was just eczema due to my horrific skin issues, but it kept getting progressively worse, including causing massive headaches.  Last night it was pretty bad, and today was absolutely awful.  The whole right side of my head felt clogged, the lymph nodes on the right side were sore, and I could barely touch the right side of my face.

I decided it was time to see a doctor.

And, it turns out that grown-ups, too, can get ear infections.  Who knew?!  Not this girl.

I mean, I was the Queen of Otitis when I was a baby, but amoxicillan and I haven't been acquainted for quite sometime.  Today, apparently, that changes.  In addition, I currently have medicine dripping down my neck: if that's not sexy, I don't know what is.

No wonder babies with ear infections are so cranky.  They suck!  I feel so crappy, in fact, that I'm contemplating calling in sick tomorrow.  And I never call in sick.  Unfortunately, tomorrow is just too darn busy.  I need to just buck up.

This morning started with an Almond Joy smoothie, courtesy of the Abs Diet.  I was going to take a picture but a.) I was running late, b.) I was unaware of the snowstorm that arrived in the middle of the night and was therefore running really late, and c.) it looks exactly like chocolate milk, so I figured you could just use your imaginations.

I had a pineapple Chobani for my morning snack - and thank goodness!  I need to be eating nothing but yogurt with all of the antibiotics I've been taking for the past week and will now be taking for the next ten days.  (I think I am defective.)

Side note: I am being nothing but super healthy right now - eating well, working out, not drinking, etc.  Why am I getting über sick?!

For lunch, I finally polished off the white chili, and for my afternoon snack, I inhaled an apple.  Another side note: I very much prefer Granny Smiths over any other type of apple.  Red: not so much.

After a couple of afternoon meetings, I headed to Max Life for boot camp.  Today's workout was kickboxing - cardio and abs.  It was a good one, even though I felt not-so-great.

Immediately after leaving boot camp, I went to the doctor - because, you know, I'm classy like that.

When I finally got home for the day, I heated up some dinner from last night: Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos.  I added an additional 1/4 avocado to the mix and polished off a whopping four blackberries for "dessert."

I actually did take photos of dinner for you, but I got too frustrated with how crappy they looked, so I'm not going to subject you to that lack of talent.  One of my besties is a professional photographer, so I need to harass him about helping me figure out my old point-and-shoot.  Maybe sometime soon - if you're lucky.

I'm about to take another dose of antibiotics and then hit the sack - right ear up.

Check ya later, suckas.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Too Tired

I am unfortunately too tired to blog much at all tonight, but I wanted to do a quick rundown of my meals and workout, just so I don't get too out of the loop.

Breakfast: No Batter! No Batter! Peanut Butter and Blueberry Waffle; coffee
Lunch: White Chili
Snack: apple (not until after my workout - that was rough)
Dinner: Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos

Workout: Honestly, today wasn't the greatest workout.  I got to Max Life late because I had a dentist appointment, and therefore I missed the warm-up, the dividing into groups, and the explanation of the day's workout as well as the individual exercises.  I felt lost the entire time, even though I kind of picked up on how each exercise was supposed to be done.

And don't get me wrong: I worked by butt off and was drenched in sweat.  But, it could've been a lot better had I been present for the explanation.  Oh, and had I eaten when I was supposed to.  I was starving.

Finally, I was going to discuss my new favorite app today, but my mom beat me to it.  I'll fill you in on my thoughts tomorrow.


Sunday, January 15, 2012


The weekends lately have been flying by - like, ridiculously fast.  It's 11:00 on a Sunday night, and I feel like the weekend just started.  I absolutely love my job, but holy smokes: I am straight-up exhausted, and the weekends just don't seem to help!

Last night Mags and I met up with yet another potential.  It was disastrous, albeit not as horrifically mortifying as Monday night.  Thankfully, I had one of my besties to help me get through it.  And, we had a blast people-watching.  :)

I got home around midnight and crashed on my couch - and didn't wake up until I got some early morning texts from a friend.  The conversation lasted from around 3:15-4:00, and then I finally crashed for good and didn't wake up until 10:00 - by far the latest I've slept in weeks.  It felt amazing.

