Friday, December 30, 2011

Low-Calorie Cocktails for New Years

If you are anything like me in that you love a good drink on New Year's Eve, here are some recipes so that you can enjoy the holiday without all of the calories that go along with some of our favorite drinks. I have tried all of these and they are tasty!! Enjoy and Cheers to the 2012!!

Blueberry Lime Margarita
Makes 2 servings at 125 calories each
2 cups ice
1 cup frozen blueberries
1cup blueberry nectar
1/4 cup seltzer
2 tbsp frozen limeade
1 tbsp lime juice
3 oz. tequila, optional
1 lime wedge
coarse salt

Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila, if using, in a blender and blend until smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve.

Blueberry Ginger Bellini
Makes 4 servings at 185 calories each
1/2 cup blueberries
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups of blueberry juice
1/2 cup sparkling wine, divided (for my pregnant and non-drinking friends... use ginger ale or seltzer water)

Mash blueberries with ginger, sugar and lemon juice. Add blueberry juice and let steep for at least 5 minutes. Strain; divide among 4 champagne flutes. Top each with 1/2 cup sparkling wine.

Salty Chihuahua
Makes 4 servings at 188 calories each
Coarse salt for rim
4 oz. tequila, divided
2 oz. Cointreau or another orange-flavored liqueur
3 cups grapefruit juice, divided
4 grapefruit slices

Wet the rims of 4 glasses and coat with coarse salt (if desired); fill the glasses with ice. Pour 1 ounce tequila and 1/2 ounce liqueur into each. Top each with 3/4 cup grapefruit juice and stir. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit. 

All drink recipes are courtesy of

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Now that the wrapping paper has been thrown away and visiting relatives have returned to their homes we now focus towards 2012. 

What does 2012 represent to you?

For me it represents a time for change and new adventures. Many of us go into the new year with a plan, dream, or idea in our hearts and it's a matter of how do i put this into action?

This is the year for me that encompasses a few definite goals

1. Volunteer more
2. Run the Nike's Women Half-Marathon
3. Take the GRE in the fall
4. Visit Mel Dell and the family
5. Turn 30 in style!!
6. Make several items off of Pinterest

What are your thoughts? Any ideas for me?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas

... from the owls that adorned my Christmas tree as well as many family and friends.

Seasons Greetings!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Croissants

My friend Jimmy decided to have a little "get-together" this week with a few friends and invited us to all bring either a bottle of wine or something to share. Being the person who can never come empty-handed i decided to try out a new recipe. Pumpkin Pie Croissants seemed to be the perfect mix of two worlds... Pillsbury croissants and pumpkin pie.


Pumpkin Pie Croissants

2 tubes of croissants
1 cup pumpkin (not filling)
1/2 block of cream cheese
3-4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Mix cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin together until creamy
  • Roll each crescent out and cut in half lengthwise. This will make 32 crescents. 
  • Fill each crescent with the pumpkin mix. Roll up and then coat with the second sugar mix.
  • Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • ENJOY!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Party and Cookies

Tonight is my last holiday party for the year i think/hope. It's my friend's yearly holiday party that usually ends up with one of us airing out all our grievances like festivus. For those of you who don't understand this reference... check this out!

This party brings many factions of life/friends together so of course we need food there as well as alcohol. I am trying a new recipe that i got from Skinny Taste except i changed the flour combination for my recipe. 

I am currently in the process of organizing a new routine for my workouts so get excited for the reveal this week.

Skinny Snickerdoodles
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp sugar*
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon*
  • cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchemant paper  and spray with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine 1 cup of sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add the agave, vanilla and egg; beat well.  Gradually addthe flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating just until combined.  Cover and chill for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine 3 tbsp sugar with cinnamon, stirring with a whisk to combine.  With moist hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls in sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Place balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets (I slightly flattened them).   

Bake 375°F for 5-7 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft).  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.  Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stress Relief - One Yoga Pose a Day!

