Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Confessions 8.31.12

Confessions, confessions....

I confess that I won't get to age 45 without needing glasses. For the past 2 years my eye doctor has told me that my vision is slightly worse than the year before, but not bad enough to do anything, yet. Yet is here. She actually told me I could get two pairs of glasses, one pair for driving, and one pair for reading. She also said I could just pick one, or none if I wanted to slide by one more year. I opted for reading. You see, I tried on an old pair of my hubby's the other day, and wow, there really was a difference!!

My new specs have red frames (of course), and hopefully they will make me look smart, as well as read a little better.

I confess I finished week one! Check it out here.

I made a scrumptious cake this week for a birthday. I confess that I wanted to eat more of it than I did. It was a Peanut Butter Fudge Cake.

I confess that I am enjoying my 8K running training program. So far I've gotten all the suggested runs. Only three weeks left until Ache Around the Lake!

After running for over a year, I finally feel I can call myself a runner. To celebrate this fact I bought myself this:

I love it!

What are you confessing this week? To join up, hit the button below and start your confessing!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ninety Day Challenge - Week 1

Despite a slight set-back involving Reese cups & chocolate & cake (see here), I've had a really good first week.

For my workout program, I chose Chalean Extreme. So far so good. The workouts are very different from strength training programs I've attempted in the past. There are three phases - Burn, Push and Lean. For the first month I am in the Burn phase. It is heavier weights, lifted very slowly with a fail between the 10th - 12th repetition. This means that my weight should be heavy enough for the reps to feel really, really hard by the 10th, and almost impossible by the 12th. If they don't feel hard for me, than my weight is not heavy enough. I've always thought that this method created bulky muscles, but from what I am now discovering, that is not necessarily true. There are three different Burn circuits, and I've done all of them at this point. There are certain exercises on each that I like the best. I can't believe I actually wrote that. But it's true. There are a couple of them that I really like. All of them are pretty hard for me. I'm using between 5 and 10 pounds, depending on the exercise and muscles being worked. But I can already tell that I need to get higher weights. I'm thinking about some of those adjustable dumbbells. The affordable ones only go up in increments of 5 pounds, and I would rather have increments of 2.5, but I'll keep looking at this point. I'm not going over 10 pounds this week, that's for sure.

I haven't watched any of the Push or Lean circuits, so can't tell you what that means, yet.

There are two ab workouts included in the program. Ab Burner is 10 minutes, and Extreme Abs is 16 minutes. Well last weekend after a 5 mile run/walk I thought I'd just pop in the Ab Burner and get some ab work. Ten minutes wasn't that long, I'd just run for over an hour. hahahahahaha. My core was positively trembling about 4 minutes into the workout. When will this be over??!! I thought I had tried every kind of tummy exercise out there. Not so, at all. These were different, intense, and very effective. Of course, for my stomach to have significant changes, I need to keep changing my diet as well as continuing the workouts.

The meal plan is great. I feel like I am eating more often, but much better stuff. I have an alarm set on my phone to remind me to eat a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Each meal/snack should have lean protein and I can add a complex carb up through dinner, but no carbs after dinner, and none at all right before bed. I am waking more rested, and it's easier for me to get up early. I think the diet is playing a big part in these changes. I've never, ever been a morning person. Have wanted to be a morning person. All I know now is that it's easier for me to get up early. I really like getting my workouts done first thing, then I don't have to try to fit it in somewhere later. That doesn't always work out so well.

Our Facebook support group is really nice. We post our food/workouts daily. Encourage one another and have weekly goals/homework to keep us focused on WHY we are doing this challenge.

Around day two I took all my "before" photos. I would not let my mister take these, I used the timer on my camera. The booklet that came with the exercise program gave example poses that I should include. I took them all. Then I looked at them, and was nauseated. That was plenty of motivation for why I want to complete this challenge and become a better version of me. I also took all my "before" measurements. I will take photos and measurements again on days 30, 60 and 90. 

