Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creme Brulee

The friggin' creme brulee in my work cafeteria gets me every time!  It is so amazing.  I don't even want to know how much heavy cream & sugar is in it.  Thankfully, it's a small serving but STILL.  I must take after my mom - we both love it as well as mexican food.

I had that with a healthy salad... go figure.

I had a personal day yesterday which was nice.  I was able to do 3.5 miles on the treadmill in which I finished in 38:19.  No knee pain!

I won't be home until 10:30 tonight so training will commence tomorrow and over the weekend.  Ahh.. the weekend is close.  I'm off on Saturday!  So I'll cross train Saturday and do 5 miles on Sunday afternoon.

I just glimpsed at the calendar on my desk and Daylight Savings is only 10 days away - Yay!  it'll be lighter later and I won't want to get into my PJs by 5:00 p.m.  Ha!

Have a good rest of the day and weekend :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fitness Pal & Breakfast Shake

Here's today's breakfast which is 1.5 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a handful of strawberries and blueberries, a few mango chunks, 1 tsp flax meal, 1 tsp raw honey and a handful of spinach.  It was really good.. and filling.  I drink this on the way to work (7:30-8) and have a snack around 10:30.

This blender rocks.
 For lunch I brought white bean soup and after my apple with PB snack and two cookies (oops), I only have 333 calories left for dinner.  MFP (My Fitness Pal) gives me 1,220 calories per day which is NOT a lot, especially on days that I don't exercise.  My knee is feeling better and according to the schedule, I should run 3.5 miles today.  I'm not going to.  The Sunday run, I pushed myself a little to hard.  Plus tonight, I probably won't be home until 10:00.  Last night I did 30 minutes of core/Pilates which actually was good for my knee I think.

Tomorrow, I have a personal day.  I will cross train in the morning and prep a meal for the crock pot for dinner :)

I'm going to try this cashew cream that I'm hearing about lately.  I found a spinach and artichoke dip recipe which calls for cashew cream rather than sour cream, mayo and/or yogurt.  You just soak raw cashews in water over night, drain and blend.  Sounds interesting.  Nuts are so pricey though!

Monday, February 25, 2013

5K problems, Sore knee & Grocery trip

So the 5K was postponed - AGAIN.  I was so bummed because A) It was the 2nd Saturday I took off work for it and B) It was literally drizzling all day.  The conditions will never be perfect!  Luckily I am off this coming Saturday, the 2nd but I doubt they'll schedule it for then :-/  Oh well though! 

Friday night when I was walking the dog, I slipped on ice and banged my knee pretty hard.  Soo - it was probably better that I didn't run on Saturday morning, ha.  I iced it a lot on Saturday and took Motrin.  Sunday morning it felt 10x better so after work, we went for 4 miles.  Around mile #2, it started to feel really tight and a bit sore, so I walked about 1 mile out of the 4.  I iced it some more when I got home.

I thought the Oscars were pretty good and I really liked Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Aniston and Charlize Theron's looks.  Reese Witherspoon's look was nice too - she pretty much alwways looks good, as well as Halle Berry.  I always like to see what the actresses are wearing.  I have to catch up on some of those movies, though!  Tonight I'm going to see Identity Thieves with my girlfriends (our once monthly girls night) and I think tomorrow Saro and I are going to see Silver Linings Playbook.

So far, so good as far as meal planning and not spending $ on breakfast and/or lunch at work.  I still ended up spending around $90 at the grocery store yesterday, but got a decent amount of stuff.  I coupon when I can but it's hard for meats and vegetables, which is pretty much all I got yesterday as well as some other items.

Today I had an almond milk berry smoothie with flax meal for breakfast.  Snack will be an apple with peanut butter and lunch will be last nights leftover dinner (5 oz shell steak with 1/2 of a goat cheese/pesto/spinach stuffed portobello mushroom which I got the recipe from my friend - came out really good).