Monday: Take a Deep Breath

One minute, you're enjoying your Sunday coffee, lounging on the sofa. The next, it's Monday morning and your alarm is going off. The weekend has come to a screeching halt, but the transition doesn't have to feel like whiplash. This posture helps you greet your week head on, with a clearer, calmer perspective.
Seal Pose
What It Does. Stretches the belly and aids digestion, restores the curve in the lower back, helps protect the spine from long hours of sitting.
How to Do It. Lie on your stomach with your legs and feet relaxed. Then, reaching your arms forward along the floor, straighten them just enough to lift your torso into a gentle backbend.
Do not strain or force; this should be a very passive and subtle stretch. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths, then release. Repeat for 1 to 5 minutes.

Tuesday: Think Clearly

You can feel the stress mounting. Remember to take things slowly and stay loose as you find your rhythm. Use this gentle stretch to help undo back and leg tension and keep you grounded and steady.
Supported Seated Forward Bend
What It Does. Stretches hamstrings and inner thighs, releases tension along the spine. Quiets the mind and promotes focus, stimulates the sixth chakra, which activates intuition and wisdom.
How to Do It. Sit on a cushion on the floor with your legs extended on either side of a chair. Fold forward at the hips and rest your forehead and arms on the seat of the chair. Take deep, slow breaths through your nose and hold for 3 to 5 minutes.

Wednesday: Get Grounded

If a midweek slump has left you out of steam, get back on track by carving out a moment of calm. This easy reclining pose does just that, with an ultra-relaxing stretch that helps you get out of your head.
Supported Goddess
What It Does. Releases tight hips, stretching the groin muscles; connects you to the grounding energy of the root chakra, located at the base of your spine.
How to Do It. Lie on your back with the bottoms of your feet touching and knees splayed to the sides, resting on pillows or rolled blankets. Feel your spine on the floor.
Place your palms on your belly or rest your arms out to the sides, palms up. Let your belly slowly rise and fall with each breath. Remain here for 3 to 5 minutes, or however long you like.

Thursday: Clear Out the Gunk

What if I don't get this done in time? Why hasn't she called? Worries have been accumulating -- and they're cluttering your head. Left unchecked, even the tiniest stresses will inhibit your best ideas from coming through.
Treat yourself to a few moments of stillness with this pose, and watch your inspiration re-emerge.
Supported Pigeon
What It Does. Opens the hips and groin, lets go of stress and pent-up emotions, quiets the mind, and promotes emotional release.
How to Do It. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, swing your left leg around, extending it straight out behind you, tops of the feet and toes against the floor. Fold forward at the hips.
For added support, put a folded blanket or pillow under the right hip. Rest your forehead on a cushion or blanket and relax into the pose for 2 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the other leg.

Friday: Soothe Frazzled Nerves

As another hectic workweek slows to a close, it's time to downshift -- and ramp up your self-care.
Friday's pose quiets your mind and nervous system, restoring your inner resources so that you can fully enjoy the weekend ahead.
Supported Child's Pose
What It Does. Releases the muscles in the back, gently opens the hips, boosts your energy.
How to Do It. Sit back on your heels with your legs folded under you and the tops of your feet on the floor. Open the knees wide and bend forward at the hips.
Rest your forehead (or your chest) on a pillow or blanket and keep your arms slightly bent. If your buttocks don't reach your heels, place a blanket under your thighs. Relax and breathe deeply for 3 to 5 minutes.

Saturday: Loosen Up

The sun's out and the day's wide open. Savor your Saturday by twisting away any residual tension in your back. It's a delicious way to wake up -- or even wind down after running around town.
Supported Reclined Twist
What It Does. Helps the whole body (hips, spine, digestive system, nervous system, shoulders, chest, etc.) unwind. Promotes digestion and detoxification.
How to Do It. Lie on your back, dropping your left knee across your body to rest on a pillow or blanket. Shift your hips right to avoid over-twisting the lower back.
Rest your arms, elbows soft, on the floor over your head. Turn your head in whichever direction feels most comfortable and breathe into this gentle stretch for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

This article and poses is posted on Whole Living. Enjoy these simple moves and namaste!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 7 Results

I had no internet last week so sorry for the delay.

