Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Favorite Things Right Now

Rice Cooker
This is mine, except white.

Rice is one of my favorite staples to always have ready to go.  I can add anything to it in the rice cooker and it cooks it up to perfection every time!



I haven't had any soda in a few weeks now.  It wasn't a  conscious choice, really.  I just never bought anymore.  I figured I drank enough coffee anyways.  Now, I'm going to be staying away from coffee as well.  Water is my go to beverage of choice.  If I get too bored with it, I like to add one of those lemonade Crystal Light flavorings...except I use the Market Pantry brand from Target because it's cheaper and just as delicious.


Poor Kitty

I know, I'm weird.  I have always crocheted and loved how fast I could finish something.  After starting my knitting project, I have learned to be patient with making things.  It's still very hard to take weeks to finish a project, but it is worth it in the end.

Gym Membership

So Cute!

I had really started to slack on my running because of the weather and overall general laziness.  Now there is no excuse to miss a workout.  I really like the cardio cinema.  I can watch a movie and workout at the same time.  How awesome is that?  I can also get in my speed work on the treadmill and get to an occasional yoga class.

On another note...

Today, I tried out a new recipe.  I was browsing through my millions of Pinterest recipes that I've never used and came across a quick and easy one called Mexican Lentils and Rice.  I read the blog Runs for Cookies and she has a separate blog for her recipes that I like to check out all of the time.  There are a ton of great ones to try!

I just threw everything in a rice cooker and it came out perfectly delicious!

I ate it on a tortilla, but I actually prefer it plain.

The rest of my day was spent cleaning the house.  It was in dire need of it!

Where do you get your recipes from?  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Case of the Mondays and Weekly Goals


My first goal this week will be to stick to my running plan...for real this time. Although, I am fine that I substitute the elliptical one or two times, as long as it isn't instead of a speed/tempo workout or long run.

The 3 is for week 3 over on the left.

My other goal will be to just keep tracking everything.  It is easy for me to get bored and lazy and just not write things down because I think I have been doing okay.  I have serious food amnesia and rarely eat well if I'm not keeping a record of it somehow.

I definitely had a case of the Mondays today!

Case of the Mondays

Last night was rough!  I was laying in bed when I started getting a lot of pressure in my stomach.  I knew what was happening!  About 7 years ago, I started getting acid reflux/heart burn (I really don't know the difference) really bad.  At the time, I had put on quite a bit of weight and almost all of my meals (all five to six of them) consisted of fast food and soda.  I started getting the worst pain right under my rib cage to the point I couldn't sleep or eat.  I finally went to the doctor.  She said that I needed to stop with the caffeine and unhealthy foods and prescribed an acid reflux pill that I would have to take every day.  I was 24 or 25!  I was too young to be on this stuff for the rest of my life!  So, that's when I quit caffeine for two years and lost my 50 lbs the first time I did Weight Watchers.

I stopped taking those pills after the first 30 ran out to see if I would be okay without them, and I was.  I had a few flare ups over the years, but always after I had eaten like garbage.  I guess my body doesn't appreciate all of the junk food the way I do.

So, last night when I started getting the flare up again, I was hoping it would pass quickly.  No chance!  I was up until 4 am.  The pain was just an insane pressure of what feels like built up gas and an acidy burning.  I threw up a few times, but just felt like I needed to seriously fart or poop with no relief!

I slept with a heating pad on my stomach.  It makes me feel better somehow.  And slept sitting up on the couch for a couple of hours before work.

I still felt yucky for most of the day and have soreness under my ribcage  and all I've eaten today was some pretzels, a bun, an orange, and of course water.  I just really hope I don't have to go through this again tonight.

On the funny side, Kevin asked me if I had made my goal yet.  I was confused in my sleepy state, and asked what are you talking about?  He said, you know, one stomach flu from your goal weight.  Haha!  That's what I always say when I'm sick.
Goal Weight

What are your goals this week?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Losing It

I have successfully tracked another week and am down another 1.6 lbs! I set a goal to lose at least 4 lbs a month for the next year to get to my goal weight.  This is the first time I have ever met a goal that involved weight loss...ever.  It's only 4.6 lbs, but that is a big accomplishment for myself!

This week was definitely easier then last week, in the respect that I'm getting use to how many points things are, measuring servings again, and picking fruit instead of other snacks that are not zero points.  I'm also trying to get myself out of eating out of boredom and paying attention to whether or not I'm actually hungry (People really do that.  Weird, I know).

We had super dreary weather today.  I could not wake up today.  I felt very sleepy and sluggish all day.  Eggy needed his coffee, of course.

I knitted a bit and then went shopping with Melissa and lil Joe.  She is already back in her pre-pregnancy clothes after having the twins last week!

Melissa said she was taking a shower before leaving, so I promised her I would put on a bra and brush my teeth.  You're welcome and you're welcome.