When I finally rolled out of bed, I made a delicious "Ultimate Power Breakfast" from the Abs Diet Cookbook:

This breakfast is unbelievably delicious and so ridiculously filling.  In fact, I - again - could not finish it in one sitting.  So I ate half for breakfast and half after my run.

And I also drank two cups of coffee sprinkled with Truvia - I ran out of milk so drank it nearly black.  And, it tasted good!

Note about this coffee mug: it's my favorite one.  I have tons of coffee cups, including one my BFF gave me for Christmas, one with Degas' Little Dancer (my favorite piece at the Joslyn), one with my school logo, one with cherries (one of my favorite images), etc.  However, this is by far my favorite and the one I use the most often.  Why, you may ask?  Because it's my mom's.  This is the mug I remember her drinking out of all the time when I was younger, so naturally when she was going to give it away, I took it.  :)

Note about my mom: she is my bestest friend in the whole wide world, and I love her to pieces.  You're going to love her, too, when you check out her brand-new blog!  In the past several years, she has lost a ton of weight; taken up hardcore cycling, running, and swimming, all while battling various injuries and orthopedic surgeries; and has recently started the Abs Diet with me.  She's sure to write some really inspiring things and give you some great recipes.  After all, what's better than some good ol' mom-cooking?

After letting my breakfast digest and grading a few essays, my running buddy (hi, K!) came over, and we headed out on a run.  It was a gorgeous day outside, so I just wore my running tights, a tank covered with an athletic cover-up, and a headband.  And I was drenched in sweat by the end.  We ended up running 3.1 miles in 36 minutes.  The first mile was the fastest one I've done since the Grand Blue Mile last year, and I was wiped after it.  We ran the first two miles without walking and then took a quick break between the second and third.  After walking for about two minutes, we hit the road running again and finished out the full 5k before walking another 0.4 home.

It definitely wasn't our fastest run; however, it was only about the fifth run each of us has done since October when I ran the half and she ran the full.  We were cracking ourselves up about how we think three miles is tough now but we each ran crazy distances just a few months ago.  (And then we remember how we thought the shorter runs were tougher than the longer ones during our training - we're weird, I guess.)

This afternoon, I took a shower, attempted to grade a bit more, and took a nap.  Like I said, I've been so stinkin' exhausted.

And then, since it's Sunday, I headed to "family" dinner.  While we were missing BFF, the four of us still had a blast.  Eric made 24-hour brisket that was delicious; I was really nervous going into this meal because I am super picky with meat, but I thought the brisket was YUMMY.  Mike brought twice-baked potatoes, which I hadn't had in forever and absolutely inhaled.  Alicia made a delicious chick-pea salad, and I topped off the meal with some bread and chevre as well as a dark chocolate bar with almonds and sea salt.  We had quite the decadent meal while we chatted about anything and everything and played the "who will win the Golden Globe" game.

I'm finishing up a few more essays and another load of laundry before I hit the sack.  Unlike most of my friends, I have to head to work (and a dentist appointment and boot camp and a meeting) tomorrow.  So, I'll see you Monday night - after a jam-packed day!

Ciao, bellas!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Saturday

It took every ounce of energy I had to get motivated for this morning's workout.  My alarm was set for me to wake up for the 7 a.m. class, but I stayed in bed until it was time to get up for the 8:30 class.  And all the while, I was making up excuses as to why I couldn't go.  It was pathetic.

But, I put my big girl panties on and worked out.  And it was a toughie!  (Prior to the workout, I ate a bag of PowerBar Energy Gel Blasts.)

We started with junkyard dog for our warm-up:

We then broke into two groups - still with our partners - for four sets of exercises, switching throughout.  So first, I did globe jumps until my partner finished 30 Russian twists, 20 split squat jumps, and 20 leg raises.  Then we switched so that we each did the aforementioned twice.

Then we did three plank pulses, 20 mountain climbers, five box jumps, 10 jumping pull-ups, shuffles between five horizontal kickboxing bags, and then an army crawl the length of the room (omg); we did this circuit twice and ended by holding a squat.