I bought lean ground turkey, a whole chicken and pork chops so tonight will most likely be ground turkey with spinach and brown rice before I head to the movies!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mid Day Exhaustion

Blah.  Does anyone else suffer from mid day exhaustion?  It could be 1:00, 2:00, 3:00.  Lately I've been feeling very tired in the afternoon.  I'm going to grab some vanilla spice energy tea with hopes that will help.  I sleep enough - maybe too much?  Last night was about 10:30-7am this morning.  What's funny is the nights I work (like tonight), I'll be yawning the entire time but when I get home at 10:30, I won't be able to fall asleep right away and normally the day after working those late nights, I feel more awake.  So I guess I should try to stay up until at least 11:00 on "school nights."

Also, we're two days away from the 5K that was rescheduled and guess what?  It's supposed to rain and/or snow again!  I'm really hoping it doesn't get cancelled but it is what it is!

Last night Saro made a really good Moroccan stew with chicken thighs, chick peas, butternut squash, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, lot of spices and brown rice, with a side salad.  Very tasty and flavorful.  I had that again for lunch today :)

Off to grab that tea now and hoping this blah mood passes soon.  Thank God tomorrow is Friday and I'm off Saturday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Down a size!

So, I went to Kohl's on my lunch break yesterday.  I had a 30% off coupon and I'm noticing most of my clothes are starting to feel loose.  I was really excited that a size 8 dress pant fit very comfortably.  I also picked up a maroon Lauren Conrad casual blazer (on clearance for $21 -from $70!) so $15 after the coupon, a polka dot blouse and a pair of green jeans (still a size 10.  I don't want my jeans too tight).

I think they definitely mark up their prices so that when you get a 30% off coupon, you're like yes!  This is great!  Or I notice everytime I go in, most of the stuff I find is on sale.  So say a pair of dress pants, originally $60 are on sale for $40.  I don't mind spending $40-ish for dressy work clothes.  $60 is a bit much for me.  The cheaper, the better - ha!  For some things, anyway.  I've had bad luck at NY & Co. with clothes shredding after one wash.

Last night I completed 3 miles in 30:55.  Tonight I will do some Pilates/core, tomorrow I'm working all day and night and Saturday is the 5K so I will probably rest on Friday.

On another note, I need to get back on track with packing breakfast and lunch for work.  I didn't food shop on Sunday so we don't have much in the house.  Eek.  Although I can get breakfast from the cafeteria for around $2.25 and lunch for $5, it still adds up.  This weekend I will do a big shop and plan and prep for next week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weigh In After a Long Weekend

I took a friends advice and upped my calories last week.  They weren't all healthy calories either.  Oops.  Wouldn't you know it, the scale said 144 this morning.  That's 16 lbs. down since last March.  Really can't complain!

I completed week 1 of the half marathon training.  It was "easy."  This week is the same as last week.  Next week, they up the mileage a bit.

I was extremely lazy on my day off yesterday.  Much needed and necessary.  Originally, a window company was supposed to come for a free consultation for window treatments, but they cancelled.  I was kind of glad actually!  So by 9:30AM I was out and about.  I hit up Home Goods (we were there Saturday night - oy, what a nightmare.  People everywhere).  So early in the morning was much better and I found a new hamper for the bathroom - exciting, I know.  Our cat scratched the heck out of the old one.  I don't think he will be able to do the same to this one :)  Little devil.  I got home around 11 and had lunch, watched some TV and NAPPED from 1-3.  That was nice.

I had a 4:00 hair appointment in the next town over so I headed there.  My cousin did my hair and it's the ombre look.  Some people hate it but when it's done correctly, I think it looks cool and different.  Sick of highlights.  My hair is ashy and grayish so I basically "NEED" to color it ;)  I have it half up today:


In other news, Carlo's Bakery (Cake Boss) opened up another store - TWO miles from my house.  Great!  Sunday night we went over there and I got a red velvet cupcake for $3 friggen dollars.  Anyway, the cream cheese frosting was amazing.



Here I am before doing 4 miles on Sunday.  My time was 43:21.


