Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

I tried this out for the first time on Tuesday, the first day of October, it seemed pretty fitting and it has definitely been full on fall weather this past week.
I can't stress the ratio of easy to delicious this recipe is. For how yummy it is, it should take more than 5 minutes to put together. Here we go!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup water
1 chopped apple (keep the skin on)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
and of course as much or as little brown sugar as your heart desires

Bring the cup of water to a boil and add all the ingredients (not the brown sugar) and reduce heat to low-med (I put mine right in between low and medium) and stir for 2-3 minutes. Then it's done! I found the recipe from this site and they also add a bit of milk, which I didn't do but would probably make it creamier and just add to it's yum factor. Plus, it also clocks in around 287 calories (without milk, but including 2.5 teaspoons of sugar) and keeps me full for a few hours and I think it yields about 10 grams of fiber which is pretty awesome for your first meal of the day.

Basically it's apple pie for breakfast. You're welcome. The blog I found it from also has a banana coconut oatmeal that I'm planning on trying sometime (prob not till I get sick of this).

Also, just an aside I found some amazing nail polish today. It's crazy expensive. At least, for me it is. I mean yeah I have paid $14 for nail polish, but $20???? Geez, I feel like I should have bought some jimmy choo sandals to show case my nails to go along with it. In any case I had a terrible morning, so what did I do? I bought whatever the hell I wanted. Not really, cause then I probably would have bought some jimmy choo's. But I decided crazy expensive nail polish would make me feel better. No worries, it totes does. I'm definitely a sucker for retail therapy, I'm not as bad I used to be but it's a thing. Anyway, here's a picture of the nail polish. I have heard great things about nars polish so hopefully it holds up. The real test is tomorrow when I have to open and unpack boxes at work.
It's actually a lot lighter than the picture shows. I really like gray polishes, I own probably three different shades.

Also, can I just say that my new phone's camera is freakin' amazeballs. The detail it picks up is such an improvement from my iphone 4s. I really love it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

PR-ing as a Total Surprise

For the past month I have adopted a new running route. I used to go from my parents house along 1500 east to sugarhouse park and back. This was my route (unless I needed to go for a long run during training) for a long time. And, I'm done with it. Even now when I think I want to go for a shorter run I would still rather go on my new, longer, route. I'm just bored of it. I think that route was, like, 1.5 miles? I don't think I ever actually recorded it.

Anyway, above is a screenshot from my new route via run keeper (which is a handy running app. Although I had to severely alter the settings because the woman's voice reminding me every 5 minutes that I've been running for 5 more minutes was killing me). The picture doesn't show a full loop because I started it and stopped it when I was running. The missing part of the loop includes my warm up and cool down.

Today was the first day I remembered to use my run keeper to see how far I have actually been running. When I changed my route this just seemed like a good one, as far as length and difficulty, but was not a route I had chosen because I had checked it's distance or elevation changes.

The first few blocks of my run are flat, then there is a very steep uphill block, followed by a little over half a mile of a very mild incline. Today I ran the first half as hard as I could, it just exploded out of me, and after I had finished the uphill (the last half of the run is flat or slightly downhill) portion I decided to check the app and see how I had done so far. I really wish I had taken a screen shot of that moment because I had run 1.2 miles in 8 minutes and 43 seconds. UPHILL. I have never run a mile (or just over a mile) that fast in my life. Like, for real. However, right after I had finished the uphill portion I had to walk for almost a block because I was drowning in my own sweat.

The walking for a bit and my slow restart after the walk really killed my average pace (as you can see, a 13 minute mile does not suggest I actually ran at all). But, I am really surprised. Part of me wonders if it's a fluke. About two years ago when I was running at least 3 times a week I think my fastest mile was about a 10 minute mile, which I was proud of.

I think I can attribute today's victory to my weightlifting days, specifically my leg days. This is the first year (starting this summer) where I've done any major sort of lifting and it's making a difference. However, the past month or so I have felt more accomplished after my runs, when I come home literally dripping in sweat, barely able to jog another step, than my lifting days. But, it's important to remember that it is because of the lifting I am accomplishing more on my runs.

That reminds me, I've been adding some more to my workout routines, or I guess just slightly changing it up. Now, with the exception of leg day, my warm ups consist of the stair master (instead of the bike) and after my runs I've been doing some lunging around the back yard. It's not a major change, but I hope to see some results because of it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Smoothies Smoothies Smoothies!!!!

Just checkin in with a little post about my latest favorite thing. SMOOTHIES!!! I've been going crazy with smoothies in the past week and I am in love!

The top picture is an avocado and kiwi smoothie. It was surprisingly delicious! I found it on pinterest and it's pretty simple:

2 peeled kiwis
1/2 avocado
T lime juice 
1/8-1/4 cup of juice or coconut water or aloe juice (I used a splash of OJ cause that's what I had)
1 T of honey

The bottom picture was absolutely delicious as well, and I feel it can be mixed up really easily. In mine I had:

1 cup spinach
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen peaches
1/2 frozen banana
1 1/4 cup of OJ

Another one I had (not pictured) was a yummy chocolate, banana and pb smoothie with:

1 1/2 cup of chocolate almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 T of peanut butter
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

One more I had a few weeks ago (not pictured) is pear, juice, banana, kale and spinach. It goes something like:

1 cup of OJ
1 frozen banana
1 pear
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of kale

I'm pretty stoked about my new discovery. I plan on having smoothies all the time now, because they are soo easy to just mix up (and my mom has an amazing bendtec blender and I love it). 

Any good smoothie recipes to recommend?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week 7 and all the others I've missed.

It's been a few weeks. But, it's okay. I'm gonna make sure I keep my health journey updated, but I'm gonna also try and post on a few other things. In any case...