For the third set of exercises, I did switch kicks.  (Please take a second to click that link and actually watch that video.  It cracked me up.)  I had to do switch kicks until my partner finished 30 plank abs, 20 power Jacks (jumping jacks in the squat position), and 20 supermans (and then switched so that we each did the aforementioned twice).

The fourth set of exercises included five full sit-ups followed by five squats, five lateral box jumps, 10 triceps dips, five jumps over the horizontal kickboxing bags, and a crab walk the length of the room; we did this circuit twice as well and ended by holding a plank position.


When I got home, I made a delicious breakfast:

It's an Abs Diet recipe (can't remember the name and too lazy to stand up to get the cookbook).  Basically, it's two eggs scrambled with scallions, topped with salsa, two tablespoons of cheese, and hot sauce, all wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.

And of course I drank a couple cups of coffee.  Mmm, mmm, mmm.

After breakfast, I lounged for a bit, watched some TV, read some blogs, tried unsuccessfully to sleep for a little bit, and then got ready for the day.  I thought now would be a perfect time to show you my new glasses and a hot new necklace:

Giant forehead.  Wah wah.

After my personal photo shoot, I went to Caribou with one of my friends (Mags) to grade some papers.  While there, I had about half of a medium cappuccino and a chocolate chip cookie.  After all, today is my free day!

I was highly unmotivated and only finished about 20 papers...which means tomorrow's going to be chock-full of essay-grading.

Oh well.

When my lack of motivation hit an ultimate high, I hit the road to run some errands.  First stop: Michael's.  I needed to pick up some new forms for my new jewelry.  Stay tuned: photos coming shortly.

After Michael's, I hit up the mall.  My new contacts FINALLY came in, so now I can see without grime covering my eyes.  (It's so weird I'm single.)  I also stopped at the Gap to pick up a few plain t-shirts to show off my awesome new jewelry.  I got two long-sleeved boatneck tees (one gray, one black), and two short-sleeved vee-neck t-shirts (one fluorescent pink - think 1992 - and one navy blue).  They're all super cute, obviously.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for: the unveiling of my jewelry.  Here's what my dresser currently looks like:

I have too many chunky necklaces to store them any other way.  (There are three necklaces, actually, showcased on the tallest form.)

And here's the bottom layer of my top dresser drawer:

And the top layer of that drawer:

Eeeeeee!  I know the photos aren't the greatest, but you get the idea.

Mags and I went to Hoshi to use up a Groupon that is nearing expiration, and we left filled to the brim.  I swear: I could eat sushi every single day and be a really happy girl.  Too bad it's so expensive - and so filled with white rice.  Wah.

Tonight, she and I are going to meet up with some guys to go dancing.  This should be interesting for a number of reasons:

  1. This is yet another blind date - albeit, inherently better than the last since I'll have a built-in friend.
  2. I am hugely uncoordinated and usually only dance when I am three sheets to the wind.
  3. I cannot drink tonight due to the antibiotic I am taking.
  4. Mags is one of the prettiest people I know, and she's supposed to be my wing-woman.
Regardless, I know we're going to have a blast.  We tore up NYC, Chicago, and can definitely do a number on Des Moines - even sans cocktails.  :)

Ciao, bellas!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flippin' Out

As you know from the week's previous posts, this has been a long one.*  But, now it's the weekend, and I have absolutely nothing to do.  I am so excited to lay on my couch in my underwear and drool on myself all weekend.

Well, after my workout tomorrow morning and my Sunday run, that is.  Oh, and after my run to the mall to pick up my new contacts and a couple of plain black shirts (more on that later).  Also, after I put together the vacuum and scour the house.  Oh, and figure out next weeks meals and go grocery shopping.  And after I grade about 75 essays.

Although that seems crazy-ridiculous, it's actually a pretty darn low-key weekend, and I'm super pumped.

Today started out with an Almond Joy smoothie; really, it tastes like chocolate milk.  I highly recommend it.  After that is when the failure happened: I had sushi for lunch.  While I intended to order a squid salad and my own roll (likely spicy tuna), I instead went in on six rolls with my three friends.  Unfortunately, some rolls had cream cheese, some had tempura, and only two were really "healthy."  Wah wah.

But, I didn't have a morning snack, and I didn't have an afternoon snack.  Again, I know this is actually worse because it messes up the metabolism, but I need to justify my gluttony somehow.