On a random note, I was reading some past blogs and found comments that I hadn't seen.  I can't figure out how to get those notifications.  Shouldn't I just get notified by default?  This falls under user error, I'm sure.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Virtual 5K

Today, I participated in a Virtual 5K to celebrate the birthday of blogger, Runs for Cookies.  It was a great reason to get me into the gym.  No, a training plan is never a great reason.

Since I had missed a scheduled 3 mile run yesterday, I decided to run my 5K on the treadmill and then do 3 miles on the elliptical.

My last couple of times on the treadmill have sucked.  I forgot how hard, mentally, it is to run on that thing.  I use to only run on treadmills when I started!  Now, it's torture.

So, I had to go in with a game plan.  I decided I would run the 5K on the 'random' option in order to feel more like I was outside.  That way, I could increase and decrease the speed as the incline increased and decreased.

I walked for five minutes to warm up and then started my program.  I plugged in 36 minutes for a finish time, since that was my goal time for the race that I had made for myself.

It was a rough run, but better then I have felt lately.  I ran between a 5mph (12:00 min/mile) and a 5.8 (10:34 min/mile).  My first mile was 11:19.  While that is usually a little faster then I do outside, it was way too fast for the treadmill.  I took a walk break after I hit mile 1.  Then, another walk break at 1.5miles.  Then, another one around 2 ish miles.  Mile 2 was a little over 12 min/mile average pace.  I didn't even pay attention to mile 3, but I was getting a little worried that I wouldn't finish in time.  The last two minutes I kicked up the pace and came in right under my goal at 35 min 45 sec!

I was dripping sweat everywhere!  I felt good though.  A bit tired, but strong.  I did another 41 minutes in the cardio cinema watching The Ghost Writer.  I really had no idea what was going on, but I like the idea of watching a movie while I work out so there are no commercials.  I finished with 2.76 miles on the elliptical.

After that, I rushed home to get ready for Craft Night.  It was only going to be Laura and I, but that was okay since I don't see her enough!
I made my version of a stuffed pepper casserole.  It turned out pretty good.  Laura made a pear crisp that was really YUM!

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

3c. cooked rice
2c. spaghetti sauce
1 whole, green pepper, diced
3 mushrooms, diced
1.25c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix all ingredients except the cheese together in a bowl.  Spread into a 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Bake about 40 minutes, or until cheese starts to turn a golden brown around the edges.  Makes 8 servings.

Since I have been doing Weight Watchers, this dish was 5 PP per serving!

I work a short shift tomorrow and then a lot of running around.

Sunday is weigh in day and my 5 mile long run.

What are your weekend running plans?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I have successfully tracked for a whole week!  It was hard, especially when I ate like garbage, but it was definitely eye opening.  It has helped me adjust my eating throughout the day to stay on track.

After making it through my first week, I was rewarded with a 3 lb weight loss!  I was really excited about that.  I feel like it always takes me forever to drop the pounds.  That was definitely the motivation I needed to keep going.

Unlike last week, I still have some Points Plus left after 3 days of the new week.  Last week I was out of my weekly points after 1 or 2 days - and way over.  I am finally getting the hang of this again.

My new favorite thing to eat is my version of a Q'doba burrito.

It's made of one giant tortilla, lettuce, rice, black beans, green peppers, mushrooms, salsa, and of course Taco Bell mild sauce.  When I wrapped it up I didn't think I would be able to finish it all, but I gobbled that bad boy down!  It was really good.  I only ate half of what I made, so I have enough to make another burrito wrap tomorrow for lunch.  

I love pretty much anything that involves a tortilla and/or rice.

What is your favorite food right now?

I Finally Gave In

Last week, I finally gave in and joined the gym.  I love running outside, but it has been getting too cold and icy for me to suck it up anymore!  And, I figured, I have to start tri training soon, so I'll need a pool and spin classes.

Running on the treadmill still sucks, but it's better than wearing 100 layers of clothes and getting frustrated at the weather.  I mean, I live in WI, it's going to get cold.

I am glad that I have the options for classes again.  I have been to a yoga class and felt so much better afterwards.  I also discovered the cardio cinema.  I went today with the plan to see what movie was playing and if it was something I liked I would just use the elliptical instead of running.  Well, they were playing Dark Shadows; the new one with Johnny Depp...a.k.a my future husband.  I would have watched the whole thing, but I had to get to the hospital to visit Melissa and her twins!

Both mommy and babies are doing well and will come home tomorrow!  Let the games begin!

Would you rather run inside or outside in cold weather?

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Plan, New Attitude

For the first time in a while I have had no running plan to follow.  The last half I had was in October, but after that I was running with Becky who is training for a marathon.  I stopped running with her a few weeks ago, and have been struggling to get out and run.