I haven't weighed myself in a while, and my diet might not be fine tuned just yet, but I have noticed some improvements. So... let's focus on the non-scale victories, shall we? For example, last week I tried on a skirt that didn't fit very well and is now starting to fit! Or, the fact that I wore some shorts a week or so ago that I haven't worn in, forever. In fact, it was the first time I'd worn shorts in public in hmmm...two years?? I mean, I'm not saying I look fantastic in them but there's progress!
I'm noticing some muscle definition that wasn't there before. And being able to lift heavier, which makes me happy because I like the feeling of getting stronger. One more non-scale victory is that I am waking up earlier much easier, and working out in the morning is a no brainer. It comes naturally, most mornings. Granted, there have been a few days where it wasn't automatic but I feel like this is real progress.

I am a tad nervous about my workout schedule when school starts. I'm gonna try my hardest to keep it as it is, and I think I'll be able to go in the morning still, but the parking situation at the field house has me worried. Parking on campus is crazy so I dunno if I'll be able to find a spot every morning. I hope it will work out. If not, I might have to rethink my schedule.

The past few weeks have been fun, though. Summer school ended the first week of August and since then I've been watching lots of shows and trying to read a lot (before I don't want to anymore) and just doing whatever I want basically. And I love that feeling. That outside of work I can do whatever I want.
We went hiking with some friends about a week ago and took up some dinner. It was great to hike up together, talk about ridiculous things and watch the sunset.

School starts next monday, August 26th and I'm excited to start it and hopefully get it over with. But, I'm also stressing out the wazoooooo about getting a job afterwards. I'm worried about finding a job that offers insurance and that will pay me enough so I can start living as an adult (like, moving away from home for good, for example). It's basically all I think about. It's this time that I've waited for so long, thought about constantly and it's fast approaching and I feel like I can't really do anything until I get there.

I can't help but feel anxious about this upcoming time in my life. I feel like there are so many things that could happen and that makes me excited and totally freaked out beyond belief.

I'll be posting later in the week with some meals that I've been having and I'm gonna try out a sweet potato fries recipe and I'll post the results.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week 5 and 6

I'm here, I haven't given up! I know my posts haven't been too inspiring lately, obviously that's a reflection of how I feel about myself, but I am working on it. This week I've been trying to focus on my whole self, not just my diet. I've been reading more, coloring (more on that in a minute), reading newish blogs and listening to how I feel.

Reading for school makes me not want to read for leisure. Not necessarily because I am reading a lot or anything, because I don't get tired of reading. I'm one of those, I'll read my book until four in the morning or my eyes can't focus on anything that's not one foot in front of my face (where a book usually resides), whichever comes first. I think assigned reading creates this uninspired feeling inside of me and I don't want to read. I find it really detrimental to my psyche because I love the feeling I get after reading a book, or just diving into one and really putting myself into that universe. Anyway....I started reading again, for pleasure and I think it's a really good thing for me. Right now I am finishing "The World's Strongest Librarian" (a book written by a librarian who works in my organization) and I just started "The Boy Kings of Texas" that I had on hold previously but never got around to it. I also just grabbed "The Fault in Our Stars".

Also, coloring. I used to think I wanted to be an artist, but after taking some college classes I realized I was really not that great and I haven't really done any art since those college classes crushed me. However, the past few weeks I've been itching to color. Not necessarily draw a picture, but color something. So, I went to Smiths, bought some of those neat twistable colored pencils (side note: I love school supplies so much. I could spend an exorbitant amount of money on pens, pencils, crayons and sticky notes) and found a cool doodle coloring book (basically just outlines of doodles to color in). I've been loving it. Who knows, maybe I'll whip out the ol' paint brush soon.

What does this all have to do my diet? I've been feeling sort of defeatist about myself lately. Feeling inadequate because I can't look the way I wish I could, and that the changes I'm trying to make aren't progressing as fast as I wish they would. Feeling horrible because I indulge in a chocolate covered banana (and a few chocolates as well). I've never really attempted a huge change in my habits, or my lifestyle like this before. Yeah, I was skinnier once, but I don't think it was based on any concerted effort (I used to walk up a steep hill to get to work everyday, I didn't have a car, those kinds of things are what I think played the biggest role in that time period). And, I think I am way too disappointed with myself when I slip up. This kind of a change is really hard for me, it's all based on my own efforts, no one else is helping me along the way (as in, I have to make the food for myself, I have to force myself to exercise, etc) and it's tough. What I think I am trying to get at here is, placing all this pressure, or disappointment on myself is not helping me with the changes I want to make. Instead, I think they are extremely detrimental. And, reading books that I am interested in, coloring while watching Community and just finding a little bit of joy, or stress relief in something seemingly simple really helps me not focus on my shortcomings, on the things that I need/want to be better at. I think these activities also help me to make better choices, diet/exercise wise. If I am not constantly thinking about what I'm putting into my mouth it's somehow easier to realize what I need to satiate me, to make me feel full, what I am craving and how to meet that need. I dunno if that makes sense to anyone, but it somehow works in my brain. have I been the past two weeks? Not bad. No major weight loss, but no gains either, so that's good. My last post was on June 25th, and since then I've lost 1 pound. Yeah, not amazing, but I'm not going to beat myself up for not losing more, right? Just try to be better in the future.

Recently a friend recommended a blog, Can You Stay for Dinner and I think she has some great tips/recipes, she made a huge change in her life and lost 135 pounds. Pretty crazy. Anyway, the past couple of weeks she put her mom on a "diet" (at her mom's request) and has been blogging all of her mom's meals and recipes. They really appeal to me, because as I'm beginning this journey it's hard to commit fully (as the chocolate covered banana (which actually also had caramel) suggests). She does a really good job of pointing out the types of foods her mom likes and creating solutions that she'll enjoy and feel like she's still eating what she likes. I think that's really important. A diet (I'm not sure exactly what word to use here, because diet (I feel) usually suggest a major limit for a period of time, but that's not what's going on here, for this girls mom or for me. Just making that clear) will not stick if you don't enjoy what your eating. If all you do is think about what you are giving up you are probably going to go back there. And, she has some really easy recipes for her mom (again, easing into the change). I used one of her mom's lunches this week and really liked it. It's a "twist" (not really) on a classic turkey sandwich and I liked it a lot.