Well friends, i think that i fell off of the wagon this week. Thanksgiving week which is a tough week to begin with but add in a sick family member and that brings added stress. a little insight into my life... i am the peacekeeper in my family or ray of sunshine. I always try to see the positive in anything and so this week was especially draining. Those of you who have had an ailing grandparent/parent/sibling understand what i am talking about. My grandfather is getting close to the end of his life and my grandmother is suffers from dementia so there is no way that she can take care of him so we have been trying to set the both of them up this week while celebrating the holidays.

Between helping my grandpa around the house and the hoodlums at the hotel, i have had little to no sleep or exercise. The sleep is a whole other story. I was staying at one of the local casinos at a killer rate (39 bucks/night) but with this rate there was a catch apparently. So my neighbors on the 11th floor had 2 children who were up til 11pm and screaming at each other while they were awake. It probably didn't help that mom yelled as loud as them either. Seriously people!?!?!? And last night BUSH was in town and so the locals were enjoying the concert and thus crashing at the hotel. 2:30am Sunday i was awakened by a drunken idiot male screaming at his girlfriend in the hallway. I felt like i was in a Jerry Springer show. Another hotel guest came to the defense of the girlfriend and ended up getting sucker punched in the face. After about 15 minutes of screaming, security showed up and escorted drunken idiot to some other location. Geez... maybe it's time to not stay at this hotel. Thoughts?

I am anxious to see what the scale says.

Uh oh 163 pounds... time to practice better decision-making when it comes to food.  Tomorrow i head to St. Louis for a conference so i'll have to think about this constantly...

No journey is without struggle so i guess that this is my struggle.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 6 Results!!

With the fat dog snoring underneath my chair i figured that it was time to do my weekly weigh in post.
The scale read 160 this week. Healthy here we come!!

We are entering into the DANGER ZONE otherwise known as the holidays. As a former eating club officer (that's right folks, there was an eating club in college) I must say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. And it's not because of the family and drama of seeing people, NO, it's because of the FOOOOOOOD. So with that in mind and trying not to derail my hard work this upcoming travel week i have few tips for us.

Just because you can eat the whole plate, doesn't mean that you should.

While visiting family, i will be staying in a hotel which means no kitchen and lots of eating out. Thanks to my favorite entertainer/professor Jim Painter and his whole philosophy about portions... you can eat anything you want, you just have to watch the portions for a true serving. A good rule of thumb is to load up on veggies and fruit and divide your pasta portion in half. With thanksgiving my plan in to only have one plate and to not cram that plate full of as much food as possible. What are your tricks?

Bring exercises for the room.

I plan to bring my Insanity videos as well as a "charged up" Ipod. The Insanity workouts can easily be done in the room. I don't know about the runs but we shall see if they have a treadmill otherwise i might have to get creative.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mid-Week Check In Week 6

So this week has been a week full of "everything that could go wrong." On Monday i slept through my alarm, Tuesday i had a dog vomit emergency, this morning left my phone on silent... so my workouts this week have suffered. Tonight, thankfully i have a break in my schedule from 4:30 to 7pm. I AM GOING TO (non excuses) workout for this time. I'm think that i should do Bob Yoga and walk the dogs...

I saw these few workouts online this week and wanted to share... what are your thoughts? being able to drop a size in a month sounds promising. I will add this to my routine next week and we shall see if my clothes begin to hang off of me starting Dec 21st.

Enjoy the rest of the week! -Lovebug

Crunched for time but still want to tighten and tone? Try this full-body strength workout from New York City—based trainer Pete Cerqua, author ofThe 90-Second Fitness Solution. Instead of countless sets and reps, you’ll do each exercise just once (or once per side), stretching the movements out over a full 90 seconds. Follow this routine 3–4 times a week (with 1 day of rest in between) and you’ll shrink a size in a month.

Hindu squat

works legs, butt

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms raised to shoulder height for balance. Bend knees and slowly descend, keeping hips over heels and back straight. One-third of the way down, pause and hold for 10 seconds. Lower 2 inches more, raising heels, as needed; hold for 10 seconds. Continue to lower your body in this pattern 3 more times, ending in a deep squat. To complete the move, slowly straighten legs in 4 (10-second) increments.

