Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Motivation [Nov 3]

Oh, Monday, it's you again...

This Monday could be a lot worse though, so I'm choosing to stay positive today! J and I had a great weekend and it really felt like fall here in Florida, finally. We'll see if it can last.

Here's a quick recap of our weekend:

  • Passed out candy to trick-or-treaters for the first time and we definitely had fun with it. You know you're old when seeing small children dressed up as princesses and ninja turtles is an exciting evening, but it's reality. The kids in our neighborhood all looked adorable and were all well-behaved, which was a bonus. Our dog, Cooper, even got in the spirit with some orange and black bandannas and greeted the kiddos.
  • Our neighbors came over and passed out candy with us, because it's more fun to turn trick-or-treating into an excuse for adult fall-themed refreshments. I made SkinnyTaste's Hot & Spicy Buffalo Shrimp Dip and made crescent rolls filled with a pumpkin and cream cheese mixture. I probably should have added more sugar and chocolate to make them sweeter, but I was attempting to be a little bit healthy with my snacking.
  • Saturday we watched the Florida/Georgia game and unfortunately the bulldogs lost... 
  • We warmed up the leftover shrimp dip and picked up some winter beer to enjoy while we watched The Neighbors, which was actually a lot funnier than we both expected! 
  • Sunday we were pretty boring with cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, giving the dog a bath... you get the picture. BUT I am excited that the 21 Day Fix starts today and I got all prepared for it yesterday!

Here's a little motivation to start the week off right:

Yes! When I look back at pictures and even current pictures, this motivates me to not want to stay the same.

Seriously, I have looked at other blogs where they post their fitness warm up and it just makes me want to cry, THAT is my workout right now!

Such a good reminder. A lot of the 21 Day Fix is focusing on eating whole foods and no processed crap! I had some fast food last week and I felt so sick the next morning - this is your body's way of telling you that it's bad for you!

What did you do this weekend? Hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Life as of Lately

These past few weeks have been difficult for me in terms of my health and fitness goals... boo.

I wrote about how I ran 3 nights in a row a few weeks ago. It felt like fall and I was feeling fit- the best feelings! Then I hurt my knee and it has been bothering me ever since. I had an MRI done last week and need to catch up with my doctor about the results. It has been painful enough that I haven't wanted to work out AT ALL! Which is so lazy of me, but it feels like glass that's about to shatter, so I have been trying to take it easy so it can heal.

I also haven't been eating 100% on track, but somehow by a miracle I haven't gained any weight! I think maybe portion control has saved me. Since I've started eating better, my stomach has definitely shrunk and I get fuller faster. Reminds me of the phrase everything in moderation. While I haven't gained any weight, I definitely feel more bloated and less toned. Those 2 things make a BIG difference when you're trying on clothes. I just haven't felt wonderful...

I had semi hit a plateau anyways, so this is a good opportunity to hit re-start and see some good progress before Thanksgiving. So how am I going to do this you ask? Back to good old MyFitnessPal and DietBet to hold me accountable, plus one new thing! Beachbody's 21 Day Fix.

I have seen a lot about the 21 Day Fix this year, since I regularly read Marionberry's blogs. She does these challenge groups and people see major losses, so I figured it was time!

Between the 21 Day Fix and SkinnyMeg's new DietBet starting, those bring me right up to Thanksgiving. If I hit my goal weight loss for the DietBet, it would bring me down to only 10 pounds from my goal weight!!! That will feel REALLY good!

I'm a little nervous about starting the 21 Day Fix, mostly because I cook big batches of recipes and I'm unsure of how that will fit into their container method. But I will keep you posted on that front. It also provides fitness DVDs with 6 different workouts and I'm really pumped for those! It will be nice to mix up my fitness routine and not just focus on running (especially with my knee).

Wish me luck!

How are you staying on track with your goals? Any pre-holiday plans to get in shape? General wisdom to share?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Prepping For My Week [pork roast]

Once a month there is a farmer's market at my work and I'm like a kid on Christmas every. single. time. I'm sure with a little more effort, I could find more markets like this on a regular basis, but I'm lazy!