Doesn't that look great? This pic is from her website because I can never make anything look that appealing. I of course did not have the diet coke (trying to go without any soda, pretty successful so far, for at least the past two weeks). Here is a link directly to the wrap. I altered mine slightly; I didn't use bacon, or the laughing cow cheese. I really enjoyed it. And, I plan on having it a lot in the future. Plus, think of all the variations! 

Here is a picture of my oatmeal, greek yogurt, strawberries and honey breakfast that I mentioned in my last post. I've been eating this for breakfast since I last posted about it pretty regularly. This week I used raspberries instead. It's really easy and so delicious. Here is how I prepare it in case you are wondering. Make your oatmeal as your normally would (1/2 cup). I use skim milk instead of water. Then add in about 1/4 cup of greek yogurt (plain). I just guesstimate on this, which means I probably add in more than a 1/4, I'll estimate a 1/3. Mix it up, add your strawberries and top with some honey (this helps sweeten the oatmeal/yogurt mix. I typically use about 1 1/2 T-ish. I don't measure and I think the recipe that I originally used said 2 T? Anyway, I really like it.

Okay, here is a flex picture for you. Ignore my red face. It's a million degrees, cut me some slack. I know it doesn't look like much progress for lifting 2-3 times a week for about 2 months, but you must understand that I had zero arm muscle. Like, when I would flex nothing would happen. And, while I really need focus on my triceps as I've still got some major jiggle going on there (usually on friday, and I've probably skipped a few fridays) I can definitely see some improvements and I'm pretty happy about that.

 I don't have a lot of meals planned for the week. Probably the oatmeal as I've been going with it cause it's so tasty and yields to so many possibilities. Probably the wraps, cause I liked them a lot. I also bought a bunch of pistachios to have as snacks with apples and almond butter on toast or rice cakes. I will try to report back on dinners for the week. However, I am super poor right now and will most likely have to rely on what my mom buys until Thursday.

If you've made it through this entire post, you are a good friend. This post was more for my own realization and will hopefully remind me when I'm feeling bad about myself how far I've come (arm picture) and how I can really do this, and to not feel so defeated.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 4

I feel like I am failing majorly lately. I don't have much to update. The last time I weighed myself, last Tuesday, I had lost .1 lb. And I haven't weighed myself this week. I think the hardest part of this "journey" is staying motivated after a rough patch. I didn't splurge on boyfriends birthday, something I was a little nervous of, but I didn't do practically any meal planning last week. Plus, we had two children in the house and the only food that was made was kid friendly i.e. macaroni and cheese.

This week has been okay (although there is plenty of time to screw it up, or maintain). Today hasn't been amazing, but I did okay yesterday and Sunday I was pretty good. A few weeks ago I had an awesome avocado egg salad wrap. It's really tasty and a major cut back on the usual mayo dominated meal. Yeah, there is still a little mayo, but it's not too much, plus you can always use vegenaise and then some curry, although I used some dijon mustard. I found the recipe from this blog. I really like her blog and I've tried my had at a few of her recipes. Here's a picture of her wrap (because I deleted mine already, but it was on instagram if you want to go back through my pics and see what it looked like).
So, I've never actually hard boiled an egg for myself, my mom often boils a bunch and I take from that stash. Last summer I bought Martha Stewart's Cooking Lessons book and it's pretty extensive and has just about anything in it you think you might need to know, including cooking eggs. Her method says to place the eggs in a sauce pan with enough water to cover an inch, bring to a boil then take off heat for 13 minutes and transfer to ice water. I did this. And.....they were only soft boiled. What I'm trying to say is that I didn't have this for lunch today. I had some edamame and avocado with tortilla chips (not awesome). So....I did some internetting and found a method that states you need to cover the eggs after you take them off the heat and to let it sit for 20 minutes. I'm gonna try that tomorrow. Or, maybe just ask my mom how to do it. ha.

Also, I have been having this for breakfast this week. But, subbing the strawberries for raspberries. It is pretty tasty. I think I'm gonna try the chai one tomorrow with raspberries.
Doesn't that bowl look amazing? It was pretty tasty. I had never mixed greek yogurt with oatmeal before so the first bite was...different. Not bad, but not something I'd ever had before.

For dinner's I plan on making a stir fry a la few weeks ago tomorrow or Thursday. My mom cooked some chicken and veggies on Sunday that I had yesterday and tonight for dinner. So...not bad.

My goals for this week are to workout every weekday this week. My 5-week class is over so I only have my online classes left, which means all my mornings are free. So, my plan is to go to the fieldhouse and do weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then run Tuesday and Thursday. So far so good. Yesterday was biceps, pecs and calves and today I went on my usual route that's almost 2 miles.

I also need to make sure that I can push through the weekend without splurging. I did pretty good last weekend, so hopefully I can keep that up. I'll report back, as usual.

Also, can I just say that a dunkin donuts opened across the street from my work today and I did NOT go in. I was tempted and probably the only reason I didn't go in was because there was a line around the fracking corner.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Homemade Twix & How Weekends Ruin My Digestive System

Hey guys,

As promised, albeit late, I am here to report on the Twix bars I made. Unfortunately I did not photograph them, but I'll include the photograph from the blog where I found the recipe (it is much prettier than any I could have taken anyway). First off, they are super easy, but take time. Each layer has to cool off, two in the fridge or freezer, so a recipe that only takes 30 minutes to prepare is stretched into two hours.

I found them initially on pinterest (basically where all my recipes are found now) but here is the blog with the recipe.