Trainer tip: Keep your legs engaged, belly drawn in, and shoulders drawn back throughout the move.

Ball bridge fly

Works hips, hamstrings, butt, chest, arms, and shoulders

A. (top) Lie on back with feet on top of exercise ball and legs straight. (Don’t lock your knees.) Hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms raised over chest. Press heels into ball, and lift hips so body forms a straight line. (Don’t let your hips sag.)

B. (bottom) Bend elbows slightly, open arms a few inches to the side; hold 10 seconds. Open 2 inches more, and hold 10 seconds; repeat 3 more times. Close arms in 4 (10-second) increments.

Trainer tip: It’s OK to take a quick break partway through if you need to.

Single leg squat reverse fly with ball

Works thighs, butt, back, arms, shoulders, and neck

A. (top) Start with a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand and right leg lifted so top of right foot rests on exercise ball behind you. Bend left knee to 45 degrees, rolling ball backward and hinging forward until back is parallel to floor and arms are hanging down.

B. (bottom) With elbows slightly bent, raise each arm a few inches and hold for 10 seconds. Raise arms 2 inches more, and hold for 10 seconds; repeat pattern 3 more times, ending with arms at shoulder height. Slowly lower arms in 4 (10-second) increments. Repeat with opposite leg.

Trainer tip: Trouble balancing? Draw abs in and up and square your hips, imagining your inner thighs are drawing toward one another.

Lying rotary torso

Works abs

A. (top left) Lie on your back with legs lifted straight up, arms reaching out to either side and palms down.

B. (lower right) Lower legs a few inches to the left, and hold for 10 seconds. Lower 2 inches more, and hold 10 seconds; repeat 3 more times, ending with legs hovering just above the floor. (Your right hip will lift as you move, so draw your abs in to protect your lower back, and keep your right shoulder down.) Raise legs back to center in 4 (10-second) increments. Repeat on opposite side.

Trainer tip: For variety, try rotating legs left and holding a few inches from the floor for 45 seconds. Return to top position, then repeat on the right side.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 5 Results

And then the scale read... 161. Time to kick it into high gear. I want to break the 160 barrier.

My motivation for fitness that will also be a celebration of success is the Nike Women's Marathon next fall. It has a raffle entry process so there are no guarantees that I'll get to do it but it never hurts to try. This one sounds like a lot of fun since you run through San Francisco and are greeted at the finish line by tuxedo clad men and a Tiffany blue box!

Fall is a long way off so i will warm up with the Illinois Marathon next April. I am getting into the swing of running and an finding my stride. I can't wait for it to warm up so i can take my runs outside. Too bad that will be 5-6 months from now. Blah!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Penne Pasta with Brussel Spouts in a Light Ragu

Now i know what you are thinking.... gross!! I HATE brussel sprouts. Keep in mind i have never tried them... not that i can remember.

But when i saw this recipe on Skinny Taste... i had to try it.

So here it goes... with a little tweaking. Like i always say, i live in the cornfields where fresh veggies are either non-existent or they cost you an arm and a leg. So i had to adjust some things

  • 1.5 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 12 oz brussels sprouts, frozen and chopped with a sharp knife
  • 2/3 cup onion, diced small
  • handful of baby carrot, diced small
  • 1 celery stalk, diced small
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-15 shakes crushed red pepper (i love this stuff)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 lb penne pasta
In a large skillet, add turkey over medium-high heat. When completely cooked through; set aside in a bowl.

With a sharp knife, cut the brussels sprouts into thin shreds.I did this while frozen. Surprisingly easy.
To the skillet, add 2 tsp of oil over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook until golden (do not burn). Add shredded brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and sauté until tender crisp, set aside in another bowl.

To the same skillet, add remaining 2 tsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, stirring well to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables turn golden brown. 

Add crushed tomatoes, turkey, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, salt and fresh pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30 - 40 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, while sauce is simmering, put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Add the pasta to the water 10 minutes before the sauce is done and cook pasta al dente.

