Sunday, September 11, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

Hi there!

Yeah, it's been a while since my last post and you know what?  That's the topic of this post.

I think about it every day, about writing a new post, and I try to think about what to write about.  Mainly, I'm just having a hard time finding the time to make the post, but I'm working on that and I will make some improvements in that area.  The second part is that sometimes I just don't know what to post about.  My general idea of the blog is to talk about what I'm learning for myself, tips and ideas that others might like, and doing the best I can not to make it all about what I'm doing every second on the day.  Does anyone have any questions?  Maybe I could write a post answering some questions...

Sometimes I have ideas and fun things to say about how awesome group fitness classes are, what new recipe I tried, or a suggestion for making good choices.  But you know what?  Sometimes I'm not learning something new; sometimes I'm just riding the wave from day to day and trying to keep my head above water.  Practice makes perfect, right?  I'm eating a lot of the same foods, doing a lot of the same workouts, and generally don't have anything interesting to write about.

Today was a little different though, as most weekends are.  Mom and I knocked out a good 5.5 miles (personal longest for both of us!) and I enjoyed a delicious brunch at Point Brugge with Kate and her husband Max.  I went out of my comfort zone food wise and had the baked feta and poached eggs.  It was actually quite tastey and I should have gotten a picture, but I was just too darn distracted with good conversation with new friends.  I met up with mom after to check out the Fair in the Park contemporary arts and crafts show in Mellon Park.  It was very  nice, but definitely not in my price range!  My favorite booth was a guy who I was going to link here, but I left his card in my purse in my car; maybe I'll link it later.

The day continued with some coffee and lesson planning.  Remember those days in college where you just couldn't do work in your room or in your house?  Today is one of the days...since I don't really have a campus library to hang out at, coffee it is!  I am 3 feet from Pitt though, so I basically feel like an old lady with all of these whipper snappers in here!

Regular coffee, sugar free english toffee, splash of skim, 2 splenda.
Much cheaper than a latte, a lot less calories, and just as good!

Now to surf the Kindergarten blog world and lose myself in Pinterest until it's time for church!

Today's lesson learned:  Sometimes you don't learn anything new; you just keep trucking along.  You spend the time you have trying to fine tune the skills you're currently working on and try to make them habits, not something that takes a lot of thought and energy.  Revisiting previous lessons keeps things fresh in the mind and allows for connections to be made.  Aka, go read some old posts :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Groceries Galore

Hi there!  Happy Saturday yo!

Man, do I feel great!  Saturday mornings are always an early wake up at 7:40, but who are we kidding, I'm naturally up before that anyways...I think it's just mental that I don't get to 'sleep in'.  Ma had to work and Brudder is moving, so I was solo today.  I still went, had a blast, wished they were there, and burned some mega calories!  A recovery shake, which I usually share with Ma, was enjoyed after. Gotta get some protein in the bod to build some lean muscle!

The last few weeks of craziness, which I could probably write a book on, have left my cupboards, freezer, and fridge a barren wasteland.  I'm pretty sure I had to clean out some tumbleweeds yesterday... So grocery shopping was on the agenda for today.  Now here is the amazing part; our regional director wanted to thank us for working so hard before school started (we weren't getting paid and didn't have contracts yet, but if we wanted jobs we had to market for kids for enrollment) that he gave us all $100 Giant Eagle gift cards!  Sweeeeet.  Gift card and food perks united to bring my $156 total down to $42!  No extreme couponing needed :)

The Bounty

I love to grocery shop when I have no time frame.  I just cruise up and down the aisles and scope out the goods.  I usually do most of my shopping at Trader Joe's, but I had to use that gift card!  I also love to go after the gym; I always feel motivated, healthy, and just plain awesome, and in turn, I make great food choices.

PB of choice on the right, intriguing PB on the leftt.
One way I try to help myself make good choices throughout the week, is that I come home from the grocery store and immediately get to work.  I boil half of my dozen of eggs, then just pop them back in the carton in the back row (B is for back and boiled).  In addition, I almost always make some sort of meal that I can divide into containers to have quick, ready to go meals for lunches or dinners.  I just feel so inspired to cook when I get home.  Today's dish was completely from my brain, no internet recipe inspiration, nadda.  It just kind of developed.

Garlic and Herb Chicken and Cauliflower
Boy, is it delicious!  You can find the recipe over on the recipes page!

I also made some quinoa to go along with it, divided it up into a few containers (2 with chicken and cauli, 1 of just quinoa to use later with something)

Instant lunches!  Just heat and eat :)

Ok, I'm full...the only downside of grocery shopping is I tend to snack the whole time on all of the new goodies I bought to try!  But, guess that just counts as my lunch.  I think I'll try to grab a wink or two before heading into work tonight...yay retail.

Today's lesson learned:
Going to the grocery store when you're not hungry is something we've all heard; that's physical.  What about your mental state?  If you go to the grocery store when you're feeling great, confident, happy, and motivated, you'll make much better choices in every aisle.  Fo sho!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School

Well, I survived!  Day one of Kindergarten.  Complete!  It's amazing how you wait for what seems like forever to finally get 'the' job you went to school for.  I finally have it and I'm just like, huminahuminahumina...I finally have it?  What????