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)

For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9x13 in pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour - at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly.
  5. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. (Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.)
  6. Prick the crust all over with a fork - this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges - about 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer:
  1. Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
For the chocolate layer:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using ten second increments - stirring every time.
  2. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. (Just know that this will leave your end-resulting chocolate a little softer than normal. I don't use it for this very reason. )
  3. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
  4. Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set.
  5. Cut and serve.
 I ended up making them twice this week. Yeah, twice. I made them on Thursday and took them to work and then the leftovers to a friends house after. The next day I was with the same friend and we decided we needed to have them again. I would like to point out that I was very good in only eating a small one each day. However, on Thursday everyone seemed to have the same idea of bringing food to work (what does that say about our coping mechanisms? see last post) and so while I was good in only eating one twix bar on Thursday I also had a delicious homemade pretzel as well as a small slice of cake from The Bakery.

I've been kind of struggling the past week and a half with my dieting habits. I plan really well and then don't always follow through, or I have a really rough weekend and eat pizza and oreos and drink dr. pepper. Last week I was pretty solid on the weekdays. Then this weekend I had pizza on friday, plus a couple oreos, and two dr peppers. Saturday I had a muffin at work (despite my "healthy" lunch I brought), steak nachos for dinner, three oreos and a churro. Plus last night at about 11 I was hungry and had some microwaveable mac and cheese.

I feel like some days I have the resolve and then others I don't, but I am thinking it's all about convenience. The days when I put work into my meals I stick with them but then I usually don't have much planned for the weekends because something in my head tells me I can have some "cheat" meals, or that I have the will power to make good choices at restaurants or drive-thrus. I need to just stop with the drive-thrus altogether. I know that seems pretty obvious, like, why would I still even go there when I have these specific goals? It's all the effing convenience and my laziness. I think that's the key here, as long as I plan and keep it up I'll be okay, and that might mean having to bring something pre-prepared to a friends house but right now I feel like that's my best option.

On Friday night as I was leaving my friends house my tummy was not happy. I felt sick, like I had a stomach bug sick (and even though I developed a cold, I feel like it was unrelated as it only lasted a couple of hours). I am pretty sure I can relate this to my horrible food choices that day. I only wish I could remember that feeling each time I am presented with the opportunity to have a treat or pizza.

Any tips on staying focused on the weekends?
I would like to point out that last week I was able to muster up the motivation to go to the gym three days! woot! However, I developed a cough over the weekend and didn't go running yesterday :(

This week is boyfriends birthday, plus we are babysitting two of my nieces this week so I'm a little concerned about my meals. I haven't been to the grocery store or planned anything out yet which already spells disaster. I need to do that tonight. And, I'm gonna try and convince myself not to splurge on boyfriends birthday, it's his day to splurge not mine (I did that last week). Hopefully I can maintain that mentality on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 3: Being Real

I'm late with my update, I know. But here I am. I thought about just waiting till next week, but I don't want to let that become a habit.

Recap of last week: Last week was horrible. It was awful. There were donuts and ice cream and cake and Oreo's and it was bad. With each bite of Oreo I said to myself, Damnit! What are you doing. And then, I ate another one. weight loss last week. Not only did my food intake suck, but my workouts failed as well. Last week was just a big fail. In fact it was such an EFFING fail that I gained over a pound. Yeah, it was that bad. It was also a super stressful week. All of my classes had major things happening, and I have one of those condensed 5-week classes and so basically it takes over my life. Excuses, excuses.

This week has been great so far! I have really been pushing myself to plan out my meals and make it to the gym on all my planned days. It's only Wednesday night, but so far I think I can say it has been successful.

My meal plans are as follows:
Breakfast: oatmeal again, I'm not sick of it, plus it's pretty fast to make. Although I may switch it up next week.
Lunch: Turkey wraps. I should have taken a picture but I haven't. Anyway, I found this herbed turkey that is tasty, so I'm rolling it up in a tortilla with a wedge of laughing cow cheese (spread out) and chopped cucumber. Then I'm eating a fruit or other veggie on the side. It's pretty easy and tasty. Mostly I'm happy about the easy. I need easy lunch solutions because that is where I fail a lot.
Snacks: still with the rice cakes and strawberries and kiwi. I have made an amazing discovery: Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter. It's so good. I wish I could buy the little individual packets and just sit and suck on them. I know, I can just buy the jar, but aren't little packets much more fun?
Dinner: Monday I had some pesto pasta for dinner, Tuesday and today I had some stir fry's. They are so easy I think I will be making them a lot. Tomorrow and Thursday I will be having pesto pasta again and some sweet potatoes.
Here is last nights stir fry. Tofu, broccoli, red onion, red pepper and mushrooms. It was awesome. On Tuesday I cooked a bunch of rice and tofu to spread out through a few meals. Today I cooked some snow peas, mushrooms and green onions.

I don't have an exact recipe for the stir fry, but I just cut up the veggies and sautéed them in a pan with some olive oil. It was super easy.

I am going to be baking some homemade twix bars tomorrow, and I know, I know, it's a treat. But, we've had a pretty rough week at work (see: suicide in the children's dept. and really mean, yelly patrons) and I'm going to bring them to staff meeting tomorrow (because what's the best response to stress and tumultuous times? food). I'll post the recipe if it's successful.