This week, I decided to stick to buying produce. When I buy fresh pasta, bread, eggs, etc. that's when I end up spending $40 and that's just not going to work for my budget. I ended up buying:
  • giant carrots
  • new potatoes
  • red and yellow onions
  • sweet mini peppers
  • radishes
  • yellow tomatoes
  • and I feel like I'm forgetting one thing...

When produce is fresh, I am perfectly happy with vegetarian meals. Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with salt and pepper - yes please! On Sunday we had some tomato mozzarella pasta salad I whipped together and ate cucumber slices and radishes on the side with a little hummus and laughing cow cheese. It was so fresh, it made me feel like it was springtime! Maybe the 85 degree weather had something to do with that too... thanks Florida.

I really wanted to make a roast with all of those veggies, so when we went to the newly opened Trader Joe's in Jacksonville Beach (which I am completely pumped about) we were on the hunt for either a whole chicken, turkey breast or pork loin. We ending up going with a black pepper - garlic pork loin and it turned out pretty good!

I have to say roasts are not the most photogenic of meals, but it was warm, flavorful and hearty! I did 2 big spoonfuls of veggies and 2 slices of pork per serving along with a side salad - and I was stuffed. I plan to start with a smaller serving tonight. I estimated my measurements for everything in MyFitnessPal and it looks like one big serving is about 450 calories. Not too shabby for a very filling and nutritious meal!

I think next time I will play with the sauce component of this and maybe try some sweet potatoes or butternut squash for a more fall flavor profile. Perhaps throw in some maple syrup to round it out! Knowing how much my fiance and I eat, this meat should last us for 5 servings, but the veggies will last a little longer. If we have too many veggies, I could always dice them up a little more, add some broth and chicken, and make some soup!

What are you cooking this week?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Motivation [Oct 13]

Monday, here you are again... This weekend actually felt really long, so I can't complain too much! Here's a few tidbits to get you motivated for the week.

Oh, Yoda, you are so smart. I need to start up with daily squats again, because I definitely noticed a more rounded back side when I did!

I feel like I need this framed somewhere I would see it every day!

This always grosses me out when I see things like this, but it does put it in perspective.

Have a great week!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fitness Friday


As I approach a whole weekend with no obligations and just time with J, I can't help reflect on the week I have had. And that week has been filled with running and I can't be happier about it! I think I am officially a runner and I never thought I would speak (or type) those words.

I ran Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after work this week, which in hind sight wasn't the best decision. My right knee now hurts, but I'm hoping it will clear up before my next run on Sunday. We had beautiful weather here this week, so it was hard to NOT want to get outside and work up a sweat! All in all I did 9+ miles over 3 days, so I'm feeling #likeaboss right now. Here are some fun stats for you, since I loved comparing my days and seeing how I am getting stronger and faster!

Monday started out a bit rough because of my dog. I really wanted to run in the nature preserve by our house, but he kept on getting those prickly spores stuck to his paws. So we had to deal with that, but ended up finishing strong. Tuesday I went solo to the nature preserve at it was extremely peaceful! I only saw one other person, but was constantly watching my back to make sure no one was going to abduct me. It's the kind of place that someone could pull that off.... but it's still beautiful!! I managed to take some pictures during my cool down, so enjoy:

See what I mean about someone being able to snatch me and no one would know? There were a few times I considered stopping for a quick walk break, but the extra motivation of not being attacked by a creeper or an alligator for that matter kept me going. :)

Wednesday night I ran with a group from work. My workplace is pretty much awesome and I'm so glad the wellness committee arranged these runs for the next month. I found another gal with a pace a little faster than mine and I kept up for the 3 miles! We are also fortunate to work in The World Golf Village and have another scenic backdrop for running. Here's an idea for ya - 

All in all, I was proud of my week and stayed within my calorie range (but of course got to eat a little more since I was burning more calories). I may eventually want to run longer distances, but I'm really happy with 3 miles. I honestly don't have time in the mornings to do more than 2 miles and not be late for work. I think my biggest goal with running is to work on my speed. If I could comfortably run 3 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace, I would be happy! And I feel like every run that I do gets me closer to that goal.

Another option I have been toying with is more interval running. I think I am past the walk/run scenario unless I had to do more miles, but I want to start trying running at my normal pace and then interjecting sprints to get my heart rate up. I'll report back to you!