There were surprisingly no tears, no blood, and only a little bit of sweat...I'm OK with that!

So if you've been reading, today was a f'real back on the wagon day.  And guess what?  It happened!

Breakfast was a banana almond protein pancake (recipe to come) with some peanut butter and honey on top.  Of course it was enjoyed on the way to school, I just felt like I had a million things to do and couldn't justify sitting down to eat!

Our day was basically complete chaos when it came to anything that wasn't in my room...recess, lunch, dismissal, etc.  But, that was to be expected because not only was it the first day of school, we are a K-2 building, and we are a brand new school.  So, we didn't even have a previous year's plan to work from.  We made it though!

I was able to sneak away for about 4.68 seconds to inhale my lunch while the kids were at recess...sorry, no picture!  It was a gordita from Trader Joe's smothered in salsa.  Honestly, the picture is unimportant.  It looks like a yellow CD, but it's filled with refried beans and cheese.  YUM!  A side of corn was with it and a plum.  And maybe a snickers.  A fun size one though!  Considering the rest of the trash on the counters in the faculty room, I did preeeeetttty darn well :)

While still at school I got a text from Keefer asking me if I was going to the gym.  Yeahhhh, it's a good thing he did because I was leaning towards no.  But no!  The wagon!  By this point I was subconsciously mantra-ing myself, "I will work out. I will work out."  I fought with myself the whole way home (a whole 15 minutes) and got inside, and just went straight upstairs, got my clothes out without thinking about it, got changed and ran out the door. Literally! 

I went on a nice 2 mile run that about half of consisted running up a hill that is practically straight up.  F'reals.  It felt soooo good though!  Momasita needed me to stop by tonight so I ran in the direction of her house and ended up there at the end of my run.  

Dinner was waiting!  It was Newman's Own Margherita pizza.  I had never had it before but it was delicious, especially with some red hot, and half of the pizza was about 400 calories.  Appropriate for a good choice dinner!  I enjoyed a nice, leisurely .5 mile walk home as the sun was was so beautiful outside!

Today's lesson learned:
Even if you spend 11 hours at work with 20 Kindergarteners, you might not want to work out afterwards.  It helps to find someone to hold you accountable, to send you a text/phone call/IM asking if you're going to work out today.  It's a lot harder to not work out when you either have to lie to that person or just say no and you end up feeling guilty either way!  So find a buddy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Look Under the Table

Tomorrow is the first day of school!!!  OMG. HOLY COW. YIKES.  I'll leave it at that.

So, recently I've been mentioning this 'wagon.'  You know, that wagon that is exactly what you 'want' to be doing at all times.  We fall off, we get back on, we fall off, we get back on, we fall off, we get bruised and scraped, then we try to get back on again.  Today was my day to get back on.  I fell off for about 2 weeks, yikes!  From my heaviest, I had lost a nice 30ish lbs. in a good hearty streak, then student teaching and moving to the city and such actually put about 10 back on me.  But, since about March or so, I dropped that added 10, plus 30ish more; a few weeks ago I was a few pounds shy of a complete total loss of 60!  Then I hit a bump in the road (also known as life), got thrown off of the wagon, and I seriously feel like I've gained 10 lbs. in 2 weeks!  So this has been my longest off wagon time in quite a while...

There are so many people, books, magazines, articles, etc. that say, "Don't worry about the's all about how you feel!"  So, putting aside any numbers the scale may say, I FEEL like I've gained 10 lbs.  Therefore, my wagon mounting was scheduled for today.  Good eats and gym time all the way.  Ready. Go.

I showed up to school with my lunch box packed full of salad, fruit, veggies, and granola.  We find out at our morning meeting that pizza will be ordered for us for lunch (since everyone was in a frenzy with last minute touches to rooms, curriculum, etc.).  Ok, I can deal with that... as much as I love pizza, I ate a reasonable amount and was proud of myself!  Then I went to see the faculty room (our whole school was remodeled so it was finally done...and beautiful!)  There was candy in 3 separate baskets, individual packages of cookies (Nutter Butters, Oreos, etc.), and butter popcorn ready to be popped on the microwave.  The ladies who decorated and left it all are amazing women from our Missouri support team, so nothing against them, but why can't the whole world just all decide to make good choices???

Now here is the kicker.  There was a staff surprise scheduled for 3pm.  We show up, and the same lovely ladies planned an ice cream bar for us.  Sheesh.  Thanks ladies, but no thanks.  I'd be happy with a high 5.

Why does it have to be this hard???

I left school ASAP to make it to the gym. YAY!  I had yoga and spin planned out and I was looking forward to them all day.  Seriously!  To my dismay, either from stress, dehydration, sugar or all of the above, I developed an intense headache that I cursed for many hours leading up to the gym.  I wanted to go so badly :(  I still went, hoping yoga would make it go away...although it helped a little, it was still pretty killer so I skipped spin.  But you know what?  I still see that as a plus, not a minus!  Yeah, I didn't take one of the classes I had planned on taking, but I did make it TO the gym (which has been hard to do these last 2 weeks) and I took a class even though I had a killer headache.