Drain and add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce.

Add cooked brussels sprouts, toss and place in a large pasta bowl.

So good!!! There were plenty of leftovers. This dish reheats really well.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mid Week Check-in Week 5

Wow oh wow oh wow... what a way to end the day.

Today started out as a busy day at work and just got busier... and then dinner hit. The boyfriend made ham and mashed potatoes and biscuits. Yummy! I hate to eat and run but i had to run home right after and let the dogs out since they had been inside all day... I have a heart.

And then the other shoe dropped...
I got a text message that read, "I was gonna talk to you yesterday and chickened out. I want to breakup. No i haven't cheated or anything like that..." yada yada yada.

Seriously?!?!? Seriously?!?!?!?

This was totally one of those moments... My ode to Sex and the City... this breakup felt like a post it moment... Nothing else to said, no response to texts of calls.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week Four Results!!

Traveling and falling off the wagon are a natural part of the process. The last four days i have been in Kansas City visiting a close friend which meant that i was going to be eating out a lot and probably not the healthiest things than i could. The workouts were also non existent so it's time to face the music and see what the scale reads... 162lbs. Wahoo! I expected it to be much worse.

Anyways, back to the program. Today i pick Insanity back up and will repeat week 5 of Podrunner Intervals First Day to 5K since i did not do the Friday run. I am really enjoying this podcast and running is not that bad.

The clippings for this week focus on our abs. While i might not have easy access to gym equipment for the first one, the second and third ones are easy enough to do in your own house.

Here we go! Time to get back to work!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mid Week Check-In Week 4

I've never had it done and they do it for free so i figured, why not?!?

Today i had my cholesterol checked. It's all a part of the Adult Fitness Program. In order to do this i had to fast for 12 hours which put a kink into my workout plans. I had intended to do Insanity's Cardio Power and Resistance but once i found out that i could not drink water (minimal) after 5:30pm i figured that that would be a bad idea.

So i went this morning and had my middle finger "milked" by a graduate student who was doing the test. LOL! After this i went and did the 5K podcast and ran 2 8-minute intervals. Good job me!

I figured that i had lost some water weight so out of curiosity i stepped on the scale... 160 lbs.

Fitness/Stretch of the Week involves a Bosu Ball. These are some easy things to do at home while watching GLEE, Revenge, Survivor, etc. Try doing these during an entire commercial break... it's tougher than it seems.

Have a fabulous rest of the week!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A DILEMMA with an easy solution

For those of you who don't know my personally, i will let you in on a secret. I work with students, more specifically college-aged students at the university. In my every day path i tend to deal with attitudes, dumb decisions, and lack of understanding which can lead to one feeling negative and jaded about people in general. Actually, i love my job, i love seeing the "light bulb" turn on as a person "gets it" and to watch them develop into a responsible person. That being said here is the dilemma...

A former student  has fallen on hard times and due to circumstances beyond his control he had to leave his residence hall. People here on campus have gone above and beyond to help him get settled and adjusted but it seems like there is more that we can do. He lacks all of the basics that many of us acquire over the course of living on our own (i.e. couches, dining room table, blankets, pillows, etc.). The thing that hit me the most was the fact that he does not have a bed. He is currently sleeping on a borrowed air mattress which while it works, is no way to ensure a good night's sleep. This just tore at my heart. After some searching it appears that Big Lots sells twin mattresses for 100 dollars.

So this got me thinking... how could i "friendraise" over a hundred dollars so that i could get him a bed and some sheets and blankets for the winter months? And then it hit me... For the past year i have been saving for a Louis Vuitton purse and have been setting aside savings every month in an effort to buy my purse when i go out to California this winter. I almost have enough for the purse that i want which those of you that understand the power of the LV probably have an idea of how much money that is.

A simple question with an easy answer...
Do i sacrifice a year long goal for the needs of another?

Simple Answer.... YES!
I think that i will also add in one of those bed-in-a-bag things and some pillows. Apparently the guy has NOTHING, but soon he will have a bed.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week Three Results!

