Friday, June 28, 2013

Hot Yoga

I feel so relaxed this morning which I believe is from going to hot yoga last night.  It's very therapeutic.  It was definitely the hottest class I've been to.  The instructor turned the heat down about 40 minutes in to the class.  I also slept like a baby.  I didn't even hear my alarm go off the first time.

So I highly recommend it if you're looking for something new to try!

I followed it up with the 300/30 ab series.

Today is wear jeans to work Friday and we get out at 4:15 versus 5:00 on Fridays in the summer :) 

I have an appointment with a lower back/sciatica chiropractor after work since my chiro, while helpful, doesn't believe I have DDD (degenerative disc disease) or sciatica.  He says you can't see a degenerative disc on an x-ray but I googled it (I know...the internet knows all, right?  And apparently yes, you CAN see it on an x-ray.  How else would you see it pressing down on the nerve??)  So, I'd like to get another opinion because this pinching, sharp pain is extremely annoying and has been lingering for over 2 months now.  It flares up after exercise so I'm feeling it even more today.

It's frustrating beacuse the chiro is all for running and says "you WILL run a marathon."  Oh.  Okay!  Yet the "normal" orthopedic is against running and says I shouldn't run ever again...I guess I need a 2nd opinion on that too!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Triathlon?

Although my back and hip is still hurting, it's not stopping me from wanting to remain active and try new things.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to do another half so I figure, what about a sprint triathlon?!  It's a 1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike ride and 4 mile run.

I'm considering this for the end of the summer.  Hmm I need to find a pool to practice swimming.  Not that 1/4 mile is much, but still.

I REALLY want to slowwwwwly train for another half.  Until then I'm working with my chiropractor on "fixing" my hip.

Looking forward to hot yoga tonight.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What A Day & The End of An Era

Yesterday was a strange day.  Not bad, just strange.  Saro called me around 4:30 to tell me a young girl backed up into his car in the K-Mart parking lot which is about a mile from my job.  He went to buy us a new A/C (more on that below) and a kiddie pool for Murphy (yes, the dog)...what a guy!

He was fine and all and the girl just got her license a week ago.  Literally.  She bribed him with $150 and he was like no - I'm calling the police.  She cried.

He was annoyed because in his 20 years of driving, he's never been in an accident.  Although it was *just* a fender bender, but still.

I came home from work and saw that the oh-so-very-80s mirror on our closet door in the bathroom had slid off during the day when we weren't home.  I am assuming from the heat we've been having and the fact that there's no A/C in the bathroom.  Thank goodness it didn't break, just a small chip.  It's a pretty big mirror @ 3-4 feet long.  The prior owners tried to use those foam sticky things to hold it up.  Brilliant.  Eh well - it held up for at least 2 years so I guess that's not too bad.

So yeah, the A/C in our bedroom decided to die a few days ago which is why Saro was at K-Mart.  That thing literally sounded like it was going to croak.  It's now on the curb.

Things could definitely be worse.

Moving on to the 2nd part of my post - The End of An Era.

I quit my part time job yesterday.  Well, I gave my two weeks notice.  I have to work there this Saturday and probably Sunday and the following Saturday.

I've been putting it off for a while now but was hesitant because I've been there for TWELVE years.  Since I was a junior in high school.  They've been very good to me (for the most part!) and flexible with my full time work schedule, etc.  I'm going to miss the people - some who have turned into life long friends, but I won't miss working at 6:30 AM on the weekends or the occasional night shift!

Sayonara, farewell, see ya!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Vacation Link Up

               Happy Tuesday!  I'm linking up with Holly & Amy to share one of my favorite vacations.

I've definitely had more than one but I will share the time Saro & I went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica in 2009.  It was our first trip together and his first tropical trip.  We stayed at the Riu which is an all inclusive hotel.  It's HUGE - about 800 rooms.  We loved it.  We went in early May so it wasn't too crowded. 
We loved the jerk chicken at the hut on the beach and had that every day for lunch.  I also tried curried goat - YUCK!!  I'll try almost anything at least once though.

We went ziplining and did a snorkeling/Dunn's River Falls/booze cruise excursion.  Those were both so fun.  I want to zipline again for sure.