Today's Lesson Learned:
Sometimes you are so pumped to get back on the wagon, then someone screw drivers your knee and you fall flat on your face.  Tomorrow is a new day, take pride in even small accomplishments, and check under the table for any strangers with screw drivers tomorrow when you climb back on your wagon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back in Action

Ok, I lied.  Those who follow me on Facebook were promised a post yesterday, but it never happened.  I have an excuse though!  I was supposed to work at 5, but got called to work at 1 so I had zero time to do so.  So, you get it today.  After like 3 weeks with no posts.  Cause I'm awesome like that.  I'm going to try to not let it happen again.  Promise!

So, why the no posts for a while?  Well, this blog is new and I'm still getting into the swing of things, and after about a nice steady week of posts, the most amazing thing happened.  I was HIRED as a KINDERGARTEN teacher at a new charter school in my area!  It was a long process and I knew for months that I 'might' be hired (depending upon enrollment), but it was finally made official last week.  Therefore, life got in the way.  Working at helping set up the school during renovations, setting up my room, talking to parents, etc.

Just a warning, this post is not at all food related, more life related.

I'm a huge supporter of a 'no excuses' life style when it comes to working out.  In the words of my mother, "it's like brushing your teeth, you just do it!"  Last school year I would work three days a week from 8-4 at school, then 5-10 at the mall.  Get home, go to bed and do it all over again.  The 2 days a week where I didn't work both jobs, it was tough to get to the gym when all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and recover.  But you know what?  That doesn't get results.  I was going to the gym on those 2-3 days off a week but that wasn't enough.  I took a deep breath and made the commitment to work out 5-6 days a week, and to do that, I had to make another commitment; 6am workouts.  Once again, I can't express how great group fitness (after the mac and cheese pic) is.  It is a lot easier to get out of bed when you know you HAVE to be there because class starts at 6.  My class of choice at 6am?  SPIN!

I can hear everyone moaning now...ohhh geeze...6am???  Then work straight through til 10pm?  (don't forget the half hour drive home)  But guess're not going to believe it...but it is the 100% truth..........readdddyyy?  I had MORE energy to get me through pre-school and kindergarten (aka shoppers at the mall) when I worked out at 6am than when I just did both jobs without the gym in the morning!  I promise!  I know, it sounds like, "oh, just put your hand in the lawn mower; I promise it won't hurt!"  But I'm serious.

Grand opening celebration is tomorrow night and the first day of school is on Wednesday.  Yikes!  But, that means only working ONE job 5 days a week!  Know what else that means?  I'm back on my gym schedule and I cannot wait.  I can hear it down the street calling my name.  As nice as it seems sometimes to not go, in the end, I miss it and so does my body.  My mind feels it too.  Know what else feels it?  My sleep schedule.  I sleep so much better when I'm on a good gym schedule.  Nice and sound.  Head hits the pillow and I'm O.U.T.

So Tuesday, I'm back in action.

Today's lesson learned:
It's ok to fall off the wagon.  We all do it.  You're a super hero if you never fall off the wagon; 10 points to you!  The important thing is how you get back on it.  Take a deep breath, lift those legs one at a time, and boost your bottom back on that wagon.  And keep on rollin'.  Rollin'.  Tina Turner style.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bringing Down 'The (restaurant) Man'

I know, I know...I lied.  It happens.  I told allllllllll of my loyal blog followers that I would tell you how to beat the system at Qdoba; and then I didn't tell you!  I'm so sorry!  A gal can get a little distracted when you spend eight hours with these munchkins:



They're getting so big!

Baby Jay on the ipad.  Yes, he is 18 months.

So my Qdoba secret.  It all started with ordering a regular naked chicken burrito (burrito in a bowl with no tortilla).  Did you know most tortillas used in restaurants average about 400 calories?  Juuuuust for the tortilla?  Yikes!  And what for?  You barely taste it, it's empty white processed carbs, and let me repeat, 400 calories!  I also skip the cheese and sour cream.  But moving was always a little too much, so I ended up forcing the last part down because it wasn't enough to save for later.  Not to mention, almost 8 dollars for just the burrito.  No drink, nada.  I needed a new game plan.

I did some research on their menu online and found that they have kids naked burritos.  Yeah, it says for kids under 12, but the majority of restaurants (not just Qdoba) will let you order (don't be afraid to ask!).  Kids menus have a lot of the same great food you want to order, but usually a smaller portion size and smaller price!  I've never been told I couldn't order from the kids menu :)

Here is my creation:

- Kids naked chicken burrito
- Black beans (richer nutritional value than pinto - higher in antioxidants and fiber)
- Chicken
- At this point ask them to transfer it from the teeeny bowl they make it in 'so you have room to mix it up with out making a mess'
- Corn salsa, as much mango salsa as they will legally allow me to have, a little hot salsa
- No cheese, no sour cream, no guac
- LOTS of lettuce.  They put some on, I ask for more.  Then I ask for more. 
- Don't forget to add some Cholula! 