Trust me when I say you don't want to see an after picture ;)

Have a good week - I'm glad it's Tuesday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Some runs are better than others

Last night's run was just okay.  I think I made the mistake of eating first and then running.  I ate around 5:45 and ran around 7:30.  I only had a small amount of salmon and some zucchini.  Prior to running, I did about 20 minutes of Pilates.  As soon as I started, I had that "tired" cramping feeling in my left abdomen.  I thought to myself - geesh, I JUST started running, this can't be good!  After a mile, I walked at a fast pace (4.5mph) for 10 minutes.  The pain went away.  I finished the 3 miles in 34 minutes.  Not terrible but that cramping worries me.  I don't think I could bear it for 13.1 miles.  Too much water?  Too little?  Breathing technique?  Not sure.

Some days are just better than others and it's okay!

This weekend, we don't have any plans which is kind of nice.  I'm off on Monday for President's Day - yesss, I can sleep in! :)  Today is a rest day, tomorrow cross train, Sunday 4 miles.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's & Treadmill Problems

I've probably mentioned before that I'm NOT a fan of the treadmill.  It's just not the same as running outside plus I'm staring at my basement wall.  Music helps I guess.  I've tried to watch TV on my iPad while on the treadmill but then I get a little nauceous from the bouncing and trying to watch TV - lol.  It'll have to do because the 13.1 is 11 weeks away!  Damn snow has to melt.  My luck, I'll go for a run at night and slip and fall on black ice.  Not worth the risk, IMO.

The other day I mentioned being frustrated with the scale.  Well yesterday I snuck a creme brulee dessert from my work cafeteria and wouldn't you know it - was 146 this morning versus 150 the other day.  Who knows!  Dessert is definitely my weakness although we do not keep it in the house.  I will admit, I've gone out before JUST to get dessert.  Most recently - Red Mango.  I guess it's better than Haagen Dazs :-/  Does that make me an addict?  Lol - it's only been a few times but still... that's how bad I crave it.  I know they say if you crave sugar, you're missing out on stuff like almonds or some other "blah" snack.  I'd rather not keep it in the house but indulge every now and then.  I write this as I stare at a mini Valentine's cupcake on my desk....

Tonight on the HH (Hal Higdon) schedule is a 3 mi. run plus strength.  Strength can even be yoga/pilates since it really works arms and core.  Sometimes my back is pretty sore after a run.  Arms too from pumping back and forth while jogging.  I can't wait to see how I feel after 13.1 miles.

Valentine's Day is quite overrated although it's a good reason to treat ourselves to a nice dinner.  I worked last night and Saro has work tonight so we will be celebrating tomorrow.  Although, Friday we usually go out to dinner - ha so it won't feel any different.  We don't go nuts with gifts.  Christmas just passed - geesh.

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were saying that BILLIONS of dollars are spent this week on Valentine's Day gifts... and millions on gifts for PETS.  REALLY?!  Too bad we can't apply that to this country's debt instead.  Oof.

Anyway, enjoy your day : )

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dreams & Last Night's Dinner

I've been having strange, memorable dreams lately.  I go through periods of this from time to time.  No, I'm not pregnant.  Example - my SIL went to Germany yesterday for business.  She goes twice a year.  I knew she was going, ok no biggie, so one of my dreams last night was that I was going to Germany and I remember in my dream writing a Facebook status "GERMANY!"  It's often times things that are in the back of my mind and I'm sure subconsciously I think about them.

My crazy coworker was telling us this insane, sad story about how years ago, his cat got out of his apartment and someone killed it and left it on his doorstep!  Well obviously that was disturbing, so that night I had a dream that someone set our dogs bed on fire.  Ugh.  I find that this usually happens when I sleep for a long time.  Long meaning around 10 pm - 6:45 am.  Not that that's excessively long but it's close to 9 hours.  I should try to stay awake until 11.

Has this ever happened to you?

Last night we watched the movie "Flight" with Denzel Washington.  I thought it was good.  I don't think he's ever been in a "bad" movie.