My workout today was intense.  First of all, I cannot even tell you how many squats I have done in the last week.  My quads and booty are totally feeling it.  Second, look at what I did today:

I turned into a ripped man!  Or...I flipped a tire.  Yep, another woman and I worked together to flip a tire this size not once, not twice, but four times.

It's kind of ridiculous, but I felt so accomplished afterwards!  I mean, I flipped a freakin' tire!

While partners were busy tire-flipping and we were waiting our turn, we did an AMRAP of different exercises, 13 times each.  I will try to remember (and find pictures!) of all of them:

  • Kettlebell squat press
  • Kettlebell clean
  • Sumo squat high press
  • Body blasts - essentially you stand with feet hip-width apart and with the kettlebell toward the outside of one foot.  You squat to pick up the kettlebell and stand upright, squat with the kettlebell to your chest in the middle and stand upright, and squat to set the kettlebell down next to your other foot and stand upright.  Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Double crunches

  • Hip bridge with leg raises

I think I'm forgetting some exercises, but I'm really tired; forgive me.

Anyway, after 13 minutes of that fun, we started our kickboxing portion of the class.  If I remember correctly, this only lasted ten minutes.  We had five pyramids to complete on the bag and had 60 seconds to complete each pyramid; the pyramids included jabs, crosses, hooks, uppers, roundhouses, knee-strikes, sit-ups, jumping Jacks, triceps dips, etc.  While one partner was on the bag, the other was either holding a squat (for 60 seconds), doing push-ups (for 60 seconds), or holding a plank (for 60 seconds).

Also, I have to tell you that I'm already feeling stronger.

However, it's also quite evident when I am not "fueled" enough for a workout.  I was feeling completely out of fuel - not necessarily hungry and not necessarily weak from the workout but rather just weak because of lack of food.  It's hard to explain...

When I finished my workout, I went straight to the nail salon (because I'm classy like that) and got the second half of my manicure - I went dark gray this time, and it looks awesome.  Then I went home, heated up a serving of white chili, and promptly fell asleep to Grey's Anatomy, which means I missed not one but two of my friends' birthday parties.

I suck.

After about an hour of dozing, I woke up and made a Peach Regalia, another smoothie from the Abs Diet.  It was tasty but not my absolute favorite.  (I also guess-timated the measurements because I was lazy, so that may have caused it to not taste as amazing as it should have.)

One of the most exciting parts of my day was getting my Stella & Dot package in the mail - with 12 new pieces of jewelry.  I am so ridiculously excited, and I'll be sure to show it to you tomorrow.  And actually, that's why I'm heading to the mall to buy some plain black shirts.  I have some absolutely fabulous statement necklaces that will look rockin' with simple black tees, which I - shockingly - do not own.  Also on my list to buy: quite possibly a longer black cardigan.  I wear mine so much that it's kind of getting raggedy.

Anyway, I'm off to go to real sleep (instead of dozing in front of the TV sleep) now.  I'm absolutely wiped and have to wake up for an early boot camp!

G'night, y'all!

*That's what she said.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not Enough Hours In A Day

I feel like every post this week has started with me saying how exhausted I am.  I just can't help it.  Tonight I didn't get home until 9:00, making it yet another 14-hour day.  I need Saturday...badly.

This morning I hurriedly chugged down a Virgin Cabo Daiquiri; this time I had the proper ingredients (i.e. mango), and it was just as delicious as it was without.  I think that's my favorite shake so far.

I was busy all morning - helping students, grading papers, monitoring final-taking, etc. - and plumb forgot to eat my snack.  By the time I remembered, it was nearly lunchtime, so I held out for a salad from Palmer's Deli.  Today I opted for Romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, turkey, and an egg, topped with nonfat summer tomato dressing.  It was...okay.

My stomach was super upset today, which is probably one of the reasons lunch wasn't wonderful.  My tummy kept a-rumblin', and I thought I was going to have to make a mad dash to the restroom, similar to what I had to do during first block.  I'm super irritated because I've been eating so well, working out, etc.  There is no reason I should be getting sick - or should be having stomach issues.  But, I'm on day three (I think) of an antibiotic, and I'm thinking that may be what's causing the internal drama.  Ugh.