Have a great weekend everyone! Have any running tips to share?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Prepping For My Week [baked sausage stuffed apples]

So I'm still easing back into 100% on track eating and a huge part of staying on track is prepping my meals for the week (or at least for a few days).

Last week I made crockpot pulled chicken - a stable in our house! There are many variations on this, but I knew we were having southwest themed meals, so I went ahead with that flavor-profile. I seasoned chicken breasts with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes and placed them in the crockpot with chicken broth and a can of Spicy V8 juice. I made sure the liquids covered the chicken and cooked on low while I was gone at work all day. When you get home, you simply shred the chicken and you're ready to go!

We made traditional tacos, taco salads and towards the end of the week I made Chipotle Pumpkin Chicken soup from a Budget Bytes recipe (thank you Pinterest). I love to follow recipes to get a list of ingredients, but I never follow measurements. If it calls for corn, I will just use a whole can... you get my drift, right? We were storing the chicken in the crockpot all week, avoiding doing dishes, so when it was time to make the soup, I just added the ingredients to the crockpot and heated it on low all day!

(forgive my horrible photography skills)

The soup was SUPER healthy and flavorful in my opinion , coming in at about 230 calories (depending on servings size). I garnished my soup with fresh chopped cilantro and a spoon of low-fat plain Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt added a nice touch of creaminess, since I had a lot of chicken broth that thinned out the pumpkin. Since we had a big tailgating weekend, and ate out a lot, I still have a few servings of soup left for this week. #winning

My main meal for this week is Baked Sausage Stuffed Apples. They are a fall favorite of mine and I started making them a couple of years ago. I don't have one particular inspiration to link to, but here is my recipe:

You can serve this with a variety of sides or a salad. I happen to have a butternut squash from the farmer's market that I need to use up, so I am going to have roasted butternut squash on the side. I think the flavors will work really well together. Also, as I get lazier throughout the week, I may just chop up the apples and squash and spoon the sausage mixture over that. I may even add an over-easy egg. Nothing like a quick hash to comfort me after a long day!

We have a ton of leftovers and random food in our fridge from this weekend. My mission tonight is to sort through it and make sure we aren't wasting anything. I kind of get a thrill out of using up our food in creative ways... Is that just me?

What are you cooking this week?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I decided at the beginning of June that I was ready to start my health journey and I knew I could not do it alone! I had done Weight Watchers in the past and knew that tracking what I ate was a great way to keep me on track and accountable. But I knew WW wasn't right for me at this time and my best friend kept on raving about MyFitnessPal. I decided to give it a try and have been using it now for over 4 months and love it!

MFP also links with other fitness and tracking apps, so I have it linked to my FitBit. It automatically uploads my steps in my daily diary and if I have more movement than MFP accounted for in my calorie goal, it adds more calories.

I took a bunch of screenshots of what I use and view on a daily basis and added my notes to each. I hope this is helpful!

Do you use MFP? What is your favorite feature? Do you use any other apps? Share your knowledge!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Motivation [Oct 6]

This was a packed weekend, as I worked my second part-time job and my soon-to-be in-laws were in town for the Steelers game. I will be sure to recap for you all, but in the meantime...

I love this quote and keep reminding myself of this when I look at some people's before/after photos. We all have to start somewhere and change doesn't happen overnight!

Enough said!

This is SO true! I've have conversations with J about trying to eat more organic, locally-sourced food for this exact reason. He seems to get it, but doesn't want to spend the money for it. I get that, but it's all a trade-off! What you put in (and on for that matter) your body makes a difference and it's good to remind ourselves of this.


Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, October 3, 2014


I fell off the blog bandwagon for a few weeks, it happens!

These last few weeks have been a little bit of a struggle for me to be honest. I would say that I have made healthy decisions 90% of the time, so I definitely haven't moved backwards in any ways. I've just been on more of a plateau and I need to kick myself and move off of it!

I have managed to lose a couple more pounds since my time in Columbus, but I need to remind myself that to lose 20 MORE (which will bring me to my ultimate goal), I need to focus on it every day. So by writing here, I am holding myself accountable to this.