They don't have a button to just purchase a kids burrito, so you have to get the whole meal.  The meal includes apple sauce (natural with no sugar added!) and a milk or pop.  All for under $5!  Yaaahooo!  Boy am I stuffed after eating it too...

Does anyone else have a secret ninja, delicious, money saving idea from any other restaurants?

Gotta get myself together...rooms and I are headed to pilates, meeting up with mom for church, then for a nice run this evening.  A long one too.  I hope she reads this and finds out what is in store for her :)

Today's lesson learned:
Don't be afraid to get creative when eating out!  It is ok to order from the kids menu; it doesn't matter if the server thinks your crazy, or the people you are with think you're weird.  The server is probably jealous she didn't think of it sooner and the people you are with aren't worth being with if they don't support your choice to make a better choice by ordering from the kids menu. 

 Go out and give it a shot!  Let me know how it goes :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Photoshoot Phun

Today's food?  Pizza and fro-yo.  Yeah, I'm pretty much going to call it a scratch and move on with my life.

Not to mention, my usual Saturday morning gym plans (BodyPump and Spin) were cancelled because I was having photos taken.  I know, I'm a star!    Chelsey is starting a small photography company and needs to build up her portfolio, so Momsy, Brudder and I thought it would be fun to have some photos taken!  The last time bro and I had professional pictures taken, we were both seniors in high school.  Before that?  Probably some Easter pictures from Sears when we were 7.  No joke.

So anyways, we bounced around the 500 acre park near my house, had a few outfit changes, and got some really nice shots.  I even took a couple to spruce up the blog!  Hopefully a new header/banner will be coming soon!  :D

That's how we ended up getting pizza; Chels did such a great job that she had to be treated to some of the best pizza around and that is just exactly what we did.  Plus, we needed a chance to flip through some shots!

Chelsey later instagramed this picture and I got jealous that the Android market doesn't offer it.  But, I'll get over it.  Maybe.

Small flash back...Chels and I had a photo shoot back in college and it was soooo much fun!




Today's lesson learned:
Sometimes you just need to forget the weekly grind, forget about all of the stuff you fixate on, get outside with people you love, have a blast taking pictures and eat pizza.  And fro-yo.  And then want more fro-yo when you disappointed yourself in fro-yo flavor/topping choices.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Plan to Make a Plan

I kind of failed on the whole pictures of my food thing today.  Whoops.  I was busy, alright?!?  Gimmie a break, I'm still new at this :)  Eggs, whole wheat french toast, and turkey bacon for bfast, cucumber/tomato/onion salad for lunch, an iced coffee, a couple bites of my left over burger from yesterday for lunch, and a protein shake and some Asian snack mix for dinner.  My day was wacky, so my eating was too.  Eh...tomorrow is a new day!  Which reminds me... I need to plan it out...

This is super easy, lasts in the fridge, and yummy!  I just make a huge bowl and snack on it through the week.  This bowl was about 3 cucumbers, 2 tomatos, and 1 vadallia onion.  Cut them up, and toss it with  some olive oil, rice vinegar, salt, pepper and a little dash of sweetner (I like to use agave nectar).  I would list measurements, but it's all about personal taste!  I like mine tangy but Keefer likes it a little more mild.  

So, anyways, planning.  We all need to do it, some try a little more than others, and there is a decent handful that plan correctly and see everything through successfully.  Personally, I try to make a plan, but I am flexible and resourceful when it might not go 'as planned.'  I would have to say that part of the successes that I have reached, were because of planning.  After a while, what used to be a planned activity becomes a habit and that is an amazing thing.  When you were little, your parents had 'made plans' for you to brush your teeth before you went to bed, but after a while, it just became a habit because it was planned so often and it was also planned predictably.  The same goes for healthy living!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect.  I'm not a robot, I'm a real girl!  I promise.  Pinky promise.  But, I do try my best to do as I should.  When I talked before about planning out your workout, I mentioned how group fitness really aids in that process, but you don't have to have a class to have a plan.  Every night before I go to bed I plan out what is happening the next day; which job I have to be at when, what/how/when I'll be eating, and most importantly; when I will be exercising.  Mom has been telling me for yeaaaaarrrssss, "Exercising has to be like brushing your just do it!"  Thanks momsy, it finally clicked for me  :)

When I plan to go for a run in the morning before work, I kind of actually get myself psyched up for it, I look forward to it, and it's not so hard to wake up when you're looking forward to something.  Yeah, it's a mind game...but it's definitely a game I'm willing to play!

For example, let me walk you through how my planning will go for my day tomorrow.  I work at 7am until noon (weird short truck shift) and then I will head to babysit from 2pm until late into the evening.  Maybe 10ish?  First up, when will I work out??!?!  I'm all about getting up early, but I just got home from BodyPump and Kickboxing and working out again less than 12 hours later after all that stress is a bit much for the 'ol body.  Babysitting is out near the mall so I can't go would be ok to rest tomorrow, it wouldn't ruin my life, but guess what!?  They have OnDemand!  Did you know about all of the FREEEE exercise videos OnDemand?  You must check it out.  Go. Now. Leave a comment about what you found!  When the kids go down to bed, I'll pull up a workout on the TV and use the living room.  Task planned.