On another note, I did go running on Sunday. It wasn't as scary as I thought it was. I have been constantly anxious about running. And, while I am really relieved that it wasn't a complete fail I could tell that I haven't been running in over two months. I had to take a little break in my once easy two mile run, but that's okay. I'm excited to get back into the swing of it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Loaded Pasta Salad

Here is the pasta salad as promised. It took a quick 30 minutes to make (mostly just chopping the veggies) and turned out pretty tasty. Although, I think I definitely put in too much celery, but probably just because celery is really not my favorite thing. I can eat it fine with salt sprinkled on top but I just wasn't liking it in the salad and found myself eating around it. So, next time maybe half the celery and I'm also thinking more tomatoes. Anyway, here's the recipe from Dashing Dish

Loaded Pasta Salad

3 cupsDry pasta
1/2 cup Garbanzo beans (or white beans)
1/2 cup Feta cheese (or shredded parmesan would be good)
1/2 cup Olives (I buys pre-sliced)
1 cupCelery, diced
1 cup Red pepper, diced
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1/2 cup Red onion, diced
1/2 cup Green peas
1/2 cup Cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 pkg Dry Italian dressing mix
1/4 cup White vinegar
1/4 cup Water
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
PinchSalt and pepper to taste

As far as directions go, I think it's pretty self explanatory; you cook the pasta, and after it's cooled you add everything in together. 
She "makes" her own dressing but I just used Newman's Own Light Italian, also I forgot to put in Parmesan but I totally have some at home. I also used frozen green (she does too) and just microwaved them for 30 seconds.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week Two and Recap

First things first, let's recap the last week. As far as goals go, I met them, kind of. The first half of the week was a huge success. At the gym on Monday I was able to lift heavier, woot! And, my eating habits were awesome, I was able to stick to my meal plans just fine. Then, Thursday rolled around and I got sick, and was sick till Sunday a horrible stomach bug. So, while I didn't necessarily stick to the meal plans, I still didn't eat horribly because, you know, sickness (I ate applesauce, soup, bananas and toast for three days). However, I didn't gym the rest of the week basically.
But, hey I lost almost 2 pounds this week! Yay. Although, I wonder how much of that is related to the sickness. But, I really don't think much, because I have still been eating and drinking a lot (just not my aforementioned planned meals).

Week Two.

This week for breakfast I am going with what I ate last week. So, oatmeal with bananas, or my protein shake when I exercise in the morning.

Tomorrow I am going to be making this pasta salad and I'll be having it for lunches for the week and dinner on Wednesday (which means I'll probably have some tuna for lunch on Wednesday).  I think the salad looks pretty tasty, plus who doesn't like pasta salad?

For snacks I've still got some rice cakes and I always enjoy those with some almond butter spread on top, plus I also picked up some strawberries and kiwis and I still have some of my Arctic Zero left over if I am needing something chocolatey.

Tonight for dinner I made an awesome one pot spaghetti dinner. This is where I got the recipe.
My picture doesn't look too appetizing, but trust me, it was super flavorful and way easy. Here, look at her picture of the pot, it's much prettier.
See? Anyway, here's the recipe, you've probably got the majority of the ingredients at home, so give it a try.
One Pot Pasta

Serves 4 to 6 as an entree
12 ounces linguine pasta
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated My Dad is a major sauce kind of guy, so I left probably 1-2 inches of sauce.
I'll post a pic of my pasta salad, and let you know how it is including the recipe tomorrow. 
Goals for this week:
-I'm gonna go along the same lines as last week because I didn't meet some of them. Keep lifting heavier (I lifted heavier doing some curls today and it was HARD, but good. 
-Stick to the meal plans obvs. However, I am going to give myself a pass for dessert on Friday as well as pretty much the whole day on Sunday. This week is my birthday, so you know, cake and things. Of course, I'll not go overboard, but pretty much the only time I get yellow cake (my fav) is on my bday. 
-Run twice. The doc said I could give it a try so I'm gonna try for a short run on Thursday and see how it goes and then hopefully again on Sunday. yay for running again (fingers crossed). 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week One

Here I am, as promised. I've come prepared and have pics of my grocery cart, meal pics and recipe. Of course, to recap my goal for the weekend out on the road and in Beaver, small town USA was to not go overboard. And..well...I didn't go "overboard" but I certainly could have ordered a salad at Wendy's instead of a chicken sandwich. That being said, I also could have ordered a frosty waffle cone, and a burger with a soda. I didn't, I just had some lemonade and no frosty. As for the rest of the meals they weren't so bad. Fruits and veggies were present but I did also eat a small handful of cheetos and a half cookie :S I guess you win some, you lose some. However, I've got the rest of the week all planned out and I am excited to tackle it. Really, I can't wait to get to the end of each day knowing how great I feel about my food choices.

For Breakfast this week I'm sticking to oatmeal and bananas and lemon water. Just a 1/2 cup of rolled oats and half of a banana on top. I can not eat oatmeal straight up, but I actually do like it with some mix-ins. I sadly did not get a photo of my breakfast, but it's pretty easy to picture. However, days when I work out I will come home to a protein shake breakfast instead of oatmeal. My shakes are delicious and consist of 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, protein powder, half banana, water and ice, tsp of cocoa powder and a packet or two of stevia. I really do enjoy them but it took awhile before I was convinced, and lots of testing as well to get the right balance. Now I have it all down and don't even really measure anything out.

Today's lunch included left over homemade pasta salad from the trip. My Mom makes it every year, it's fairly tasty. Healthy? has celery, egg, cucumber, shrimp, green onions and...mayo. Yeah. It's probably not that healthy, but there was a lot of it leftover, and all in moderation, right? Plus, it could have been much worse. I balanced it with a good serving of grapes and water. I won't be eating this all week for my lunches as the pasta salad probably won't last the whole week. My plans for the next few days include some tuna and pickle sandwiches, more grapes and carrots.

As far as snacks go, this week I've got some rice cakes that I plan to top with honey and almond butter or some smushed avocado. Pretty tasty. I have lots of possibilities for them in the future and can't wait to try them out (think: rice cake pizzas, cream cheese and strawberries, hummus and cucumbers etc.).

Above you can see my grocery cart and what I created from that cart just above. My grocery list included: orange bell pepper, quinoa, onions (green and yellow), lemons, tomatoes, olive oil, kiwis and arctic zero. 
I made a really delicious quinoa salad for dinner for the next few nights. I work Tuesday and Wednesday nights so I need something ready to take or I will be tempted to make not so good choices. I'll provide the recipe at the end of the post. 

