Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and Musings: 6/29/2012

Weight: 128.2
Body Fat %: 19.7 + 3 = 22.7%
Measurements: 34"-26"-34"-20"
------------------------------------------

I'm still puffy from my first NROLFW Stage 2 workout. My glutes and hamstrings are still sore. I took some more progress pictures to see if anything's changed, but I can't see any discernible differences yet. Maybe in a couple more months!

Wedding Venues
I had a rather disheartening weekend last week. Despite the rave reviews of Mill Falls, I found the room that they would have booked us into lacking. It smelled off, like grease and mildew, and it did not look big enough to house all the people and a dance floor. I suspect the other ballroom for bigger weddings was much nicer but didn't get to see it. The Sheraton in Portsmouth was nice but it's a hotel and the room I liked didn't have any windows. That means it's back to the drawing board for us.

Deck Garden
My plants have been loving the weather around here lately.
Baby cilantros - Eric's happy about these!

The flowers

I think it's maxed out size-wise now.

Basil!

Zumba Instructor Training
My Zumba instructor training is tomorrow! I'll have a post up about it next week with pictures.

Doing anything fun this weekend? You know the drill!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NROLFW: Stage 1

As you guys know by now, I've been lifting. And when I say lifting, I mean lifting weights that have a good bit of heft to them. I've had The New Rules of Lifting for Women (henceforth known as NROLFW) sitting around on my Kindle since January of last year. I'd purchased it because I kept reading good things about it on the Calorie King forums but I never managed to find the time to work it into my workout schedule.You see, lifting heavy makes me sore and puffy all over. Yeah, I know it's because of the micro tears and the repair of said micro tears but it doesn't play well with running longer distances, so I didn't give the idea much more thought.

Until this year's running injury forced me to rein in my mileage and I needed a good replacement that would tire me out and help me keep my mental state on an even keel.  I decided to bite the bullet (finally) and start the NROLFW program. I decided that I'd do only two workouts a week so that I could still have time to do Zumba and a single low mileage (2-3) run a week. I went to download the workout template from the website only to find that I didn't really like how it was organized. I'm not much of a clean freak, but I do love organizing things. I was probably one of those kids who likes to organize things into piles by colors or shapes, but we'd have to ask my mom. Anyhow, I digress.

I typed up some cleaner and more organized logs for the Stage 1 workouts and stuck them into a three ring binder.
Yup, I use dividers too.

I was familiar with all of the exercises already and wasn't the least bit intimidated by the weight room, despite all the ridiculous myths propagated by women's health and fitness magazines. I started conservatively and added 5lbs a week to most of my exercises, occasionally jumping up 10lbs when I transitioned to a lower rep set. I'm pretty impressed with my stage 1 results:
I only completed the special workouts for Workout A because my butt muscles were aggravated for the second half of that week and I decided it was probably a better idea not to aggravate them further. I clearly underestimated my upper body strength when it comes to the seated row.

I did take progress pictures but I'm not going to post them until the very end of this NROLFW adventure, so now it's onto Stage 2!

Have you done NROLFW before? What'd you think?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Injury Report

I think all runners dread the possibility that they may one day get injured to the point where it's no longer prudent to run. Worse yet, I think people who have lost a lot of weight fear the day they can no longer do their primary and favorite form of exercise.

It's certainly been a mixed emotional bag for me.

When I first realized that running just made things worse, I got sad. I cried. I moped. I quietly contemplated how surely this meant I was going to regain lost weight, because when that appears in my thoughts, I turn into a drama queen. As I realized I was turning into a rampant emotional twit (and driving Eric a little crazy), I also realized that I was in control of how I reacted to the situation and things wouldn't go poorly if I didn't let them. I stepped back and realized that baby steps would get me back where I wanted to be

I set up another appointment to see the doctor (a different one this time), who gave me a real diagnosis of gluteal strain and gave me a prescription for PT.

I set up an appointment to see the PT my friend and Zumba instructor Elena recommended.

I pulled my mileage back to a very small number (2-4 miles a week).

I started focusing on lifting heavy, dancing to my heart's content at Zumba three times a week and keeping my step count averaging 11K daily.

I went to my first two PT sessions with an open mind and a willingness to understand and fix the problem.

I signed up for a beginner's Pilates mat class at the studio where I also take Zumba.

Slowly but surely, everything is working together and I'm content. I'm even starting to realize that I don't miss running quite so much as I thought I would. I'm finding that the results from lifting heavy and the joy I get from dancing are more than enough to fill the void created by the lack of running. I would even go so far as to say that this injury has been a good reminder that there's more to health and wellness than just running.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and Musings: 6/22/2012

Weight: 127.4
Body Fat %: 20.5 + 3 = 23.5%
Measurements: 34"-26"-34"-20"
------------------------------------------

Work
Work sapped 95% of my energy this week. It was a particularly frustrating week. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place and constantly wracking my brain for each day's new problems. I'm sure it's not going to lighten up any time soon, so I'll simply have to stick with a positive can-do attitude.