This is my latest reality check to keep going:

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chocolate + Reece cups + cake = Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

I might have mentioned here before that I really love our birthday parties at work. We have the best Big Girl birthday parties, ever. And I don't mean that in a naughty way - well some of the gifts might be borderline risque. The team I work with is really fabulous, and we genuinely enjoy working together. So on our birthdays, we go all out. Lots of presents (great loot!) and our favorite cake to enjoy and share.

Well, last week was a co-workers birthday, but she was in Cuba on a mission trip, so we delayed the celebration until today. I volunteered to bake her cake. She loves German Chocolate, so I was all set to make that. And since I am in the very beginning of a serious, committed health challenge, and I don't like GC, that would have been the best choice.

Then she mentioned on Facebook that her daughter had a homemade German Chocolate cake waiting for her when she got home from her trip. I changed my plan. I had already considered another, sinfully decadent cake. My friend loves chocolate and Reese cups, and I've had this recipe for years, so what a perfect marriage into a cake??

This recipe came from Family Circle magazine. I ripped out the page, but it was at least 5 years ago and I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake, surprisingly, finds its base in a Devil's Food cake mix. Instead of using the called-for water, the recipe uses buttermilk. As an aside, if you do have to use a cake mix - always, always use buttermilk. It really makes the end result more homemade-tasting. The magic in this cake is the 2 cups of chopped Reese cups in the batter. That's an 8 ounce bag, minus 3 or 4 that fell on the floor (for less than 5 seconds). As always, I measured my layers by weight so they would all be the same size, give or take 1/10 of an ounce.

My co-workers tease me about the measuring now. Instead of asking me if I baked a cake, they ask "have you measured any layers recently"? Ha ha. But the layers look beautiful, and there is usually no leveling required. I don't like splitting layers, so I just use 3 pans.

The icing was a dark chocolate, peanut butter ganache. Oh. My. I ended up doubling the recipe, so I would have plenty to eat afterward since I went with 3 layers, instead of two. I didn't have enough dark chocolate, so I used semi-sweet to make up the difference. I had never made a ganache. Just the name intimidated me, I thought it would be really difficult. Turns out, not hard at all. Impressively easy. Basically you just heat the cream to boiling, then pour over the chocolate and whisk it all til smooth. Then I added the creamy peanut butter and all done. Smooth, silky and delicious! And, to my benefit, I used almost all the frosting. There was just enough for tasting at the end - and it was divine.

The cake was a big hit. Very, very rich. Tasted expensive - know what I mean? The layers were light, and good thing because the chocolate icing was silky and melt-in-your-mouth oh so good. Delicious!

Now that you are drooling sufficiently, here is the recipe. Enjoy!!

  •    box (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix
  •    eggs
  •  cup  buttermilk
  • 1/2  cup  vegetable oil
  •  cups  chopped chocolate-covered peanut butter cups (about 8 ounces), plus more to garnish
  •  ounces  dark chocolate, chopped
  •  cup  heavy cream
  • 1/2  cup  creamy peanut butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line with waxed paper; coat paper.
In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high; beat for 2 minutes, scraping down side of the bowl after 1 minute. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let layers cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto wire racks and cool completely.
Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.
Trim top of cake layers flat with a serrated knife. Put 1 cake layer on cooling rack and place on a baking sheet. Pour 1 cup frosting on top; spread evenly with a spatula. Top with remaining cake layer. Pour remaining frosting over the top, allowing it to spill over the sides. Smooth top and sides with spatula. Refrigerate 1 hour to set. Transfer cake to serving plate and garnish with chopped candy, if desired.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Confessions 8.24.12

I confess that ONE of my guilty pleasures is going to the tanning bed, occasionally. Be quiet haters, judges, whatever - I really enjoy going to the tanning bed. First I like a glow on my very white skin, and second, most important, its one of the few places I can be completely alone for 20 minutes. Well, I went this past week, after not going for some time (I'm not a regular). So she told me to do half & half. Legs first, rest after. So I situated my legs up under the bulbs, set my timer and enjoyed. Then when it came time to do the upper half things got a bit tricky. I ended up with my legs sticking out one of the ends of the bed, trying to rest on the chair. My feet fell asleep so I was trying to move about to get a little more comfortable (like being in a body-sized microwave is comfy) and my back stuck to the bed. You know what that means - huge fart-like sound coming from getting my sweaty back unstuck. Humongous,  - and good grief, it was just my back. I was the only one in the boutique, and even with my fan on full speed I know, I just KNOW that the owner heard it. Ugh!! She probably knew it was a full body fart, but still, just a bit awkward, ya know?