And the scale said... 162! We are entering week 5 of the 5K Podcast Mix. This week has 3 different mixes which makes me think that i am going to be running more than walking this week. I peeked and the friday mix has a 20 minute run in it. Wish me luck on that. I'll post on Wednesday about the first 2 out of the 3 mixes and we shall see how that goes.

And it is time to stop talking about doing Insanity and to actually put the money where my mouth is...
Insanity asks for a Fit Test as a way to assess how your progress is going.

Fit Test (Start)
Switch Kicks - 44
Power Jacks - 36
Power Knees - 80
Power Jumps -20
Globe Jumps - 7
Suicide Jumps - 5
Push-up Jacks - 10
Low Plank Oblique - 13

Here's hoping that these numbers improve. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes. Good luck this week and remember...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

So a few weeks ago i bribed the boyfriend by telling him that if he watched my dogs for the weekend that i would make him some pumpkin bread. So now it is time to deliver... looking for a recipe isn't hard since it seems like everyone has a recipe.

I however was on a mission to figure out if i could make pumpkin bread with Pumpkin Pie Mix instead of just canned pumpkin. A month ago i was so excited about the prospects of pumpkin hitting store shelves that i neglected to read the can and i ended up buying several cans of pumpkin pie mix. Now i don't intend to make 20 pumpkin pies so i set out in search of alternate recipes using this ingredient. After several tries, i think i found a recipe that works and uses he whole 30oz can of pie mix.

Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 cup veggie oil
1 can pumpkin pie filling (30oz)
3 1/2 cup flour (i used whole wheat flour)
3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
sugar and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Add oil, water, and pie filling and mix well
  • Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl
  • Add to egg mixture and mix well together
  • Makes 2 (9-inch) loaves
  • Bake a 350 degrees for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean. After 30 minutes, sprinkle sugar and pie spice on top of loaf
  • Allow to cool

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mid Week Check-In Week 3

Ran 2.7 miles this morning... well walk/ran it would be a more accurate phrase but still. Quite an accomplishment!

I found these sheets in a SHAPE Magazine that i had lying on my coffee table and thought that i should share.
While we all know these moves and have done them in a aerobics class, sometimes we need to have it in print form before we would actually do it.

Thinking about the plank move makes my stomach muscles begin to shake as i contemplate how many reps of these i might have to do. The way i get though it... remember that it is only 30-seconds or 1-minute. In the grand scheme of your day, this is nothing and a very minuscule amount of you day.

Resistance bands are something that everyone should have at home. I was able to pick mine up at Walmart for under 9 dollars. These can be used for things like this as well as Pilates.

What do you think of the Balancing Fly?

Weights?!?!?! Are you kidding me! Who has those lying around? NOT ME! So what did i do, picked up my piggy bank full of coins and using it as my weight. You can also used a canned food product depending on how much weight you are trying to use. Go For it! Give it a try.

Keep up the good work!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week Two Results!

And the scale said... 162 pounds. I lost a pound!! Small success but it's a success still. This week kicks on week 4 of the First Day to 5K mix which includes 2 5-minute and 3-minute sets. If you would have told me a few weeks ago that i would be able to run for 5 SOLID minutes, i would have said that you were crazy. I am excited for it!! Can't wait til tomorrow.

Today is a rest day so my cardio will be a vigorus dog walk. I think that they will both enjoy it although after a few minutes, Baines will look at me and send me signals that he wants to go home. "Fattie" doesn't realize that he needs to get in shape too.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles

Ok, so as winter approaches and pumpkins surround us... recipes using this ingredient tend to consume my mind. I looked online at several recipes but they all seemed to call for things that i did not have readily available in my kitchen (i.e. wheat germ, buttermilk, etc.). But i finally found one that had all of the ingredients that were in my kitchen but i wanted to make sure that i maximized my ingredients and wouldn't have any leftovers. This recipe is perfect as a "make your own eggo" recipe where you will have plenty left over to freeze and warm up in a toaster throughout the week. :)

Pumpkin Waffles

2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1  1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg)
3/16 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/8 cup brown sugar
1 can pumpkin puree (15oz)
2 1/2 cup milk
3/8 cup canola oil

Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Combine all wet ingredients together in a bowl. Combine all ingredients together, do not over mix.