Here's a little peak into my life as of late:

  • My trip to Columbus ended up being successful work wise and a total blast! As you can see on the left, I ate and drank well while I was there but managed to fit in a some calisthenics and 2 jogs with someone I met at our training. The highlight was definitely seeing my best friend! We did some shopping, eating and drinking ... the night may or may not have ended up with us in the hotel room polishing off a bottle of wine, cheese and Triscuits. When I weighed in a few days later, I was down in weight! I think moving as much as I could, making the best choices from what was available to me and drinks TONS of water helped.
  • I've been slowly getting back into my regular fitness schedule since that trip and some new athletic clothes was a nice motivation. My runs have been strong this past 2 weeks and I love running with my dog, he makes it a game!
  • The produce lately down in FL has been on point! I have been able to bring healthy snacks with me to work for when hunger strikes. LOOK at those tomatoes! Just gorgeous and from a local farmers market, so even better.
  • J and I were lucky to get away with another couple this past weekend to Orlando where they have a family home (note to self: make more friends who have vacation homes or boats). We hit up SeaWorld and it was such a good time! I felt like a kid again and we got in a ton of walking, which made me feel less guilty about having a few adult beverages that night.
  • I'm trying out a sample pack of Beachbody's Shakeology this week. Since I have been on a plateau with my weight, I thought I would give this a try. Several bloggers I follow and a friend from college swear by it! I'm trying out a sample pack right now that has one of each flavor, so I can figure out which flavor to order a month's supply of. I will keep you posted on it's effects and it definitely warrants its own post.
I will be back next week with my normal posts - I promise!

What have you all been up to lately? Any words of wisdom to get me out of this funk?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staying Healthy While Traveling

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I will be traveling this week for work to the great state of Ohio. Unfortunately not to Cleveland or Cincinnati where I have my people, but Columbus is a pretty good city too! My best friend is able to come down and spend Saturday afternoon and evening with me, so I'm pretty pumped about that :)

I will be there for a golf coach training, so at least it will be an active week in that sense, but I know better than to think it will be easy to stay on track.

Luckily, my hotel does have a small fitness room and indoor pool. I'm not hopeful that I can do laps in the pool, but I'm bringing my swimsuit just in case. I have been enjoying running outside and the weather in Ohio is going to feel so cool compared to Florida. It should be magical! I have used MapMyRun to look at the neighborhood my hotel is in and found a good 2.5 mile loop.

It should be easy enough to maintain the body weight/circuit training I have been doing. I wrote about it in full here, but here is the visual for a quick reminder.

Hotel gyms usually have a small selection of hand weights and if not, I can still get in a decent work out without them.

I think I have a handle on the fitness, but the food part should be interesting... There is continental breakfast at the hotel and lunch is provided each day at the training. That's a lot of meals out of my control! My work is a bit strict on what they reimburse me for, but it might be worth buying my own breakfasts if they are going to help me start the day off right. I will do my best with what is provided for lunch and that will have to set the tone for what I can have for dinner.

I have made sure to pack my own supply of snacks, that can also serve as a breakfast if needed. I have my favorite KIND bars (dark chocolate cherry cashew, seriously they are like a candy bar), trail mix from whole foods, dried chili mango from Trader Joes and a couple GoPicnics. I won't have any excuse to eat a generic bagel for breakfast or a bag of chips with lunch!

I have been doing a lot of research on restaurants in Columbus and while I want to make sure to explore and try new things, it's important to stay on track. I have been looking at a lot of farm-to-table restaurants and making sure I at least have a couple of healthy options. It is the absolute worst when you get to a restaurant and realize you basically HAVE to order ONE dish, because everything else is fried! This has totally happened to me before, so I know I need options.

Here are a few places I have scoped out:
  • Wolf's Ridge Brewing - They have a kale salad with grilled peaches and goat cheese that sounds like the perfect beginning to dinner. Then I plan to move on to their thai snapper with pineapple salsa and cilantro rice.
  • North Star Cafe - Their shredded chicken citrus salad sounds good with a peanut dressing. They have a handful of other yummy things if I can watch what I eat the rest of the day too.
  • The Sycamore - While there entrees sound amazing, I might have to try a few smaller things here. Grilled prawns, salmon ceviche, gazpacho and arugula salad with beet vinaigrette just to name a few.

As I mentioned, I'm excited to see my best friend on Saturday (she is one of my bridesmaids)! She is also doing the same DietBet as me and actually introduced me to it, so we will both have that incentive to stay on track. Our plan is to do a lot of walking/exploring/shopping and have a nice dinner.