I confess that something happened this week that confirmed my status as a runner. I can't post the details, but trust me, if I didn't know before, I now know that I AM A RUNNER. It was one of those things that will never be forgotten, has probably happened to many people. But one day it may come in  conversation, and I will be able to say "Oh yea, that happened to me once, that's when I knew I was a runner."

I'm ordering this necklace too.

I confess that this past Wednesday, I started my 90 Day Health Challenge with my sister Mary- who is also blogging here. Ninety days of tracking my food, working out 5-6 times weekly, daily check-ins on a private facebook page. I had to take my before photos, I've since taken to calling them my porn pics. They were just awful. A very good motivator to keep me on the straight and narrow! I will do them again, along with measurements on day 30, 60 and 90. The plan is that by day 90 I will be unrecognizable. Well, probably not that drastic, but you get the idea.

I'm doing the Chalean Extreme 90 Fitness program. I've only done 2 of the workouts so far, but so far so good. I can see already that I'm going to need heavier weights. This program focuses on heavier weights with very, very slow reps. I need something heavy enough to fail at 10-12 reps. Fail is a good thing with this program. 

I confess that I would love to have these:

These are made by Bowflex, and unfortunately a bit out of my price range. I don't want to have to sell a kidney to get them. There are some others out there that are more affordable, so we'll see. Maybe I can find a great sale.

We have a birthday coming up at work next week, one of my co-workers. I volunteered to bake the cake. She likes Red Velvet and German Chocolate for sure. I've made a lovely Red Velvet - check it out here. I personally don't really like German Chocolate - so given my health challenge, that would be the best choice. B U T, my friend loves anything chocolate, and Reese cups.....and there is this cake that I have been wanting to try for years....

So, I might surprise her with this...I'll keep you posted.

What are you confessing this week?

What are YOUR guilty pleasures?

Hit the link to join the 'fess up.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Confessions 8.17.12

Confessions, confessions!!

I confess that I have really enjoyed "pet" sitting for my best bud while she relaxes on Tybee Island this week. It's not your normal dog & cat setup. Well, she does have a cat and 4 dogs and I am feeding them. But there are also 3 horses, 3 hens, 1 rooster and a donkey named Reggie. Here are a few snapshots....

The donkey

The cat - was about to jump on me....
The chickens....

Fresh eggs...have gotten 10 in three days.

Stalker horse

It's been a nice change of pace for me, and my friend would do anything for me - the best kind to have.

I confess that I finished my Ten Days to a Better Me challenge this week. You can read my results about that adventure here. It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to the next step - a 90 Day Challenge! Whew!

I confess that yesterday was a celebration day at work - we survived a bad summer, so there was pizza, ice cream, cake...and I confess that I splurged. I was really glad that this was planned for the day AFTER my 10-day challenge ended.  I don't feel guilty. I have my written plan, and a splurge was factored in, so back to the healthy carbs and good stuff today. Five mile run/walk this morning too - my second 5 mile this week!

When I headed home from feeding all the animals last night there was a lovely sun setting. My friend lives on a lake, and I stopped in someone's yard to catch a snapshot. While I was standing there, iphone in hand, in someone's driveway - this woman hollers something at me...I couldn't make it out. "Sorry, I didn't catch that," says I. "Would you like to come out behind the house to get your picture?" says the woman. How sweet. They had lakefront property and she was offering me a better shot. I politely declined, saying thanks very much. It shouldn't be such a surprise that are still so many kind and decent people around, but when they are kind to me, I confess, I am always a little startled and sometimes unprepared. It warmed my heart. Here's the picture:

What are you confessing this week? Head over to Dandelion Wishes to join the confessing!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Better Me Countdown - Days 9, 10 & results!