Now on to the food... breakfast is easy because I'll be at home and I'll probably have one of my favorite and staple breakfasts on the go:  peanut butter french toast!

Like my plate?  I told you I don't do glam.

Mallory's Famous French Toast
- 1 slice Trader Joe's 7 grain french toast (cooked in toaster)
- 1 Tb. natural peanut butter
- Generous sprinkle of ground flax seed
- Generous sprinkle of slivered almonds
- Light drizzle of honey

Lunch will have to happen on the road because I'll be done at work and I'll be starving if I wait to get to babysitting.  So, I'm planning out right now, a trip to Qdoba.  I have a super special ninja meal I get that is delicious, cheap, a good choice, and oh so ninja.  Check back tomorrow for the deets.  But shhhhh...keep it on the DL.

Dinner.  Now that is tricky.  I have a few options here.  I could pack something to take with me (probably the best option) or hope they have something there that would fall into my 'good choice' category.  Knowing myself, and my 'eat it all now because you may never see it again' binge streaks (which are at their worst when I babysit), I am deciding now, right here for the world to see, to pack myself a dinner.  Yeah, it takes a few extra minutes of my time.  But you know what?  It's worth it.  Like, 134 times a million worth it.  I'll go to babysitting with the mind set that I brought my good choice with me, and nothing is going to bring me down!

So there you go, that's how my mind works.  I personally believe that the 5 minutes I just took planning out at least an outline of my day tomorrow will really benefit me in the long run.  Yeah, I'll still have to reel in the binge monster when I get to babysiting, and it will be a challenge, but I'm hoping by bringing my own food, I'll be consistently reminding myself what I'm working towards.  That's my plan anyway.

Today's lesson learned:
Make a plan.  The plan might not go as planned; it might even derail into oblivion, but at least you have got your mind going in the right direction.  Working without a plan, all willy nilly and such, can and will lead to bad choices.  Who wants those?  Not this girl.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It Doesn't Have to be Glamorous

Hi there!

Knowing today was going to start with work from 7am-3pm, a physical appointment at 4, and yoga at 5:30 (group fitness, it fits in your schedule!), I had to make sure I had everything packed and ready to go.  That included a change of clothes and most importantly, my food.  I work at a mall.  Do you know what else is at the mall?  The food court.  Auntie Ann's. Etc.  Guess what I shouldn't be eating?  The food court.  Auntie Ann's.  Etc.  If you plan ahead and pack ahead, you'll be a lot less tempted to binge at the food court, you'll save money, and feel better about yourself!  Here is how today's packing went:

Stop it.  Stop making fun of my lunch.  I know, it looks ridiculous, doesn't it?  Where is all of the glamorous, delicious looking food?  What even IS all of that?  Glad you asked!  Since I get an hour lunch and a 15 minute break, plus I needed something to eat after work and snack before the gym, I had a lot of packing to do; plus make breakfast!

From left to right:  fresh cherries, chili peans, lemon balance bar, smores Z bar, lunch roll up ingredients (discussed later), and my breakfast.  On top is a frozen yogurt sqqqqquuiiissshher and a bottle of water that I filled and drank about 6 times today.  Well hello potty, yes, we are best friends.  FYI:  You know you're drinking enough water when your pee looks like should NOT look like apple juice  :)

Yeah, it's a mish mash of stuff, but you know what?  I looked forward to every part of it and that is what is most important.  I looked forward to my 15 minute break when I got eat my yummy chili peas instead of meadering around the mall and randomly getting a pretzel.  I looked forward to lunch when I got to try a new experimental food of mine...are you ready for it?  It's the inspiration for the title of this post...ready...don't be it comes...

Chicken Sausage Roll Up!

Ok ok, I know...ew.  Say it.  I know you're thinking it.  But it's ok, you can judge me.  Guess what though?  It was delicious!  No, it doesn't look great, no it's not on a fancy, pretty plate, no the picture is not top quality.  What matters here is that it was a healthy choice: a jalapeno chicken sausage (free of nitrates and nitrites), lite Muenster cheese, and lower carb, whole wheat tortilla.  Cook sausage for 1 minute in the microwave, remove it, place cheese on tortilla, microwave for a a minute to melt cheese, add sausage, roll it up!  See how gooey the cheeeeeeeese is?  I'm starting to change you're mind, aren't I?!  It was accompanied by the cherries and lunch was definitely enjoyed.

My squiiiissshhher stayed in the freezer at work for another day, I wanted it for the taste, but was I decided to save it.  