Sorry for the TMI.  If you know me well, you should know by now that I pretty much just put it all out there.  :)

After lunch, I had two meetings.  One of them was for a super great cause, though: a trip to Los Angeles!  In late April, three colleagues and I will be heading to the City of Angels for the A Dream Deferred conference, and I couldn't be more excited.  First, the subject of the conference is very dear to my heart and one of my major passions, and second, it's LOS ANGELES!  I love, love, love Southern California!

I then headed to my evening meeting.  (Well, that was after I got my nails did - actually, after I got my nails halfway did.  I was running too late and have to go back tomorrow for them to get painted.  Right now they look a raggedy mess.  Color suggestions?!)

Tangent: complete.

My evening meeting was for Planned Parenthood Young Leaders, an organization of which I am so proud to be a part.  It is a great group of young professionals, all passionate about similar issues.  Tonight was our annual "retreat," so we headed to my co-chair's house for dinner and business.  I brought my mom's famous white chili recipe - which I'll share with you when I can take a picture.  :)  It's embarrassingly easy.  In addition to a bowl of white chili topped with crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of shredded cheese, I had a few crackers with cheese slices for an appetizer and a few pieces of fruit (pineapple, honeydew, grapes) for dessert.  Overall, I did fairly well.

Today wasn't the best, though: I missed my morning snack, my afternoon snack, and my evening snack. While it might sound good that I ate less, it actually is detrimental, as eating smaller meals more frequently really helps one's metabolism.  Unfortunately, that just wasn't in the cards for today.  Also missing, obviously, was my workout.  Thursdays are always really busy for me for some reason, so I've just resigned myself to using that as my free day.  In turn, I will run three miles on Sunday - and maybe go for a short run on Saturday, too.

After all, there is a 5k I was planning on running Saturday, and since my race calendar is quickly getting changed (my soon-to-be sister-in-law's bachelorette party the weekend of Dam-to-Dam and the LA conference the weekend of the Drake 8k), I should probably stick to the other ones I've scheduled.

Eh, we'll see.  I can always just do the distances on my own.

But that is a worry for another day.  I'm pooped right now and am desperately needing a really, really good night's sleep.  And a chiller than chill weekend.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilled...er, Protein Powder

I left my house at 7:15 a.m. and got home at 9:45... p.m.  I am exhausted.

The day started with a Blueberry and Peanut Butter Pancake, which was a whole-wheat waffle topped with two tablespoons of omega-3 enriched peanut butter, a sprinkling of crushed walnuts, and a handful of blueberries.  It filled me up until lunch, which was the leftover Pasta Résistance.  I was at school until 4:30 today helping students with finals and chowed down an apple as soon as I left...

...to go pick up my brand-new glasses!  I'm super excited about them, especially since my new contacts haven't come in yet and my old ones are really bothering my eyes.  I'll post pics later - when I'm not looking like a hot mess.  :)

After my trip to Vogue Vision, I headed straight to boot camp for quite possibly the most difficult workout of my life.  Honestly.  I nearly puked after this one.  We did a jumping Jack, squat, and sit-up pyramid for our warm-up and then did a 20-minute AMRAP, including kettlebell thrusts, kettlebell straight-leg dead-lifts, "MacGyver" moves (jumping like Spiderman to the side - like you're going over a "laser beam" and then getting into plank position and shuffling "under the laser beam" to where you started), kettlebell tactical lunges, and kettlebell squat jumps.  We were supposed to do 20 reps of each exercise (except for MacGyver, for which we did 10 reps), and we had a set of ten kettlebell swings between each exercise.  At the five-minute mark, we had to do five burpees; at the10-minute mark, we had to do 10 burpees; at the 15-minute mark, we had to do 15 burpees; and at the 20-minute mark, yep, you guessed it, we had to do 20 burpees.  I felt like I missed so much of the actual workout because I had to get all my burpees in.

Wow, is all I have to say.

While we were busy sweating away, Mother Nature was busy dousing us with a blizzard.  Snow and ice covered my car (and the road) when I left boot camp.  I had to high-tail it (30 miles per hour on I-235) in order to get to bowling (yes, I'm a huge nerd) on time.  That means that yes, I did not shower.  What can I say?  I'm a classy lady.