Counting down to the 10th day of this Beach Body Challenge...Results will be revealed at the bottom of this post.

My sister, Mary and I decided to take the plunge and jump into a 90 day challenge with our coach. Mary is blogging her experiences here.

I'll still be running 3x a week, and then supplementing with a Beach Body program called Chalean Extreme. So I probably won't follow the BB program exactly, but I will be working hard.

I still have my 8K coming up in September - Ache Around the Lake. It's a very hard course, with lots of hills and switchbacks. But it was my first race, so it's one of my favorites.

I'm a bit nervous about 90 days - can I commit for that long? I will be a part of a face book support group, will continue to post my food/exercise daily (hopefully daily), get support, give support and continue to make a positive difference in my life.

I've learned a few things during these very short 10 days:

  • planning is imperative, and for my OCD self - this means planning breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and workouts. It just makes the days easier and smoother.
  • early morning workouts are getting slightly easier. it's great to get it out of the way. And if I tell someone I'm going to do it, that makes me much more likely to actually do it (instead of just thinking it would be a good idea to get up early....)
  • supportive friends and family are worth more than a pound of cheesecake (well at least equally tied, just kidding silly). having someone cheer you on and make you do the things you don't feel like doing is real love and commitment.
  • real food just makes you feel better - in lots of ways, and I won't count them, just trust me. I'm trying to eat food that doesn't have a shelf life, has ingredients I can pronounce (and recognize), and that will go bad in a hurry if I don't eat it.
  • exercise that makes you sweat really does give you a nicer  mood, and in my two-person family - "if Caroline is happy, we're all happy."

I won't be blogging everyday, but will shoot for weekly updates, and monthly results.

Soooo, drum rolllllll please.....

The results from my 10 days to a better me challenge:

Weight loss - 4.6 pounds
Waist - 1 inch

Very impressive! Can't wait to see what the numbers (and my body) will look like at the end of 90 days!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Better Me Days 6,7,8 (2 to go!)

It was a crazy weekend, and my food log shows it. But I just did the best I could and went with it. That's the way life is, right? And this post is a bit late, but that's life sometimes.

Our most recent challenge homework was to create a vision board. A visual picture of what I am working toward, how I am accomplishing my crazy awesome goals and future rewards from my changing lifestyle.

We hooked in with Oprah to create our vision boards - you can make one too - Vision Board. Here's mine:

I'll print it out and hang it up where I can see it everyday. Shows my "before", my tools to get where I am going, some of my goals and the rewards along the way.

Only 2 more days to go - what happens next?

I have a couple of options if I want to stay with Beachbody for a little longer. I can just order the Shakelology, and have basic support month-to-month. Or I can join a 90 day challenge which includes the Shakeology and a fitness program.

Of course, I can also just take what I have learned and go it alone from here. Mmmmm....What to do??

I admit I was skeptical about the liquid meal, but I really do like it, I feel it is good nutrition and it's easy in the mornings.

But to continue with Beachbody (either way) there is an expense. So I'm still thinking about it. No decision yet.

I admit that I have already weighed myself (on day 4) and was pleased with those results. I also think I've lost something around my waist because my pants are fitting better. But I haven't measured yet. Waiting for the end of the challenge.

If you are thinking about doing one of these for yourself - you can check out my coach, Lindsay Phillips web site. She is very upbeat, motivating and supportive.  Pin It Now!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Better Me Day 5 (5 to go)

I have a new blender. It puts my old blender to such shame that my old blender really can't even be considered a blender. It was more like a musher. I didn't buy anything pricey, but it is kinda fancy. With extra blades - check it out!

This Ninja really turns the ice to snow, really. What a huge difference in taste! So smooth!!

And my Beach Body coach turned me on to an online food tracker - My Fitness Pal. I was using another program on my phone, but this one is completely free - tracks all your food and exercise and is easy to use. There is also an app, with a FREE bar code scanner. How cool is that? You just scan the bars and the food pops up in your tracker. I'm not crazy about counting calories, but one thing I did learn in Weight Watchers is the importance for me to track my food. If I write it down (or type it, whatever) then I am accountable for what goes in my mouth. Makes a huge difference when deciding if something is worth eating or not.