My next race isn't until March and is just a 5K.  It is actually my running anniversary of my very first race I ever did.  That's actually the only reason I run it!  I would love to get a little faster, so I checked out Higdon's 5K plans.  The intermediate plan fit in perfectly with the time frame.  It involves running 5 days a week, with one of those days being a speed workout every other week alternating with a tempo run.  Running 5 days a week my be a lot for me.  If I'm in too much pain I will just cross train that day.  Here's the plan:

I am in the first week and just have the 5 miler left.  

Yesterday I did the speed work out on a treadmill.  I ran at a 7.0 for the 400s.  The first time, I was worried I was going to fall off of the treadmill, but pushed myself.  It actually got easier as I did them and finished the last 400 at a 7.2.  

This morning I went to yoga.  I was feeling a bit sore yesterday and this morning.  It was the perfect yoga class; not a lot of warrior poses to hurt my quads and a lot of hip/abductor/back stretches.  After that, I ran on the treadmill for 3 long miles.  I forgot my headphones and there weren't any treadmills with T.V.'s (first world problems).  At least they blast music overhead and have some large T.V.'s on the wall to watch.  I occupied myself with people watching and turning my speed faster and slower.  

What's your favorite type of yoga?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ice, Ice, Baby

Today when I was getting ready for my run, Kevin told me to put on my Yaktrax.  He found some for me at Goodwill a couple of years ago.  I only wore them twice.  They sort of annoyed me, but it wasn't icy like this when I wore them.
Wool socks, tights, skirt, thermal shirt and jacket ended up being way to warm.

I thought it would be fine.  The sun was out, it was up to about 25 degrees, and there wasn't much wind.  I figured most of the ice would be melted by now.  Wrong-O!
Looks like water, but was solid ice with water on top.  First time I almost fell!

It was actually a gorgeous day out!

I almost fell on my ass about 5 times.  I followed the usual trail I do for my 3 mile runs.  I figured it would be easier to run on a path instead of sidewalks where no one seemed to have shoveled.

Well, the whole, entire path was covered in a solid layer of ice.  I had to shuffle along and hope I had a strong core to balance me.  Going over the bridges was the scariest part.  There are 4 of them I run over.  I was holding on the railing of the second bridge taking baby steps and still almost fell down!  And all the sun was doing was making the ice more slippery by forming a layer of water on top.
Slow run, but I didn't take any walk breaks!

I wasn't too sore afterwards.  My inner thighs and upper calves were a little sore, but that went away after stretching.  Tomorrow is a speed workout and I think I may have to skip it.  It's way too icy out to go bursting off as fast as I can.

My knitting is coming along as well.  I've been working on the trinity stitch.  It took me two days to finish it!

I'm not sure what stitch I am going to do next!  Only nine more squares to go!

Do you like to run inside or out?

What Just Happened??

Yesterday I woke up sooo sore.  I could not figure out what the heck I had done to warrant this.  The previous day I had pretty much done nothing but some light cleaning and sat on my couch and knit (knitted...was knitting??).  I had gone for a walk, but that wouldn't make me this sore...would it?  I had done a slow run/walk a couple of days ago, but had felt fine.  All day at work I wondered what was wrong with me!

Finally, about 6 hours later, I remembered what it was!  When logging all of my measurements for my starting point in my fitness log book there are some fitness tests that I had to do and then I do them again in a year to see the improvements.  I did push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and balanced on one leg at a time.  When I was doing the squats I felt like I could do a million.  They didn't hurt at all and I finally stopped after about 25 (almost a million, right?).  I was able to balance on my right leg for almost a minute.  I only managed about 6 push-ups and 6 sit-ups.
From Fit Mama's FB Page

My legs and sides were SO sore that next day.  I could really barely walk.  I should have taken some ibuprofen or something, but I didn't think of it at the time.  I was just so confused that I was in so much pain.  I can't believe I had totally blocked out those fitness tests. I guess I'm not as fit as I thought!

The funniest thing was when I was doing my push-ups.  They were so hard!  I started laughing at myself and the difficulty I was having!  I maybe could have made it to 8 if I wasn't laughing so hard at myself.

Thankfully, I am feeling much better today.  I have a 3 mile run on schedule to get in!

What is your favorite exercise?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekly Goals

I've really been struggling with my New Year's goals.  So, I thought it would be easier to focus on the smaller picture.  I will make small, weekly goals to help me along.

This week my goal is to track all of my food.  I have been using Weight Watcher's Points Plus system.  Oh, no.  I don't pay for it.  I found some free sites from a blog called Freckleberry Finds.  She had a blog post about free WW calculators.

I did Weight Watchers years ago.  I lost 50 lbs doing it, too.  My problem was that I would still binge right after the weigh in and then spend the rest of the week trying to drop extra pounds.  I never really grasped the whole healthy eating for the long haul until I started to take running a bit more seriously.  What I eat directly affects the way I feel while running, so I had to eat (relatively) healthy.