I also picked up some Arctic Zero ice cream-stuff. It's gluten free and the nutrition label is readable (meaning not scary). Plus, the WHOLE pint is 150 calories. Um, yeah you heard right, the whole pint not just one serving. I decided to test out the very top layer after lunch and I was impressed. It's no Ben and Jerry's but it hits the spot. Plus, think how great the vanilla would be with some pb and dark choc. chips (not going overboard of course) or just some fruit.

I stay up pretty late some nights, with school work and boyf. time. And, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays it can be pretty tough. Eating dinner at 5:00 and then staying up till midnight is a pretty long time to go without any food. Lately I've been taking some strawberries to share with him around 10. I know my hours aren't great, and I always hear people saying you shouldn't eat after such and such time but that just doesn't work for me right now, so I've gotta make do and I think this is okay.

Okay, goals for the week:
-Obviously maintain the meal plans.
-Lift heavier. I'm going to try to go up the next weight set with the bench press. I am currently doing 20lbs, so to go up to 24lbs. (don't judge I'm freakin' weak). And not just with the bench press, I want to go heavier with my seated rows, tricep pull downs (whatever they are called) and leg press.
-Not skipping abs. I will admit that I sometimes skip out on the abs. Not good. So, my goal is to make sure I work them out during each workout.

I'll report back and we'll see how this week goes.

Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

1 cup uncooked quinoa
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups corn 
4 green onions

For the Dressing:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. basil 

Cook quinoa according to label. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and basil. Set aside.Slice green onions, dice roma tomatoes and bell pepper.
When quinoa is done cooking, let cool. Then place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over top and mix well to combine.
Can eat immediately or chill before serving.

Recipe found here. I really enjoyed the salad, and really there could be so many other add-ins. Chopped carrots? Olives? Celery? I basically feel like quinoa and this dressing has so much potential and I know I will be making it often. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Being Healthy and those kinds of things...

Just like everyone else in the world I want to be healthier, lose weight, wear a bikini. So, really this post is not going to be anything original but my health is my responsibility, it's all on me whether or not I finally fit into that bikini I bought a year ago. Here I am owning it, forcing myself to be more accountable. Two and a half years ago I was about 20 pounds lighter; I'm only 5' 1" and 20 pounds is quite a bit for my frame.

Until recently I still pictured myself 20 pounds lighter. I mean, when I looked in the mirror I could tell there was a difference, but when I started trying on my old swim suits a month or so ago I realized that um, I've got a problem.

I have been trying lately to change my habits and I have been able to take some small steps towards being healthier and I've noticed a change but I really have to commit to make the strides I'd like to. In the past 2 months I've lost a few pounds. So, things could be worse than they are at the moment but they could still be better.

I did recently run a half marathon, unfortunately there was a hiccup. I got a stress fracture in my foot from pushing myself too hard during the race.
I haven't been on a run since the race, April 20. I am surprised how much I miss the running. And, I don't think until the race I liked it again. In the mean time I have been lifting weights three times a week and using the stationary bike a bit. Boyf. knows his exercise stuff (if you've seen him recently you know what I'm talking about), and I had him help me put together a workout schedule (for weights). I've got the pictures below and yeah, they aren't great quality as they are just screen shots taken with my phone but hey, it works.

I've definitely noticed the difference adding weights has made in working out because I have never really focused on them before. Sure, I used to do some overhead tricep stuff but that's pretty much it.

I've got the boot off, and the Dr. says I can start running in about a week and half, but starting out with short distances.

My exercise has been a lot better than in the past (despite the break in running). However, my diet is not stable. I have days where I am able to eat healthy but then the weekend happens or I stay up late and get hungry or a friend wants to go get ice cream and I can't say no. This is where I really need to step it up and commit. I haven't had a hard time keeping up my exercise routine, in fact I look forward to it and how good I feel throughout the day after I've gotten in my workout, it's the food that's killing me.

I've decided to use my blog to help keep myself accountable. I used to post my weekly breakfast plans and that was fun and kept me thinking about it and planning them out. Instead of just posting my breakfast plans, I am going to post my weekly meal plan. As well as at least one weekly goal, small doable goals for the week to give me a little more push. Plus, I have some before pictures all raring to go for when I take my after pictures.

Not only am I going to post my Meal plans, a few coworkers and I are having a small contest to see who can lose 5 pounds or more by June 22 (coworkers birthday). This is just extra motivation.

I'm excited to get myself on track. I know how good I feel when I eat right, and I just need to remember that every time I get a craving for a treat.

Okay, so for this week I will have to wait till Monday or possibly Tuesday to post my meal plans, I'm going out of town tomorrow and won't be back till Monday night so I haven't gone to the grocery store or been able to plan out the meals for the week. But, this weeks goal is to keep myself on track during the trip. We'll be eating out for several meals and driving for several hours means that I'll be tempted to eat the licorice and gummy bears my Dad always pack. I'll post after the trip and report on my success as well as posting the meal plans for the week.

Do you have any great tips for being healthy, or a favorite healthy snack to share? I'd love any advice or tips or success stories to keep me going.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Second Half

Me and my nephew right after crossing the finish line

This past Saturday I ran my second half marathon. It was cold and pouring rain pretty much the entire time, but I enjoyed myself, and I'm a lot more proud of myself this time around than I am with my first one. Even though I didn't PR I still feel pretty good about how I finished and I'm definitely not giving up on the running this time 'round!