My Fitness Pal - a real pal.
Food log:

B - Shake, PB2, banana, water

MS - apple/peanut butter

L - pita pocket, chicken, veggies, greek yogurt, minneola

AS - plain nonfat greek yogurt/blueberries

D - salad w/ grilled chicken, blue cheese, almonds

Workout - 3 mile run/walk

Love getting the exercise out of the way first thing in the morning!

One thing I am learning is the power of planning. I've set a timer on my phone to alert me when it's time for the snack (another great tip from my coach). I've written out my entire food plan for the week - breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks. We have a private Facebook group for this challenge, and we are posting our food daily for the group. I am cutting and pasting everyone's menus into a file so that I can steal their great ideas for meals & snacks. If I have to eat the same things for too long, I get bored. What better way to get great ideas than to steal them from others...right? Of course they are welcome to steal mine too.

I really want to succeed this time. 

A few days ago we our challenge was to come up with "Why" we are doing this, and fitness dream goals.

My "Why" is that I have let myself yo-yo for too long. I have been going up and down for the last 15 years or so. Last year I started running because I have always wanted to be a runner. I was in my early 40's and figured if I didn't do it now, I wouldn't ever be a runner. Running helped me lose some pounds initially, but now I need to shake things up a bit. I need a kick in the butt, is what I need. I lose some weight, and then I sabotage myself and gain a little back. My "why" is that I believe that I deserve to be healthy and that it's safe to invest in myself. 

I've tried low/no carb and while I lose weight, it's hard for me to maintain. Impossible for me to maintain. I've also started Weight Watchers, many times. It's a great program, but every time I try it, I eat too much processed food. I always ended up focusing on the number of points I could eat, rather than the actual food I could eat.

Early on in our challenge we had to state our smart goals - how we were going to succeed in these 10 days. These are mine:

Smart goals: 

1 - Run 3x weekly
2 - Track my meals daily 
3 - 64oz of water, at least, daily.

And lastly, we've had to come up with crazy awesome fitness goals for this time next year:

It will be crazy awesome when I can run a 5K race without walking (at all) in 30 minutes. 

It will be crazy awesome to train for a 1/2 marathon and run it next November.

It will be crazy, crazy awesome to be able to to 25 regular push-ups without having to drop on my knees.

Goals are great because they give you something to work for, and how you are going to accomplish them.

Five more days - what will come next??

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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Friday Confessions 8.10.12

I confess......this has been a great week! I started a Ten Day Health Challenge with a Beach coach on Monday, and it has really been going well. We were sent 10 shakes (1 for each day), and use the shake for breakfast or lunch. All other meals are from a meal plan that we were given and it is real food. Stuff I actually eat, and like. Our coach is wonderful - very supportive and helpful. I think these challenges happen regularly, so if you are interested in finding out more info - just let me know.

I confess.....I was uncertain about the whole liquid meal part. I mean, I really, really like to chew my calories. But my sister asked me to do this with her, and two are better than one, right? So we both jumped in. The shakes are actually really tasty, and very, very filling. We have 9 chocolate and 1 strawberry packets. I'm saving the strawberry for the weekend - will add some frozen blueberries to it, and use it for a lunch. It's called Shakeology, and there is a lot of science behind this product. 

I also confess....that I have been exercising more regularly this week, and it feels really good. It's groovy to be in a groove. 

I confess that my residents at work have made me laugh a lot this week! At least half of them have some kind of memory challenges, and they say and do the funniest things. One lady "K", has a big blue goose egg on her forehead from a recent fall. During our baking group yesterday another lady asked her what had happened to her, to make the bruise. K's friend, F answered for her. F said, "Oh you know K, she was out partying late one night, and couldn't find her way home." The other lady just said "Oh, MY." These are nursing home residents in their early 90's - making this stuff up. Where does it come from?? I was laughing, so I didn't say anything - just enjoyed the entertainment. And I have two women right now who are like Weezer and Clairee from Steel Magnolias. They both talk all the time - taking digs at each other, when they aren't together, they are on the phone, and are in rooms right next to each other. So we can all hear their conversations from both of them talking so loudly on the phone to each other, in the hallway. Hilarious times! I do love my job!