So after work, which went by quite quickly because I was working truck today and got to hide in the back, away from customers, and just process stuff all day, I headed to el doctor! A basic physical was on the agenda...blood pressure was great, my resting heart rate is 50 (athletic category!), and I'm overall a healthy gal.  w00t!  I requested blood work to check on my cholesterol and such just because I've never had it checked and there is a first time for everything.  Plus we aren't sure if I've ever had the chicken pox.  Yikes.  So that will be checked in my blood too.  Here is the best part though; they weighed me and entered it on my chart.  I of course then asked what it was last year when I was there, and there was a 30lb difference!  My doctor was not nearly as stoked as me, but I guess she falls into that one category I talked about in my Journey.

From the doctor to the gym for yoga, 1.5 mile run on the treadmill while waiting for spin to start, then finally spinning with momsy and brudder.  Gym buddies!  I can tell I'm starting to wear down a bit, but that's ok...I have a planned rest day tomorrow that I get to spend with Keefer!  <3

Came home, made a chocolate strawberry protein smoothie and enjoyed its creamy goodness while chatting away with Keefer before he heads in to work.  He may or may not have complained about my crunchy multi-grain cheerios that I enjoyed in my bowl-style smoothie.  Whoops  :P

Today's lesson learned:
Don't worry about how something looks, how it's packaged, what it's served on, or anything of the sort.  If it's a good choice, it tastes awesome, and it will make you feel great about your self; EAT IT!  Yeah, my lunch got some weird looks from my manager who I shared a lunch break with, but guess what, I didn't care!  I rocked it, loved it, and devoured it.   And will probably repeat the lunch again tomorrow.  Score.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweat x 3 = Feel the Burrrrn

I had the whole day off from my retail job, which usually doesn't happen on Mondays, and since I don't know how to relax because I'm always go go go, I went to the gym!  On Mondays, there is an instructor, Ivan, that teaches kickboxing and it's usually a rockin' class that kicks your butt.  So off I went and although it was still a calorie scorcher, it wasn't what I remember taking the last few times I went to it.  I think it might be that since it is in the morning on a weekday, a lot of older people take the class, so he simplified it a little more for the crowd.  When I work out in a class, I like to challenge my body AND my mind.  Before the gym though, I grabbed a quick snack on my way out the door because working out on an empty stomach is a no no...but I'll write a post about that later!

I went straight from the gym to help a friend move and for a few hours...aka sweat for 2 more hours while lifting heavy things and moving them to and fro.  Always fun  :)

Finally made it home to relax for a bit and made my self some lunch.  Today it was leftovers made from leftovers...score!  I've been craving some mac and cheese lately but I usually can't justify it.  It doesn't have much protein (especially the Kraft variety), it doesn't have many other nutrients in it, and it's a refined white carb.  The other day, though, I found the Annie's variety of mac and cheese and it looks and pretty much tastes, exactly like Kraft, but with whole grain noodles and organic ingredients.  Slightly more justified by this point.  So the first round of left overs came from the steamed vegetables I made the other day when Keefer and I made some delicious chicken.  I cut the broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower into smaller pieces and mixed them into the whole pot.  Viola! Completely justified mac and cheese!

With 2 small plumbs and a big bottle of H2O
After lunch, I'm not gonna lie...I took a nap.  I good 1.5 hour nap and I was zonked out.  But, since I had the whole day off, I planned something intense.  Are you ready for this?  I went to three group fitness classes today.  It's not something I do all of the time, and is definitely not something I suggest doing all of the time, but once in a while is AOK.  The alarm went off and roomie and I left for BodyPump and Step.  Now, if someone would have asked me, "hey, let's go to the gym today for 3 hours!" I would said, " yo, you crazy?"  But here's what makes it pretty easy, seriously, easy! :  Group fitness!

Group fitness gives you a plan.  It gives you somewhere to be at a certain time.  We've all been there, you're at home and saying, "ohh, well, I'll get up and go in a little bit."  Then a little bit turns into an hour, then an hour turns into three, and you've lost every last bit of motivation that you once had.  But with group fitness, in the morning you say, "hey, I'm going to kickboxing tonight and it starts at 5:30."  So guess what, instant appointment.  It's easier to put on a calendar if you need to; to help manage your time better.  Once you're at class, it gets even easier because guess what?  You don't have to plan our a routine.  You just show up and someone tells you what to do!  Finally, there is a whole group of other people there to do what you're doing.  Yeah, some find it intimidating to work out infront of others, "what if I make a fool out of myself?  what if I can't do it right?"  Well, guess what, get over it.  Seriously.  Suck it up and just do it.  As long as your moving, you're burning calories!  Who cares!  We're all in the same boat!  Not to mention, with all of those people around you, it pushes you to put forth more effort because who wants to look like a weakling...not this girl!  I like to think if I'm really going at it, I might inspire someone else in the room to kick it up a notch.  Other definitely do that for me!

We came home and I made myself a delicious fresh mango protein smoothie!

Fresh mango smoothie:
8oz skim milk
1 scoop designer whey vanilla protein powder
6 ice cubes
1 fresh mango, cubed
1 handful fresh spinach
(I promise you can't taste it, but you get all of the nutrients and it makes it a lovely shade of green!)

Add in blender with the heaviest ingredients on the top of the pile, lid on, blend!  Enjoy!