Wedding
I'm heading out to tour two venues in NH tomorrow with my mom. We're going to check out The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls in Meredith (which is my current #1 pick) and the Sheraton in Portsmouth. That pretty much has us driving all over the state tomorrow. It'll be a miniature road trip. I'm rather excited (and slightly anxious) about touring the venues. It finally makes everything seem real. I'm also going to start dress shopping the week after Independence day and I'm even more excited about that. I finally get to wear a fancy dress for the first time in my life!

Deck Garden
I totally forgot to take pictures this morning. The summary? Everything is growing as fast as weeds. With the notable exception of that tomato plant that I attempted to save by putting a cage of chopsticks and twine around. That one's dead, I ripped it out of the pot this morning. I'm going to have to pick up some plants that are already started and plant it in there now. It's far too late to start anything from seed.

Creepy? Cute? Somewhere in the middle?
Since I'm touring venues tomorrow, I'm staying at my childhood home this evening. My mom has thoughtfully decorated my nightstand with this:
I think it's cute in a Tim Burtonesque sort of way, but Eric thinks it leans more into the creepy end of the spectrum.

So what do you think? Cute? Just a l'il creeper? Both?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kale Chips

Last year, I bought a dehydrator. It sat around unused for many months, until earlier this year when I realized that I wasn't getting my daily vitamin K requirement. I poked around the internet to figure out what an excellent source of vitamin K was and found out that kale was. I'd seen lots of people talking about making kale chips on their blogs and in the Calorie King forums, so I knew that was what I wanted to do with my kale. I purchased some kale, and Googled for recipes. My dehydrator definitely gets significantly more use now that I've started eating kale.

Kale Chips
1 head of kale
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Rip the kale leaves off the stem into smaller pieces and put them into a large bowl. Not too small though because they'll shrink significantly during dehydration.
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and spices and make a paste. Youcan use your hands or you can be a wimp like me and use gloves when you do it.
3. Pour the spice mixture over the kale and use your hands to massage the spice mixture onto the kale pieces. Make sure you get a good even coating all over!
4. Spread out the kale on the dehydrator racks and start it up using the directions for vegetables.

Do you have a dehydrator? What do you use yours for?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and Musings: 6/15/2012

Weight: 125.8
Body Fat %: 20.3 + 3 = 23.3%
Measurements: 34"-26"-34"-20"
------------------------------------------

The deck garden makes it's triumphant return...
 I had a mishap with my seedlings this year, in that I left for vacation to Sedona thinking they'd survive my absence. They didn't, so I had to ask my mom for a couple of her tomato plant seedlings. And then there was another tomato plant disaster. One morning, I opened my curtains to check on my plants and was dismayed to find that the tomato plant on the left had fallen over. The stem hadn't snapped completely so I was still hopeful, and went about caging the broken area in with chopsticks from sushi takeout and tying it up with twine.

Obviously that isn't working. I'm going to have to uproot the plant this weekend and grow something else in the pot. Currently, I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to put in there. I think a trip to the local Ace is in order.
 Last year, I did a pretty crappy job of growing cilantro and I let it bolt (essentially, flower and go to seed) before I could get anything edible out of it. Unfortunately, the bolting left me with a rather bitter, unpleasant tasting plant. This year I'm going to make sure I cut those little suckers back before they go to seed.

 Basil. Lots of basil. I'll use some for summer eating but the rest I'll dry with the dehydrator and save in some herb jars. That idea goes for the cilantro as well.
In my last pot, I have some flowers. I have convolvulus around the outside and dalhias in the middle. They're growing extremely well so I hope to actually have convolvulus flowers by the end of the season.


General lack of blogginess
Of late and as you might expect, I've been spending most of my time perusing the internet for wedding inspirations. I started a pinboard on Pinterest specifically for it. I'm also in the process of drafting some wedding related posts to share here. I could start a new blog for it, but I'm far too lazy and since this is a lifestyle blog, I'm just going to share it here.  Stay tuned for the proposal story, that's the first one I'm working on.

What's up for you this weekend? Lemme know with a comment down below! :)


Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In And Musings: 6/8/12

Weight: 126.8
Body Fat %: 19.8 + 3 = 22.8%
Measurements: 34"-26"-34"-20"
------------------------------------------

I'm bringing back my weekly weigh-ins and musing posts, just to add another level of accountability to things. My weight has been up a couple of pounds since the last time I did one of these posts. But I've been lifting a lot more so my body fat is trending downward and my measurements remain the same, so I'm not putting much thought into the number the scale says. I am however putting thought into how much more definition my arms are getting. It's extremely rewarding to see the results.