My times for both were 2 hours 49 minutes and 36 seconds, yeah, down to the second. Not great times, I'd really like to try for 2 hours next year (yup, I'm gonna do it again). However, despite the same times there were some definite differences between the two races. For my first race, in 2010, I had trained a bit differently. I used the same training plan from The Running Company's website for both races, however for the first one I didn't really do any cross training at all (besides walking home from the U every other day, which is over 1 mile, but I don't know that I'd consider that adequate cross training), and I really didn't push myself at all during my runs or during the race. And although I only started major cross training a few weeks before the race the second time around I can say that it has made a huge difference.

I've never ran any other races, not even a 5k, so I'm not sure how to compare, but in my opinion running a race is at least 50% mental if not more. And, I think for my first half I just wasn't in it. I dunno, but when I compare the two it seems like I should have ran my first race much quicker because I was about 18 pounds lighter and had done more running, especially outdoor running. Honestly, this time around I wasn't great about keeping my running schedule. I had a hard time motivating myself to get out of bed early on Monday mornings. And, I didn't do very many long runs outside this winter (and treadmill running is very different than running outside, even if you're running on flat sidewalk).

During my first race I walked, a lot and I didn't push myself very hard. I really didn't. When I got tired I stopped to walk, and I walked at every water station. I probably walked just under half of that race. Whereas this time around I walked maybe 1/5 of the time. I still walked at every water station (I just can't drink and run at the same time) and I walked up the two small hills at Sugar House Park and 2 more time for about 2 minutes. I'm really disappointed that I didn't push myself harder the first time around. This time, the longest run I had done was on a treadmill and was only 10.5 miles, and I hadn't done as many runs either. But, I was able to push myself to run almost that whole time, and while I may have been running really slowly I was still running and in cold temps and in the pouring rain. I was seriously soaked to the bone and it took me about 5 hours to warm up after I stopped running (including a 40 minute boiling hot shower). This second race has really taught me a lesson. I mean it. I have never pushed myself so hard before, so close the absolute limit, and I liked it. I couldn't believe what I was capable of doing. At one moment during the race I stopped to walk and after about 10 seconds I thought to myself, why am I walking? Yeah, I'm tired but I wasn't about to fall on the ground and die, so I started running again and it was a great feeling.

So, all in all, I'm really happy that I was able to push myself so much more this time and even though it sounds like a horrible thing (and some moments were not fun, like the first half of the last mile when I thought I wasn't sure it would ever end), it was a really fun experience and the spectators are really awesome. Not that there are very many, but they are hilarious and can really lift your spirits. This year my older sister ran it as well, and while we didn't run together the whole time I am so impressed and inspired by her. I can't say that I ever thought she'd run a half marathon, but she did! She is also participating in the Wasatch Ragnar which totally freaks me out, but I couldn't be more excited for her.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

San Fran Spring Break

This Spring Break Jason and I debated between going to Disneyland and San Francisco. San Fran won, and I think that was probably the better decision. The trip went off without a hitch (except that we didn't make it to every restaurant we wanted to, just not enough hours in the day). I don't think I can say that for any trip. But, we had amazing food, great weather and went to some amazing places. Needless to say, I am completely smitten with San Fran. Here is an overview of our trip with some pictures.

We arrived on Tuesday night and had just enough time to go to dinner at one of the best places we had found on our last trip, House of Nanking. It's probably the best Chinese food I've ever had. Consequently, we ate there twice during this trip. It's almost always busy and you often have to wait in a line outside the restaurant. My favorite things we had this trip include the calamari, the pork pot stickers (shown above with awesome peanut sauce) and some noodles we had. 
Our hotel was pretty great. We stayed at Hotel Kensington and even though our window faced another building there was small sliver of a view and it was fantastic. Our hotel had a great location, it was sort of downtown and close to public transport and getting around was super easy. 
On our first day we hung out around downtown and Chinatown. Here Jason is eating a fabulous sandwich from a sandwich stall called Sentinel. The sandwiches were great, and they have a rotating menu, so you don't know what they have that day until you get there. It was started by a former iron chef (not sure who, can't remember) and the sandwiches really were great. Jason had a roast beef with a lot of horseradish (too much for me) and I had a lamb, eggplant and curry sandwich. 
This is probably the least impressive picture of Britex I could have possibly taken. But, this store was amazing. Four floors of floor to ceiling craft supplies. One floor was pretty much devoted to buttons, another to ribbon and the other two mostly for fabric. I was in heaven. When I walked in I kind of gasped and Jason said we should walk back in and he could record it.
Chinatown was fairly quiet when we walked through, but it was delightful. Good photo ops (Jason took with his fancy camera) and then we stopped at Ten-Ren tea house for some bubble teas. Jason chose a thai tea, it was...interesting to me. It was sweet, but not super flavorful. He enjoyed it, and I enjoyed mine :) 
Here's Jason on a trolley. I wasn't the greatest picture taker on this trip. So, it's blurry and I didn't take a picture of a full on trolley, but you should know they were fun.

The next day we went to the Ferry Building (I am standing in front above). It was probably one of my favorite places. Just full of stalls of food and shopping. We had the most amazing brisket sandwich from Il Cane Rosso. I also spent a lot at Miette, but honestly, I maybe should have spent more. ha. Their macarons were to die for. And their caramelized, chocolate covered hazelnuts were amazing. Probably the greatest treats I had there. Truly. If I could afford to mail order their treats every week I so would. Oh man, now I'm craving the macarons....I also bought some chocolate from Recchiuti, the most I have ever spent on chocolate, ever. But soooooo worth it. The fleur de sel caramels are to die for (and probably the cheapest thing they sell, in case you are interested).   

After the Ferry Building we visited Alcatraz. We tried to get tickets for a night tour, but to no avail. It was still awesome, totally worth checking out. The top pic is me while we were waiting to get our audio tour machines, the bottom left is me next to a picture of what their library looked like (I am in the library, but it is now empty. Jason said that since I work in a library he had to take my pic next to the sign.) and then the right is me at alcatraz with san fran in the background. 
After Alcatraz we went to the SFMOMA. It was fabulous. I took a lot of pictures of art, but this was the most interesting to me. A skinned boars head in formaldehyde. Pretty creepy, but the kind of creepy where you can't stop staring. Also, the gift shop was awesome and I found this book. I probably should have bought it. Maru is probably my favorite famous cat. If you don't know him, just google. His silly antics get me every time. We did visit a bunch of museums while we were there and the moma was probably one of my favorites (I enjoyed the de Young as well). 