Spray waffle iron. I used a 3/4 measuring cup to pour it onto the waffle iron. Let them cook. My first 2 waffles came apart when i lifted the lid when my waffle iron told me that they should be done. So the moral of this story is to ignore the light on your waffle iron and let them cook a little longer. Do not pull them off until you know that they are done. This makes 12 waffles.

Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar and enjoy! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mid Week Check-In Week 2

Jumping to Week 3 of the Podrunner Intervals mix has kicked my butt this week. My legs are a little sore but they always say... No pain, no gain. I think next week i will start the Insanity Program again to kick this weight loss into high gear. I was a slacker on Tuesday and Thursday this week and did not go to Pilates. I think that this has been a tough week. My legs hurt but nothing major just not used to the effort. I also think that this week has been telling in terms of commitment. It truly is easy to slip back into old ways and i really need to not allow that to happen. Having a schedule is the only way to keep it up. Taking the first two weeks to figure out the time for YOU helps with getting it done. I have realized that i am a morning person and they afternoon/evening commitment requires a whole other incentive. Before Sunday's weigh-in my homework assignment is to come up with an incentive for my afternoon/evening exercises. Any ideas????

I have found some good tips to share with you courtesy of the September 2011 Women's Health. See below for tips to help you shed those pounds based off of how many pounds you are trying to lose.

I found that using a chair for the balance ball exercises works just as well for these exercises.

Happy exercising!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Week One Results!

I got up this morning and stepped onto the scale... 163 lbs. It's only a week so i don't expect crazy results. I then began my morning routine of doing the Week 3 of the PodRunner Interval Mix. By the end of this 20-some-odd-minute routine, i have run/walked more than 2 miles. A few weeks ago i would have laughed in your face had you told me that i would have done this and still been able to move. I am hopeful for this week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

A sale on celery this past weekend led to a surplus of celery in my veggie drawer. oops!

I found a recipe for a Fruity Peanut Butter Dip which sounded like a good idea for my celery snack. It have a few variations to choose from so use whichever one sounds like the best one for you.

Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
Ingredients(Makes 6-8 servings):
  • 6 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons blackberry jam/preserves
  • 1/2 cup natural runny peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Fruit/veggies for dipping

It tastes like a pb and j. Yummy! Safe to say, the celery is GONE!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mid Week Check-In Week 1

Alright folks, in an effort to prevent injury but work my way up to the insanity program, i am gradually increasing my daily activity.

Sunday I did a 20 minute Yoga Session from Yoga entitled Sun Salutation Flow #1. This podcast is absolutely free and also comes with a Pose Guide so that me, as a beginner, know what i am supposed to be doing. This session was a Level 1 session so it should have worked perfectly for me. One this i realized is that i have little to no upper body strength. One pose i am determined to master and so i have added it to my daily workout is going from High Plank to Chaturanga to Up Dog.

The two poses on either side seem relatively easy but it is this one...
that seems to be tough since the elbows are kept in and my body naturally wants to collapse to the floor.

Then like i do for everything else in my life, hairstyles, makeups tips, etc. I went to You Tube to see if there was a tutorial for how to do this move in the Sun Salutation series and much to my amusement there was a video of how to do this move. I am so excited to go home tonight and try this move using Sadie's tips.

Last week I had started the First Day to 5K series using Week 1. This series is set up to be done 3x a week. You can download it from iTunes or from the Podrunner Intervals website directly.Using my Rec Center Pass and the treadmills there, i am doing this interval series at 3.5 for my walking pace and 5.5 for my run/jog. This week i started with Week 2 of the interval mix and the beats make me want to dance while on the treadmill which is probably not the best idea for me and my klutzy ways.

I took a break from the cardio on Tuesday and decided to attend Pilates. This was a burner for my core and midsection so i think that i will continue to do this on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I am excited to see how the rest of the week goes so wish me luck!