PT!
I had my initial PT assessment today and I learned two important things:
  1. My trunk doesn't communicate properly with my lower body.
  2. I don't have a muscle imbalance.
My core is strong enough to balance my lower body but it isn't activating when it should be so my lower body is the one running the show, when it really shouldn't be. My PT said it's basically like your lower body is a horse and your trunk is a distracted rider when it should be the one controlling the horse. Strange analogy but it works.

I have four homework exercises.
  • Clamshellls (for anyone who's ever taken a Pilates class, you know how much those things SUCK)
  • Single sided knee fallouts
  • Deep belly breathing
  • Leg slideouts
I have to make sure that my pelvis stays put during each exercise. It's pretty hard, I gotta say. PT man said I was a quick study though, which bodes well for my recovery from this stupidity.

Running
The longer I stay away from the longer distances, the less I mind. I'm running between 2-4 twice a week and that's a happy spot for me with all the Zumba and weight training. Perhaps I will stick to just 5Ks from this point forward. Though once I start getting better about engaging my deep low core muscles, I'll definitely bring back the speed work. I want to run a sub-26 5K one of these days.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook

3 large egg whites
2 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
2 2/3 cups (1 bag) reduced fat, unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup (150g) white sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until the mixture sticks together easily.
3. Using a tablespoon, drop cookies onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
4. Bake until lightly browned, between 10-15 minutes depending on your oven's actual temperature. Be careful not to overcook.

I've always loved coconut macaroons and these were so simple to make that I was surprised I hadn't ever made them before. I only added the coconut oil because I ended up with reduced fat shredded coconut. If I had found some regular unsweetened shredded, I probably wouldn't have needed it.

Are you a coconut or almond macaroon person? Lemme know down below!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Q&A: Maintenance

Image: winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Whew, I'm a little glad to be done taking pictures of everything I eat. Sometimes it was hard to remember I needed to before I dug in and started eating, but all told, it wasn't so bad. I would happily do it again after some time has passed and I've gotten into a different breakfast/morning snack phase. Yesterday I asked if anyone had any questions or comments about the series and I got a little feedback I'd like to share in today's post.

Question 1
Out of curiosity, how important is it that you eat snacks vs. eating those calories during meals? Is it more about avoiding "cheating" and snacking anyway or is there are real reason to spread it out over the day??
Matt (on G+)
It all comes down to personal preference. Recent research shows that there's very little difference between eating three square meals a day and consuming five to six mini-meals with regards to weight loss. If you're the type of person who doesn't become a ravening beast between your three square meals then go for it. Over the course of the last three years, I've come to determine that it's better for me if I eat five to six mini-meals a day. It prevents me from becoming too hungry and snarfling everything in sight. Or eating half a container of chocolate peanut butter...which leads us into our next question.

Question 2
Do you struggle anymore?
Tina at Wooberry this past Saturday
I do, but I don't struggle in the way that I think you mean it Tina. I absolutely have days where I eat half the chocolate peanut butter out of the container and feel awful. However, I don't beat myself up about it. It happened so I just accept it and move on. Usually I'll try to eat less on those days but I no longer just give up if it happens. It's impossible to have a 100% perfect diet every single day of your life, so I don't even try. Learning to accept less than perfect food decision and not let it throw you off is a pretty important step along the path to long-term maintenance.

Comment
I really liked it! I was expecting to see about twice the amount of veggies though, haha! I'm very curious to see what my calorie maintenance number is when I hit my goal next year! Also, totes jealous of all the nature valley bars. :)
Rachel via the Run Sqrl, Run! Facebook page
Thanks Rachel! I'm happy to oblige your request for more about my maintenance habits. I do actually like veggies, but I like them pretty much fresh from the garden. There's nothing better than fresh green beans or peppers. But yeah, most of the time my veggie intake is pretty limited. Kale chips are a daily standard though!


Any questions or comments regarding the eating at maintenance series? Let me know down below!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Week Of Eating At Maintenance: Day Seven

Weight: 128.2
Body Fat Percentage: 22.8%


Felt a little bit puffy yesterday.

Breakfast
402 calories
*yawn*

Morning Snack
212 calories
That is the first Larabar I've ever had. I quite liked it, and it wasn't super crunchy so my teeth didn't hurt.

Lunch
348 calories
Kale chips, kids sized Flatout wrap with some turkey and mustard, a cheese stick, half a serving of Mamma Chia's Cranberry Lemonade and some strawberries. Mmm!

Afternoon Snack
310 calories
When I picked up my Larabars at the grocery store, I noticed this s'mores bar so I picked it up to give a try. It wasn't very s'more-y but it was pretty g ood.
264 calories
For the cookie swap my mom and I are doing monthly, I made coconut macaroons. I had to sample them, obviously, to know if they were any good!