Here is Jason at the base of Coit Tower. We didn't pay to take the elevator to the top, it's $7 and the view is from tiny windows and we decided it wasn't worth it. Just being at the base provides for an amazing view (which you can clearly tell here from the one shot I took :) The walk up was steep and fun, and I am so envious of the neighborhoods surrounding the tower. They were so cute, and I'll probably never be able to afford to live there in all my life, but a girl can dream right? 
The next day we visited Golden Gate park. But, prior to the park we ate breakfast at Zazie (close by the park) and it was probably the best breakfast I've had in awhile. Jason ordered a chai and it was very yummy and my scrambled eggs with cheese and avocado were perfect. It was pretty busy, and there was a large party sitting next to us and they had a little baby that couldn't stop staring at Jason (it happens with young kids every so often) so natch Jason started making faces at the baby. And, a few of the adults noticed the child staring at something, they looked over and saw Jason making his monkey face (puffed out cheeks) and the whole table burst into laughter. I don't think the baby laughed at all..., like I said, after breakfast we went to Golden Gate park and visited the de Young museum and the Academy of Sciences. We didn't take any pictures at the museum but we found the most amazing ice cream truck right outside (I'd actually bookmarked it and promised myself that if I saw it anywhere I'd immediately get something). We got two different things to share. We tried their waffle, chocolate dipped cone (vanilla bean ice cream, waffle cone, dark chocolate dip with salt on top) and a mint lemonade popsicle (which jason is sampling above). They were both so great. (I know I keep saying that for everything, but these treats were almost on the same level as macarons from Miette). I really wish they would bring a Twirl n Dip truck to slc, I'd go everyday.

After the park we ventured to the bridge. Always fun, with fun views. After we went to Fisherman's Wharf and got some crab from a street vendor. 

My Favorite meal was from Town Hall. It was also the most expensive, but totally worth it. It was pretty dark there, so the pictures aren't great. It was AMAZING. What can I compare it to.....It was like Eva's (if you've been there) but bigger portions. That's the scale it was on for me. Eva's is my favorite in SLC, but it's mostly tapa sized portions, these were much larger (hence more expensive). We pretty much went all out here, bbq shrimp appetizer (one of the best tasting things ever, and not traditional bbq-y), buttermilk fried chicken with collard greens (which I've never had before, but hello!!), short ribs with cole slaw (the best cole slaw ever, EVER) and butterscotch and chocolate pot de creme. And, then pictured is Jason eating left overs in the morning.

I can't say enough about San Fran, it's really an amazing place. I feel as though it combines so many things, it's a big city without a big city feel (except for maybe when you are in the financial district), it has the ocean right there, lots of parks, great public transportation, and the best food I've ever had. I don't know what else to say except, when can I move there? I am pretty sure that while in each neighborhood I wondered how much it would cost to live there. I also couldn't have found so many awesome recommendations without Oh Happy Day's blog and Cup of Jo who pointed me in the direction of Il Cane Rosso. I don't know if anyone is going to read this far, or if I know anyone who will be going to San Fran anytime soon, but I do have a few tips. If you are going to be there for at least 4 days the city pass is a good purchase, you get public transportation for a week (bus, and trolley, just not the bart), admission to the de Young, Academy of Sciences, the aquarium, a ferry ride around the bay or the ferry ride to Alcatraz and much more. I suggest buying it online and not at one of the sites. Also, my favorite places include the Golden Gate park (I kind of wish we could have spent more time there, like going to the Japanese Tea Gardens), the SFMOMA was awesome, and the Ferry Building. I truly should have spent more money at the Ferry Building. And, I should have spent some money at Britex. It is one of those places where once you start spending you don't stop so I didn't spend any money at all, but I love craft supplies. And wish I had bought some buttons and some silly ribbon.

Reason's My Son Is Crying

This tumblr is hilarious. Enjoy.

Reasons My Son is Crying

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I'm back. Here, again. It seems as though I can't let go of this blogging thing, which I think says something. It's been almost a year since my last post about a bug in my ear. A lot has changed and then, also not a lot has changed.

I've thought about how to revive this blog, what I'd need to do to bring everyone or anyone or myself up to speed but you know what? I don't have to. This is my space. And I do what I want. I don't need to write some long post about the ups and downs of the last year, I'm interested in the now, the present and the future. And despite my being poor, living at home and still in school, life is relatively great.

Recap of a few things from the past year (cause I can't leave it behind completely):
-moved back home. a good and bad decision.
-graduation is nigh. as in, next december.
-made some new friends this summer who have made more of a difference in my life than they'll ever know.
-along those lines ^ I have realized that I have some of the most amazing friends. Never before have I needed the support of those around me more than this year and they really stepped up and helped me through everything.
-went on a fantastic, fabulous trip to san fran (just barely, a few weeks ago).

Just a conglomeration of a few major moments, but there have been others, and even more thoughts and ideas that have happened. 
A few photos to show you that I didn't die and then rise from the dead:
 Halloween at work. Can you guess my costume?
 Another Halloween costume. I used my friend's (the clown) costume her mother made. It was fantastic.
New Years Eve 2012 (or do people say New Years Eve 2013? It was this past New Years regardless)

In summation, I'm back. I am excited to be back and I'm excited to share what's going on in my life, cause it's pretty good and ain't nobody gonna take that away from me. 

-Not pictured is Boyf. he still exists. My next post about San Fran will have some pictures of him, never fear.