I bowled pretty well tonight - got my first turkey ever!  And...that's about all I have to say about bowling.  :)  No, I recently started bowling with a few guys that I met a few years ago when my colleagues and I had a bowling team.  These goofballs (hi guys!) recruited me this year (probably for my mad skillz), and I've been having an absolute blast.  It's a nice, much-needed break in the middle of the week.

At bowling, I ate what was supposed to be my morning snack (Guac & Roll - whole wheat tortilla with two slices of deli turkey and a fourth of an avocado) and what was supposed to be my afternoon snack (celery and tzatziki sauce).  And I drank approximately 18 gallons of water.

I got home (barely - it was slippery!) and whipped up a Belly-Blasting Berry smoothie and promptly did this:

Yep.  That's my expensive vanilla protein powder all over my floor.  Awesome.  Thankfully, one of my friends/colleagues brought me a thing of vanilla protein powder, a thing of chocolate protein powder, and a thing of chia seeds today.  How nice was that?!  And what perfect timing?!

Also, this shake was absolutely sinful.  You need to make it now.

And I am off to bed.

Before I go, though, question: I feel like my blogs are fairly boring.  Like, all I do is tell you what I did during the day, what I ate, and the details of my workout.  What can I do to make it more interesting?  What else would you like to see on here?

Answer me, yo.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Change of Plans

I was all set to make "Son-of-a-Gun Stew" (which is essentially jambalaya) for dinner tonight, and when I went to whip it together, realized that it called for six hours in the slow-cooker.

Epic fail.

So, I opted for Wednesday's dinner tonight: The Pesto Résistance.  (I feel like the name needs to be said with a flourish - like, I'm whisking my cape over my shoulder.)

I sauteed half a cup of chopped walnuts in a tablespoon of EVOO, threw in some garlic, spinach, and basil, and tossed it with four ounces of whole-wheat spaghetti, topped with one tablespoon of mozzarella.  It was so delish - and über filling.

But look at us getting ahead of ourselves!  I started off the morning with the Artery Aid smoothie: two ounces of low-fat vanilla yogurt, two tablespoons of ground flaxseed, one cup frozen peaches, and agave nectar to taste.  However, I had to add a bit of skim milk because I could not, for the life of me, get the darn thing to blend.

My morning snack was a Chobani and four strawberries, which tided me over until lunch when I had the rest of my "Pineapple Delight" from last night in a whole-wheat tortilla.  I had my afternoon snack fairly late so that I would be full of energy for my workout: celery with edamame hummus (thank you, TJ's!) and a hard-boiled egg.

Boot camp today was kind of boring.  We had five stations and rotated through them every 25 seconds.  The first stop was kickboxing: throwing punches and kicks on the bags.  The second station was a sit-up/jumping Jack pyramid.  The third and fourth station were related: one partner held out her hands while the other partner cross-punched them and hit the floor for a half-burpee and repeated; while the second partner was in the down portion of the burpee, the standing partner swung each of her legs over the other's head.  The final station was a three-way burpee: go down in burpee stance, bring knees to chest, and then throw legs out to either side.  The first one or two were not too hard, but holy smokes: the next few were tough.  I really didn't feel like I got a wonderful workout, but I was drenched in sweat, and now I'm über sore - especially my shoulders.  Apparently the coaches know what they're doing.  :)

Last night I talked to my brother for quite a while on the phone, and it was really, really nice.  I miss him a ton.  Anyway, he's pretty much a fitness and nutrition god, so he was really excited to hear about my new ventures and then offered me some advice.  One thing I'm going to start doing is similar to what I've done in the past: logging exact amounts of proteins, carbs (fiber and sugar), fat (saturated, trans fat, and unsaturated), and overall calories.  I'm still going to eat what I'm eating and do what I'm doing, but it'll be interesting to see the actual breakdown.

And now, I'm off to bed.  I grabbed a couple of new books at Barnes & Noble this evening, but I'm not sure I can even stay awake long enough to dive into them.  I'm wiped.

Night, y'all!