Lastly, I confess that one of my guilty pleasures is reading SUAR's blog Shut Up and Run. She is very funny, sarcastic and writes things that everyone else is thinking, but may not say.  She's also an athlete - which is how I found her - when I searched for running blogs. I love her blogs! 

She is blogging this week about an Everyday Endurance giveaway. One of the ways to enter the giveaway is to blog about it. So here I am, blogging about it. They have very cool designs for runners, triathletes and everyday endurance people. Check out these designs, for example. 
Others sleep - it's a lifestyle thing.
Inner Peace - it's a lifestyle thing.
The Pacer - It's a lifestyle thing.

Very cool, huh?

There will be five winners, so hopefully your odds of winning are certainly better than getting on a plane with a drunk pilot (117 to 1), or becoming a pro athlete (22,000 to 1).  The winners can select any design from the Everyday Endurance line and have it put on any item available for that line – shirt, iPhone case, water bottle, hat, visor, etc. Sound good? Totes!
To enter (comment for each):
  • Visit FFC Everyday Endurance site HERE, and tell me which design you like +1 entry
  • "Like" Family Fan Club on Facebook HERE + 1 entry
  • "Follow" Family Fan Club on twitter HERE + 1 entry
  • Twat, FB or blog about this giveaway +1 entry
Five winners will be selected at random on Wednesday, August 15.
Special bonus

Until August 15, save 15% at Family Fan Club by entering the code “shutup15” at checkout. 

I confess that I would LOVE to win one of these designs on a shirt!!

What are you confessing this week?
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Better Me Day 4 (6 to go)

Got up on time today, and walked Rusty for about a mile. Nice start to the day for both of us.

Thursdays are Cooking w/ Caroline at work. I've been dreading today, because I had "Cinnamon Crescent Rolls" on the calendar. They looked divine. I wasn't just hoping that I could stick to my meal plan, I was hoping that I wouldn't eat them all.

My residents really enjoyed making them, and they did a wonderful job. Our entire floor smelled wonderfully cinnamonny. One resident kept telling everyone who wandered in that there was a charge just for smelling these confections! She is a trip. Well we made several hundred dozen. Enough for everyone at lunch, and all of the staff. And I confess that I ate 1/2 roll. It was wonderful! Then I quickly gave the rest of them away. I knew there was no way they could sit in my office and be safe.

If you want the recipe, you can find it here - The Hungry Housewife.

Here's my food for the day:

B - Shake, banana, pb2, water
MS - Oats/blueberries/strawberries (1/2 cinnamon roll)
L- 1/2 pocket bread w/ sauteed onions, spinach & peppers, chicken, mustard, 1 orange
AS - WASA w/ laughing cow wedge, 1 cup popcorn
D- Panera Bread. Thanks Lindsay for helping me make a good choice. Pick 2 - cup chicken noodle soup (didn't eat the noodles) and 1/2 size Asian chicken salad w/ no wonton strips. Gave my side of bread to hubby for his soup.

Workout - Ripped in 30

Lots of water - 3/4 gallon

My rings are getting looser, and I can take my wedding rings off at night. Something good is happening.

Our Beach Body coach is really great. Checking in on us, encouraging us on facebook. She really wants to see us succeed. 

I love that I am doing this with my sister. We are really supporting each other, and forcing each other to be accountable. To Show Up in Our Own Lives (thanks for this JM).

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Better Me Day Three (7 to go)

I really, really wanted rain this morning. Buckets and buckets of rain. It stormed and rained most of the night, so when I got up at 5:30am (my alarm worked, and no snooze), I immediately checked outside for rain. None. Just lots of humidity. So my 5-mile run was still on. Oh boy.

It was a tough run - my feet and hips were hurting, and it's been a while since I've attempted 5 hilly miles. I was slow, and not so sure. But did get it done. It wasn't my worst time, but it did take me and hour and nine minutes.