Today's lesson learned:
Three hours at the gym is never easy, especially in the motivation department, and shouldn't be tackled all of the time. When you add group fitness into the mix, however, you have an instant appointment, a pre-laid out game plan, and increased motivation to feel the burn.  Go out and find a class near you

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eyes > Stomach

Well, today was eventful, challenging, and all around a good time!

The day started by walking a half mile to meet up with Momsy at Frick Park and from there we took off running...literally!  Threeish miles later, we were covered in sweat (luckily it hadn't topped 100 degrees yet for the day), and we parted ways.  I ran the last half mile home, had a good stretch (so important!) and hosed off to get all perty.

Why was I getting all perty?  To go out to eat with my dad and brother.  Most people would think, hoooray!  Yummy food!  Me?  I think, oh great, what am I going to 'want' to eat versus what 'should' I eat.  Anxiety starts to build, I don't want to make bad choices, but sometimes that wonderful, colorful, practically scratch and sniff picture on the menu, calls your name.  Do you hear it?  "Malllorrrryyyy, eaaattt mmeee!!! I'm sooo juiiiccyyy and deliciouuussss..."  But in the end, I made the good choice and got "The Lean Machine".  They really need to do something about the turkey patty though, it needs a garnish or something...doesn't exactly look appealing does it?  It was pretty rubbery actually.  Look at that fruit cup though!  It even had kiwi!  Yum.

Part of the menu picture's thousand words should also include "I'm sooo greasssyyy and full of cheemmiicalls and extremeeellllyy hyperpalatablleeee!"  Hyperpalatable?  What's that you ask?  I know I make up a lot of words, but that one is a real word. I promise!

 Let me break it down:

Our bodies crave sugar, fats, and salt.  Think of all of your favorite foods...what are they reallllly made of?  High in sugar?  Yes.  High in fats?  Most likely.  Laden in salt?  Probs.  The majority of the time, your favorite food is actually sugars, on top of fats, on top of salts, on top of more sugars, on top of more fats.  Get the drift?  So, this hyperpalatable food...what is it?  Former FDA Commissionar David Kesslar, who wrote the book The End of Overeating, describes it: "hyperpalatable" foods -- those loaded with fat, sugar, and salt -- stimulate the senses and provide a reward that leads many people to eat more to repeat the experience.   Aka, we overeat.  A great personal example would be from the movies the other day.  I was completely ok with not getting any snacks; I could just say no.  But when Keefer wanted some during Harry Potter, I thought I could just eat a little bit.  Before I knew it, I was double fisting and shoveling it into my mouth faster than I could chew it.  Guess what that popcorn is extremely high in?  Fats and salts.  Imagine that, I was overeating.  If you're interested in knowing some more, I'll probably do another post on it again soon so check back!  Or send me an email, leave a comment, or check out the book.  Library = freeeeeeeee!

Seeing as though I'm basically never home, I left brunch and some shopping with dad and Brudder to head back into the city to check out the new Target with mom.  It's huuuuuge.  Best part?  They have a cart escalator.  You push your cart through a door, it catches on a track and rides up next you!  So cool.  Why is there an escalator?  It is two floors!  I'm a dork and get way too excited about it. I know.  Deal with it.  Moving on.

By this time, it wasn't worth going home for an hour or so before church, so guess what we did?  Eat!  I felt really good about my choices at breakfast so a good choice for dinner was my game plan.  We headed to one of our favorite little cafes called Eat Unique.  They have a very vegetable based menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads and live up to their name with unique offerings.  Today's choice was the summer sandwich.

Fresh mozzarella, tomato, spinach, and onions with a pesto spread on focaccia.


So I felt great making another good choice.  Yeah, the bread is decently high in calories, but the rest of the sandwich is very low, so it balances out a little.  Hindsight 20/20, however, I should have just ordered a half.  Especially knowing that the bread was decently caloric.  Or, as another option, eat it open faced which takes away half of the bread with all of the cheesy, vegetably goodness.  My eyes are always bigger than my stomach.  Lesson learned for next time, right?  Also, with Razzy Fresh across the street, I'm pretty sure I should have known to save some room.  

Cake batter and triple chocolate with more fruit than yogurt
(plus my usual 2 tiny pieces of cookie dough!)

It was a nice day with some great people.  Maybe I should have taken pictures of actual people instead of food?  Ha!  