I was supposed to make these for dinner on Sunday but we got tied up with something so my MIL cooked for us that night and I saved this recipe for last night.  Turkey & quinoa stuffed peppers.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Sautee 4 cloves chopped garlic, half of a chopped vidalia onion, and the tops of the peppers (chopped) in olive oil for about 10 minutes.  While that's cooking, you can de-seed the peppers.  The recipe called for 6 peppers but I only had 3, so the leftover quinoa turkey mixture can just be had by itself.



3. Next, add 1 lb lean ground turkey, 6 oz tomato paste, 14 oz diced tomatoes to the garlic/onion/pepper mixture.  Cook for 5 minutes.


4.  Add the cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked, boiled in 2 cups chicken stock and simmered for 15 minutes).  Mix thoroughly and then fill each pepper with the mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes.


5.  Enjoy!




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Damned scale!

I know the number on the scale doesn't always mean everything but the last month or so, I've been fluctuating between 145 and 150.  I'm not sure what else to do.  I got a coupon for hot yoga - 12 classes for $12 but with that sort of deal, the classes are probably going to be super crowded.  I haven't done Jillian Michael's DVDs in a while so maybe I'll do that on the cross training days.  I already drive myself bonkers with food shopping almost weekly, prepping and planning *healthy* meals for the week.  Just frustrating but oh well.

Some nights, like last night, I simply do not have time to exercise.  I don't like excuses either.  I guess I COULD get up an hour earlier which would mean 5:40 :(

With the half marathon training starting today, I guess I might have to get up earlier on days that I work until 10 pm.  Here's the schedule I'm following:

Unfortunately, the first couple of weeks might be on the treadmill... until it stays light until 6:30 or so.  I haven't jogged alone in the dark and I don't have any reflective gear yet.  I'm not even sure I'm comfortable going to the track alone at night.  Saro has work until 10:00 tonight so he ran last night.

Well, here goes nothin'!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lazy weekend, Day off, Nemo

We got out of work early on Friday, around 2, when the snow was starting to stick.  I work near NYC so it's usually a little warmer over there.  By the time I got home though (about 25 miles northwest), we had 4 inches on the ground.  We did a little shoveling but not much.  We took Murphy to the park and he REALLY loved it. 


I prepped a french toast bake for Saturday morning and we had chili for dinner.

We ended up getting about a foot of snow by Saturday morning.  It took us 3 hours to dig out.  Good work out!  After that, we went to my Mom's to help her out too.  We went out to lunch and grocery shopped.  I made a spinach crust pizza for dinner.  It came out really good!  Two cups of chopped spinach blended with 2 eggs, spread out on parchment paper, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Add whatever toppings you like (we used sauteed onions and peppers, roasted garlic and a little parmesan) and broil on high for 5 minutes.

Have a good day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snowy Friday

TGIF!  We are expecting a huge Nor'Easter here in NJ starting today into tomorrow.  I love big snow storms!  Let us just hope we don't lose power.  The only problem is that we disconnected cable TV (we're going on my MIL's account - she lives upstairs) so we won't have TV until Sunday.. LOL.  We can always go upstairs though.  Or I can pop in Jillian Michael's DVDs!  Ha.  We can watch shows on the iPad too!

They're predicting 1-2 inches of snow per hour for 10-12 hours tonight.  Eek.  I can't wait to let Murphy play in it!

Overall the cleanse was good.  I feel like my stomach shrunk but I didn't see any changes on the scale :(  TMI - blaming it on the time of the month.  I would definitely do it again next month but not during that same time.  Oof.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cleanse - Day Two

All in all, yesterday wasn't terrible.  I consumed about 700 calories.  This morning I woke up with a headache, I believe due to lack of coffee yesterday.  So today I am having the coffee!  Long day ahead and I don't want to have a headache all day.  I guess this stuff really is addicting.. eek.  I only drink 1 cup in the morning!  Anyway, I packed sliced cucumbers and blanched asparagus (with greek yogurt/mustard dip) for snacks.  YUM! :)

As for the 5K planned for Saturday, I'm almost positive it'll be cancelled due to this impending Nor'easter.  Ugh.  I took the day off and was really looking forward to it.  The weather keeps changing so who knows.. maybe if we get a few inches of snow they'll still have it!  I love snow so I'm kind of looking forward to it.