Lots of room for improvement between today and September 22 - Ache Around the Lake 8K. Last year I finished in 58 minutes, and I would like to beat that time this year, even if it's only by one minute.

But the good news is that exercise is DONE for today!! I had thought about trying to get out of it last night, but then heard from my sister who is also doing this challenge that she was going to have to do her run this morning. Well, hell, then I felt like I HAD to do mine this morning too. So we suffered together, so to speak.

Food has been on track today:

Pre-run - 1/2 banana, water

Recovery - 1 cup 1% choc milk

B  - Shake, 1/2 banana, honey, water

MS - Oats & Blueberries, almonds

L - Grilled chicken on greens, blue cheese, strawberries, balsamic dressing

AS - nonfat fage w/ minneola tangerine, almonds

D - salmon, brown rice, sauteed onions, peppers & spinach

Workout - 5 mile run/walk Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Better Me Day Two (8 to go)

I woke up a little after midnight with a splitting headache. I'm sure it was the toxins crying out for more junk in my body. Only one healthy day, and my body rebels. That should tell you what kind of a diet I've had lately. I was awake about an hour, then drifted into a very deep sleep.

This morning did not start well. Yesterday my alarm didn't go off at all. Today it alarmed on schedule at 6:15am, and I immediately hit the snooze button - about 4 times in a row. Then turned it off completely, and when I woke up it was 8:05am. Ugh! Not good! And I really should have washed my hair this morning, especially since I knocked out 3 miles last night in high humidity, but just no time.

I texted the girls at work and let them know I was running late, and then focused on getting my food ready. No time for the blender, so I broke out my new blender bottle for my shake this morning. It has a little wire ball inside that mixes everything up. It worked really well.

I had all my food ready in the frigde, so I just had to throw it in my lunch bag this morning. It really helps me to take a few minutes each night to get my snacks/lunch ready. 

Lunch today was soooo good. I had sauteed veggies last night, and made enough for my chicken pita sandwich today. I heated the veggies with some raw spinach in the microwave and it was just really good. I also had a couple slices of an heirloom tomato and 1/3 of an avocado. When I stuffed it in the pita, it all fell apart, so I just cut it up and ate it like a salad. I used my balsamic dressing to drizzle on it all.  For dessert I had a Minneola tangerine. A great meal. Can you tell that I really enjoyed this lunch? Everyone at the table kept telling me how good it looked. And the best part? It was healthy! 

Here is my food for the day:

B - Shake w/ PB2 & unsweetened almond milk
MS - plain fat-free Fage greek yogurt & strawberries - I really like the plain Fage, even though it's 0% fat - it tastes creamy to me.
L - Grilled chicken pita w/ veggies & avocado, tangerine
AF - small apple w/ peanut butter
D - Salad w/ grilled chicken, sunflower seeds, strawberries, blue cheese & balsamic dressing

Workout - Ripped in 30 (Jillian Michaels) 

Recovery - 1/2 cup 1% Choc milk

My yummy dinner salad:

By the way, I'm doing this with my sister Mary - you can read about her experience here on her 40 by 40 blog.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Better Me Day One (9 to go)

First day of my ten day healthy challenge. First day of training for my upcoming 8K (Sept 22). I set my alarm for 5:55am. The plan was to be out of the house and running 3 miles by 6:05am. And I would have too...

If my alarm had gone's on the fritz. It's done this before, and no, I did not hit the snooze button (this time).

So this had me frazzled. I didn't want to start off both challenges in the hole so to speak. But didn't have time to run before work, so focused on food.

Fixed my shake - added a small banana, PB2, ice, chocolate shake powder and blended it all up. It was very, very frothy. Very thick, and very chocolaty. Next time I will add more ice. It wasn't terrible, it was actually tasty, but I think it would have been better colder. So more ice next time. Next time meaning tomorrow.

My food choices were all clean today - no junk. I'm already feeling withdrawals from my many-cookie a day habit I had. 

I got my run/walk in about 45 minutes after dinner. It's very humid, and for some reason my hips were feeling the run, so I had to walk more than I wanted to, but I felt good about getting in the distance.