Dinner
330 calories
Felt like a turkey taco salad with some Wholly Guacamole and half a whole wheat tortilla. I also found some roma tomatoes that I'd purchased for Eric to make BLTs but since I forgot to by him lettuce, he never made one. Into the salad one went!

Evening Snack
171 calories
Cookies 'n Cream Spiru-tein with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Cookies and cream is my favorite flavor of all the ones I've tried.


Total Calories Consumed: 2037

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Morning Special: May Foodzie Box

I know. I'm a little behind with this. The Foodzie box always arrives so much later than it used to that I can't seem to fit my tasting of the product in before the month ends anymore. The box I selected last month was the Springtime Brunch box.
It contained:

  • Bunnery O.S.M. Pancake and Waffle Mix
  • Grade A Maple Syrup from NH 
  • Lemon Curd
  • Marinated Goat Cheese
  • Italian Butterhorns

Though I took a picture of them together, I did have the maple syrup with the pancakes. If you've read my About page, you know why I didn't have any maple syrup. Anyhow, this pancake mix was good, but goodness was it grainy. There's millet, sunflower seed and oats in there on top of being made with wheat flour. I made three smaller sized pancakes and was stuffed. While I liked this mix, I'd definitely still pick homemade buttermilk pancakes over the super grainy pancakes.

I experienced some nostalgia when I had a nibble of these yesterday. They reminded me of something my Greek grandmother and I used to bake with leftover pie dough. As such, I like them quite a lot.
I do love goat cheese, so I'm quite pleased to have this. I haven't gotten around to trying it yet, but I will most likely have it with the homemade rosemary crackers that I made.
I put the lemon curd on my pancakes, and while I like lemon curd, I think I prefer mine a little thicker. This was a bit soupy. It worked out well for pancakes though!

Do you like pancakes or waffles? Buttermilk or grainy? What's your topping of choice? Lemme know down below!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Week Of Eating At Maintenance: Day Six

Weight: 127
Body Fat %: 22.8%

Each week I have a day that I don't plan or record what I eat. I usually try to go by my hunger levels on that day and so far they seem to work out alright.

Breakfast
There are three thick and very grainy pancakes under some lemon curd there. Coffee on the side as always. I know, it's not oatmeal! Isn't it crazy? Also I'm not sure what's up with my phone and the random grey bars that are appearing in my pictures.

Lunch, sort of

Chocolate frozen yogurt with strawberry boba, dark chocolate coated candied ginger and some hot dark chocolate on top. Mmm, Wooberry.

Afternoon Snack
My teeth hurt a ton after eating this. I should probably scale back on the crunchies or make another appointment to get my left side adjusted. Freakin' fillings.

Dinner
I ate one of Eric's frozen Amy's meals. It was good but I really thought it needed meat.

Evening Snack
I forgot to take the picture so yesterday's is getting reused.

Total Calories Consumed: Dunno, today's a no tracking day :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Week Of Eating At Maintenance: Day Five

Weight: 127.6
Body Fat %: 23.3%
Measurements: 34"-26"-34"

Breakfast
335 calories
Are you guys bored of seeing my oatmeal yet? I bet you are.

Morning Snack
332 calories
And this, I bet you're all bored of this too.

Lunch
334 calories
Egg salad, kale chips and crackers. And yes, I make my egg salad with mayonnaise, a single serving of it to be exact. I've tried to do the whole substitute Greek yogurt thing but it just doesn't taste the same. My kale chips this week are way too spicy, next week I have to remember to more lightly with the ground red pepper.

Afternoon Snack
335 calories
Spiru-Tein and almond milk shake with a Nature Valley Crunchy Almond bar -- it's a standard snack. About an hour and a half after I had my snack, I went to the gym and lifted. Despite being pretty tired, it went well and I'm happy to take a day off tomorrow.

Dinner
350 calories
I picked up Chipotle on my way home. I got a salad with barbacoa, mild salsa and guacamole. As much as I love avocados, they put way too much guac on and not enough barbacoa tonight.

Evening snack
285 calories
I felt like chocolate and peanut butter this evening, hence 16g of peanut butter on some Dark Chocolate and oats bars.

Total Calories Consumed: 2039


A Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a girl.
She was going through a time in her life that left her feeling a lot like this most days:
Things were hard and she felt emotionally unstable, but one day she met a boy.
This boy to be exact. They started dating in 2010.  All the while, the girl worked through a lot of the emotional stuff she was going through and began to feel more stable and happier than she ever had before.

They went on their first vacation together.
They moved in together and celebrated their new apartment by building Legos together.
They celebrated their first anniversary together.
They celebrated their second anniversary together, and then?

Well....
Now the girl has a shiny new ring given to her by the boy.

We're engaged! :)