Last night, I worked at my part time job with my "sister."  No lie, almost every time we work together, a customer or even an associate asks if we're sisters.  We smile and say "no" but we should probably just go along with it and say yes ;)  This was us at Christmas time:



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Two Day Cleanse & Back Problems

Last night I did two miles on the treadmill at 6 MPH or 10 min/mi.  I also did some core/yoga/pilates for about 20 minutes.  I woke up this morning with severe upper back pain and my ankle feeling a little "off."  This is odd because I didn't try anything new last night.  Hmm.  The 5K is on Saturday (if weather permits - I'm hearing about a nor'easter!).  So until then, I'm not exercising.  Not going to lie, I kind of want a big storm!  Although I'd prefer if it was during the week so I could work from home - ha!

Plus, my friend and I are doing a two day cleanse so too much exercise isn't necessary.  It's not a juice cleanse but still pretty low calorie.  I had my "normal" shake this morning (which is funny because the cleanse calls for a similar shake) and am already starting to feel hungry :-/  Normally around 10:30, I have an apple.  Sometimes with peanut butter, sometimes without.  Today's snack is cucumber slices with green tea.  Yum!  Lol.  I'll be busy today, since I'm working tonight.  However, working in a supermarket isn't always easy when you're hungry or craving something.  I like this cleanse beacuse you can still have some protein. 

Murphy (the dog) needed some shots, so last night I took him to the vet.  For the most part, he was very good, even for the Bortadella shot (which they spray up their nose).  He's a pretty nervous dog but after a while, he warms up to people.  When he sees me, Saro, my mom or Saro's mom, he knows us so he immediately gets excited and tries to jump on us.  Other people, not so much lol.  He was pretty sleepy afterwards:



Today he's at camp.  A little blurry but here he is playing with the other dogs!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wear Red Day & Casual Friday

I work for a pretty big company and we don't get to wear jeans every Friday but when we can, I definitely take advantage.  Today is the 7th Annual Wear Red Day for the AHA (American Heart Association).  They ask for a $5 donation to the AHA in order to wear jeans.  This morning I realized I didn't have any red tops to wear!  So I went with dark jeans and a pink & grey striped shirt.

I don't really like getting dressed up for work, mainly because I need some new dressy clothes.  But, it's just not in the budget, especially now.  Exciting things happening this year and next, to be discussed later.  I'm going to shop around to see if I can find a coupon for Express or something.

Tonight we don't have plans as of yet.  Tomorrow I'm working and then celebrating a friends birthday at a Cuban restaurant.  Cuban food + mojitos = yummy but eek.  I'll have a light breakfast and lunch.

Sunday is the Superbowl.....don't really care about it unless I win in the pool I'm in :)  I'm gonna go with SF since I love the city - LOL.  I think we'll probably just end up stopping by my Uncle's for a bit.

I'm looking forward to a day off on the 18th and the 27th.  The 18th is Presidents Day and back to my window treatment debacle, a company is coming to give an estimate.  I'll probably tell them to go kick rocks when I get the price, ha.  The 27th, I'm going to see an acupunturist/holistic dr. down the shore.

I've been on birth control since I was 16 (not for THAT reason) but for another reason.  I stopped getting my period at 16 and was diagnosed with premature menopause.  Yup, at 16.  Hot flashes, night sweats, the whole nine.  I'm 29 now.  I have mixed feelings about it and won't get into it too much but basically I want to see if there are other options besides remaining on BC for the next 30 years (which my gyno recommends - until the "normal" menopausal age).  She says I need the hormones.  Eh, we'll see about that.  The BC is probably what's keeping on the last 10 lbs I want to lose, too!

Hope you all have a great weekend!