I needed something different to get me excited about logging my food again.  I had been using Spark and still use it to log my fitness, but I had really fallen out of logging my food.  So, I thought maybe using WW would make it fun again.

I started yesterday and logged everything.  I get 32 points a day.  I was right on until Kevin brought a giant baked potato home with melted butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese on it for me.  Yes, I could have said no, but obviously I have a problem with self control.  I ate it and it was delicious.  And then I had some sherbet ice cream.  And some hot chocolate.  So, I used 24 extra points!

What I've learned after 2 days of tracking?  I am eating way more than I thought (NEWSFLASH!).  So, I am already out of points; weekly and daily after today.  Thankfully, I have running to do this week to balance it out and I can earn some extra points back.  I guess I am not as healthy as I thought I was!

Here is my workout schedule for the week:
Mon: off
Tues: Run 3
Wed: Speed Work 5x400s (Depending on the ice situation)
Thurs: Run 3
Fri: off
Sat: Run 3
Sun: Run 5

Do you track your food?  If yes, then how?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Knitting Machine!

Today I decided to really buckle down with my eating.  Ever since I made my New Year goals I really haven't made any effort to make them happen...story of my life.

This morning I faced the dreaded scale.  It wasn't a big surprise that I had gained a couple of pounds.  It's a starting point, right?
I then recorded my measurements in this cool tracker that Becky got me at Barnes and Noble.
You record all of your body measurements and it even has some fitness tests.  You record how long it takes you to run a mile, how many push-ups, sit-ups, squats, balance that you can do at the start.  Then you record for the whole year and you see the results!  It also has a workout and food journal.  At the end of each month, there's a page where you summarize everything and see your progress.  I am pretty excited about it.  I really like these kinds of things.

I also needed to look for a running plan to follow.  Otherwise, I really don't have any motivation to hit the pavement.  I looked at my race schedule and my next race is in March, the Blarney 5K Run/Walk.  I printed out Hal's 5K Intermediate Plan.  It is exactly the number of days until the race and this way I can work on getting faster (in theory).

Yesterday, I started knitting a blanket.  I really don't knit and wanted to try and make something.  I decided to make squares using different stitches.  That way, I make a blanket and perfect different stitches.  I have a book with a bunch of knitting stitches in it.  I finished the Stockinette stitch square (top) and the Moss stitch square (bottom).
I'm going to make the blanket 3x4 squares.  I'm using wool and it is going to be a really warm blanket.

My cat was not a fan of me knitting, though.  Every time he would come lay on my lap he would get bopped with the knitting needle.  Then, he would get up and give me the stink eye.

What's your favorite hobby?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Potato and Spinach Soup Recipe

I ran for the first time this year today.  Yes, I know what the date is.  I know I waited a full 8 days to put on those running shoes, but I have a really good reason.  I was working a lot, it was cold out, my cat insisted on tummy rubs.  Lots and lots of good excuses valid reasons.

Not really.  I was lazy and didn't want to get off my couch.  But, the great thing about running is that there is only one way to move and that is forward.
So true!

So, after my 8 day work week I was able to get in 4 miles with Becky in 47:19.  And I'll be honest: I probably wouldn't have gone other wise.  It was actually pretty nice out.  It was near 40 with a little wind and full sunshine.  Becky said it is supposed to be up to 57 on Saturday and fall to 27 on Sunday.  Only in WI!

I finally took down the Christmas decorations today.  It was sad to see them go.  The Christmas tree is Eggy's absolute favorite toy.  So, we decided to put his tree in front of the window so he can enjoy the view out the front window.

I have been eating like garbage the last week and really want to get back on the healthy train.  So, today I decided to make a big pot of soup.  I sort of made up the recipe as I went.

Potato and Spinach Soup
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 carrots, sliced
8 cups vegetable broth
4 red potatoes, cooked with peel and cut into squares
2 cups spinach, fresh
1 tsp. saffron
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt

Put large soup pot on medium heat and add the EVOO.  Heat for about a minute.  Add the onions and cook until softened.  Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the sliced carrots.  Cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until softened.  I then added the saffron, thyme, salt, and vegetable broth.  Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes to let the flavors cook in.  Add the already cooked potatoes.  (I just poked holes in the potatoes and cooked mine in the microwave.)  Then, mash the potatoes a bit until chunky with a potato masher.  Add the spinach last.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cover.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  

It's a very brothy soup, so I think that I could have added some wild rice or barley and it would have been good too.  I really liked it, but it isn't a meal in itself...at least not to me.  

I finished the night with the ladies at Craft Night.  We had it at Melissa's.  She is due any second, so shouldn't be out driving by herself!

What is your favorite winter soup?