Today's lesson learned:  Your eyes are ALWAYS bigger than your stomach.  Not sometimes, not occasionally  ALWAYS.  And FOREVER times a MILLION.  Order less, you'll be happy you did.  Not to mention, now you can walk around sounding all smart because you can use hyperpalatable in a sentence.  You're welcome.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Purse Interest

One of my biggest fans, Chelsey, is someone I can not talk to for a few weeks (even though I think about calling her daily and for someone reason just never dial) and we can pick right back up when we see each other.  I was so excited yesterday to get to spend the day with her!  We did some shopping, where I got some great deals (!) and hit up Panera for lunch.  I love Panera.  I had never had it until I was in college and they deserve major props for voluntarily listing their calories on their menu.  Right up there for all of the world to see!  My favorite combo used to be half Turkey Bacon Bravo (with extra bravo sauce) and a cup of broccoli cheddar with a baguette.  And I thought that was a good choice.  Well, it an was better than getting a whole-stuff-you-face-with-12-lbs-of-meats kind of sandwich, but still not a really good choice.  These days, it's a cup of broccoli cheddar and a half salad.  Yeah, broccoli cheddar still isn't probably the best choices of the soups, but I have to enjoy what I'm eating!  Has anyone tried their Thai chicken salad?  Delish.  Yum.  Hoorah!  Now here's the kicker all you Panera eaters...that baguette?  The chewy, bready, delicious log that goes so well in your soup?  It's 200 calories!  Of refined white carbs!  Skip it.  Go with an apple, you'll be happy you did :)  Those are my orders.  Ready go.

Chelsey, the artsy pants of this relationship, has recently been pumping out bags/purses and flaunting them around Facebook for all to see.  Two birthdays ago, I was gifted the promise of a clutch.  The clutch never came to be...but when the purses started to arise, I decided that 2 years of craft interest on a clutch is about equal to one purse.  Agree?  Agree.  So off to JoAnn's!  Twenty five minutes in the check-out line and 3.92 million digits later (coupon codes, who pays full price?!?!) we had my fabric for my bag.  Can't wait!

Super cute vintage buttons accompanied as well

The night ended with 1.5432 hours in the car with roomie sitting in traffic trying to get to the Pirate game, being fed up with traffic, parking at Consol to get out of traffic sooner, booking it across town to meet up with Keefer and Brudder, checking in at the tailgate through my work, and finally calming down a bit to grab some grub.  Two hot dogs a hot dog and two heaping plate fulls of watermelon based fruit salad (sooo refreshing!) and we were ready to get to our seats.  A reasonable $12 got us an all you can eat tailgate and tickets to the game on a free shirt friday.  Not a bad deal!  It pays to be cheap and sit in peanut heaven sometimes; we were under the awning during the rain :)

Love me some 'Cutch!

Thanks for sending the pick Rooms!

Fun was had by all and the cotton candy man is definitely trying to fill Kenny the Lemonade man's shoes after his passing.

Today's lesson learned:
Most restaurants will provide nutritional information online or upon request, but only cool, awesome, fantastic restaurants voluntarily plaster it up on their menu for the world to see.  Rock on.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It sure is a scorcher here in the 'burgh!  Heat index over 100 yesterday, today, tomorrow, and who knows for how long.  I saw a picture somewhere that said "Satan called; he wants his weather back."  HA!

Today started with a nice breakfast with the Keefer and we both got the breakfast buffet.  Needless to say, we were in, full, and out within what seemed like 15 minutes.  Buffets can be scary because they are soooo all you can eat, but I take the approach of having just a bite or two of all the things I want; in the end, I'm satisfied and haven't gorged myself.

Gorging however, came into play at lunch.  Not actual gorging, but maybe a bit more than I should have.  I met up with a new friend of mine from my retail job and we've been talking about how much she wants to try pizza around the 'burgh.  She met the right girl.  I. love. pizza.  Before this blog, I debated starting one called Pittsburgh Pizzas (or something a little more catchy...any ideas?) Where I would go on and on about all of the new pizzas I try.  They would get rated, papparazzi-ed, and most importantly, tasted!  Today we ended up at Mineo's.  Their walls, plastered with awards, should tell you something (wish I had a picture!).  It is amazing.  It's definitely not an eat every day kind of pizza, but definitely one of favorites.  See, I could write a whole post about it!  Maybe I'll still start that blog in the ideas please!  We ordered a large pizza and when I went up the counter to pick it up, and asked for plates, the guy asked me how many.  When I said 2, a nice old man standing there was like, "Wow, that's alot of pizza for just two young girls!"  I just responded with, "We love our pizza and we're going to try our best!"  Needless to say, we had to wrap up the extras in boxes for both of us and headed out.  I planned on dropping the extras of to Momsy, but no lie, she was sitting at the stop light right outside the pizza place.  So she got curbside service from a loving daughter :)

On to Razzy Fresh!  YUM.  It was consumed wayyy to fast to snap a pic.  Remember the heat wave?  Yeah.  Banana and cake batter, nuts, strawberries, kiwi, drizzle of honey (it gets so gooooey!), and my usual 1 tiny glob of cookie dough.  I'm cool like that.

But alas, my belly was full and my body was craving some cardio.  Met up with Momsy, felt super empowered after kick boxing, stuck around and killed some time until BodyPump (a great explanation from Casandra through Gina's blog) with the Brudda.  He is doing such a great job at the gym...seeing some results and looking great!

I'm a schweaty mess, full from my mango banana green monster smoothie and tuckered out.

Run time in the AM! If...a big IF...the heat wave doesn't kill me.  Yay.

Points to ponder:
Pizza blog name ideas?

What's your favorite thing to do when it's 8.43 million degrees outside?
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