Tomorrow will be Ripped in 30 DVD, then 5 mile run/walk on Wed.

Our coach wants us to eat every 3 hours so MS - Morning snack, AS - Afternoon snack.

Here's my food for the day:

B - Shake w/ banana, almond milk & PB2

MS - 1/2 cup oats & strawberries

L - salad w/ grilled chicken, blue cheese, sunflower seeds, w/ Balsamic dressing

AS - WASA cracker w/ laughing cow cheese, red pepper slices, 1 cup popcorn

D - Grilled chicken, 1/3 cup brown rice, sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach - drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Exercise - 3 mile run/walk

Recovery - 1 cup 1% chocolate milk

Here's a photo of my fabulous dinner:

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Ten Days to a Better Version of Me"

A few weeks ago, my sister, Mary sent me a flier about a 10-day challenge and asked if I was interested in joining her for it.

I looked it over, got some more information and decided it looked like something good for me. I'm doing better with exercise than nutrition lately, and this program is focused on nutrition. The shake has good ingredients, as well as probiotics, digestive enzymes and fiber. The focus is on real food - pairing lean protein with complex carbs (non-starchy vegetables & fruits), with no sugar or sugary foods.

It's an extension of - they have members who act as coaches for everyday people - like me and Mary. For our $50 we get 10 days worth of Skakeology, a meal plan, access to a private Facebook support group and our coach.

The challenge this starts tomorrow. Yesterday I highlighted the meals I plan on eating, along with my snacks and went to the store. I have prepped and chopped today so I am feeling pretty prepared food-wise. Also we are supposed to exercise 8 of of the 10 days. So I have my plan for that as well. Run 3 days/week, and Ripped in 30 (Jillian Michaels) the other days. One day a week rest. I have them scheduled on the calendar.

Our coach has been posting encouraging notes on our facebook page, along with sort of a warning to not blow it out this weekend eating everything we think we won't get to eat ever again. I took this to heart, and thought seriously about it while I ate an entire container of Ben & Jerry's. Felt like crap afterward, and still today. The glass of red wine I had before probably didn't help me make a good decision (about whether or not to eat just 1/2 or all of the ice cream). Well it's all fresh tomorrow. And no more ice cream today!

I have to do my measurements, weight and dreaded before-photo today. Well, I'll probably wait and do the scale in the morning. No need to rush into that.

I'll try to update as we go along, and definitely let you know how it goes (good or bad). Hopefully not bad. 

Here's to Ten Days to a Better Version of Me!

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sweat Your Thorns off - Virtual Race Report 8.4.12

This was my first Virtual Race. And it was interesting. I printed off my race bib - it was very cool. I was psyched that I got the #1 , then I forgot it when I left the house. Bummer. 

Today was a planned track day with my local running club, TRC. So, good thing this was a virtual race. I could lie and say that I did a normal 3.1 run. But that would be a total lie. So I did the track workout with my buddies (which came out to about 1.5 miles), then added on the extra 1.6 miles to bring my total to 3.1.

Our club had a running clinic this past Tuesday with local Coach Katie Malone of Malone Coaching. So the track workout was a practice of what we learned - skipping (thankfully there was hardly anyone there this morning at 7:30am - unlike the night of the clinic when we skipped by soccer players and their fans, IE moms & dads), butt kicks, high knees and recovery laps.

The only photo i have to show for my efforts is the group photo we took this morning. I'm the one on the left with the pink hat. Not entirely embarrassing, but not great either. I SHOULD have my cool #1 bib on that black & white tank!!

Sure didn't break any records out there today! It was my personal worst 5K at 39:11. But did sweat a lot due to the very high humidity and had fun with other runners. I waved and said hello to all the runners and stayed hydrated. That's all I have to say about the pointers offered from our Race Director.

If you are interested, "Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K" is sponsored by The Boring Runner.

Next race is, hopefully, the Maggie Valley Moonlight 8K in August and ongoing Ache Around the Lake 8K training (Sept 22). And while I won't be running the Tryon 1/2 this year, I will be training for it. 

Till next time - run to live!

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