Wish me luck on staying healthy this trip! Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekend Filled with Fitness & Food

I had a pretty great weekend and feel like J and I did exactly what we wanted to do, with no hassles. This was nice, considering I am going to be traveling the rest of this week!

We did a lot of cooking this weekend, and I neglected to take photos of half of it! Must get better at this whole blog thing...

We have been trying to get our house organized, because we just have so much stuff. I don't even know where it all comes from! As we have been cleaning and organizing, J brought me home flowers to make the space pretty. I really think it helps to brighten a room and it brings me joy, so that's good enough for me :)

Friday night we cooked Indian food for the first time and it turned out pretty good. Granted, I bought a bottle of tikka masla sauce and naan bread, so I only really "cooked" chicken and brown rice. But the spices were spot on and it was a nice comfort meal at the end of a long week.

Saturday, we attempted to catch the Georgia v South Carolina game out, but with delays we left early. While we were at the sports bar, we had lunch and a beer. I managed to stay within my calorie range that day, which was a nice feeling. A bar close to our house actually has a good menu with a handful of good options if you don't want fried food. I definitely appreciate this! We also grilled out on Saturday night and it all turned out amazing! BBQ wings from Whole Foods, corn on the cob and wedge salads with homemade ranch dressing I made from greek yogurt. It was all very fresh, with some of the produce even from a farmer's market. I wish we had the time to cook like this every night.

Before we fired up the grill, we decided to go for a bike ride since the heat had cooled off dramatically (for Florida). This was more of a leisurely ride, but still good to be active before we ate a big meal!

While we had the grill out, I seasoned and grilled chicken breasts for salads this week, as well as put on extra corn. Our salads this week for lunch consist of:
  • Grilled chicken
  • Grilled corn off the cob (farmer's market)
  • Grape tomatoes (farmer's market)
  • Cucumbers (farmer's market)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Goat cheese
  • Homemade hummus dressing
Sunday, we made a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and toast. Sometimes it is nice not to over-think breakfast! I also made pumpkin chai lattes at home with a new frothing tool I got at World Market. It was so easy to warm up the almond milk in a small pot and then get a nice foam on it with the little gadget. I need to work on making the chai strong enough next time. When you order chai at Starbucks, they use a chai concentrate, so I'm used to that stronger taste. But it was still delicious and guilt free at only 30 calories.

J and I were feeling really lazy, but knew we needed to get a high-intensity work out in. I had every intention of following this Killer Kardio routine I mentioned last week, but it was a little TOO intense for us once we started, so I modified it to the below workout. It was still heart-pumping and made me realize that I have a long way to go with my fitness! My body has definitely gotten used to running, so I thought I could handle this cardio, but my body told me otherwise. 2 days later and my calf muscles are still SO sore - limping is a good look, right?

Sunday night we made baked tilapia with Caribbean jerk spices and paired that with goat cheese mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Simple and satisfying... a good way to end the weekend.

How was your weekend? What have you been cooking lately?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Motivation [Sept 15]

Oh Monday... how you ruin my perfectly good weekend.

It actually won't be a bad week for me, because I am traveling for work Wednesday-Sunday, so I just have to stay focused for 2 days at my desk! I am actually a little worried about staying on track when I am gone, so please send me all of your healthy vibes, for real. I will post more tomorrow about my plan to stay on track, stay tuned.

For now, let's get Monday started with some motivation!

I remind myself of this every time I think about getting fast food. There is instant gratification that comes with say chicken nuggets and fries, but I always regret it! Lately, I feel sick when I go off track with something a little greasier too. NOT. WORTH. IT.

Amen! As much as I hate dragging myself out of bed at 6 am to run before work a few days a week, it's worth it. This week, people at work have been commenting that I look great and it's a good feeling :) It cracked me up when one coworker said, "I'm not sure if this is appropriate or what, but have you been doing something? You look great!" Yesssss, I have been working my butt off and not eating crap, so glad it took 15 pounds for you to notice... Good thing I don't say everything I think out loud!

I might sub Ryan out for John Legend or Will Smith, but in a pinch, he will do :)

I hope you have a great week!