We also made time to rest and relax and got massages on the beach.

I would definitely go back!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Share Your Sunnies & Summer Accessories Link Up

TGIF and Happy Summer!  The longest day of the year, love it.  Last night leaving the restaurant after dinner, it was still light out at 8:30 PM - love that.

My birthday is the complete opposite, December 21st, the least amount of day light!

I'm linking up with Holly & Laura today for their "Share Your Sunnies & Summer Accessories Link Up."

I've been wearing these sun glasses for a few years now.  They're cheap and I don't remember where I bought them.  I'd still like to splurge on a nice pair but it's not really a priority right now and I will probably end up breaking them anyway!

I wear them pretty much daily and even when I'm running, or else I squint and then have a headache from the sun.

Other essential summer accesories for me include a big ol' hat to protect me from the sun.  Although in this picture, I probably had too many drinks at the pool bar the day before, hence why I'm looking miserable the following day.  These glasses are different than the above!

Also, plenty of SPF 50!  My Irish skin does not like the sun.
I have a fun weekend ahead - tonight a BBQ after work, tomorrow NYC & Hoboken and Sunday is Saro's birthday.  I still didn't get him a gift.  Whoops!

Have a great weekend...I hope the weather where you are is just as nice as it is here in NJ!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

5K Run

Happy Thursday!

Last night, I planned to do some of my pilates videos but it was SO nice out when I got out of work, I decided to go for a run.  My hip is screaming this morning...yikes.  The first mile I did under 10 minutes which is good for me.  I stopped a few times to walk because I started to feel the pinching in my lower back and hip.

My face gets so red!
I also did two of my friend's you tube videos (25 minutes total) and my abs are also pretty sore this morning, so that's good.
Tonight is probably a rest day because our bosses are taking us out to dinner after work... it's a Spanish restaurant.

Tomorrow, Saro and I have a BBQ at a coworker's house.  Saturday I'll be in NYC all morning and afternoon and then Hoboken for dinner.  So I guess Sunday is the next time I'll exercise!  Our farmer's market opens on Sunday so I'm looking forward to that!  I feel like I haven't shopped at a "normal" food store in a couple months because we've been stocking up at farmer's markets and buying chicken at the farm.  Since Saro works in a gourmet type supermarket, we usually buy our other meat from there and I order from Omaha steaks too.

On another note, I was sad to hear about James Gandolfini's passing last night.  He was a great actor and played the perfect Tony Soprano.  May he RIP.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Early Birthday Tribute!

To my one and only, love of my life & my best friend, Saro or Seero as I like to call him.  Happy Birthday my love!!!  I think it'll be a great year ;)  Thank you for everything you do and for being so nice, kind and patient.  I feel blessed to know you and to share this life with.  Thanks for making me laugh until my stomach hurts or until I'm coughing uncontollably...ha!

Isn't he the cutest?  I love this picture of him.

His senior yearbook picture.  Lookin' good!
 He'll be 38 on Sunday and my MIL will be 70 (going on 30!) on Saturday.  Seriously, if you met her, you wouldn't believe she's going to be 70.  I admire her as she still works full time, loves to walk at night, has girls nights out, takes trips to Atlantic City with her friends, and can probably take out anyone in a game of Flip Cup...LOL.  She's just hilarious and fun to be around.

Swinging on the hammock in our back yard!

She makes the best jasmine rice, kebabs, hummus and tabboule.  We love her and wish her a great 70th birthday! 

We will be celebrating this awesome duo over dinner in Hoboken on Saturday night.  I'm so glad it's going to be a nice weekend for it.  If you're not familiar with Hoboken, it's a small city on the Hudson river - opposite of midtown/lower Manhattan, NY and we live about 20 miles from there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vacation Needed & Paleo Pesto Recipe

A "real" vacation won't happen until next year but I'm feeling very stressed and anxious the last few weeks.  I can't even pinpoint why either.  I'm not stressed at work but I guess I am regarding other things going on. 

My friend who I met through Weight Watchers about 7 years ago had brain surgery yesterday to remove a tumor in her brain.  I just found out about it on Saturday night so I went to visit her Sunday in the hospital.  She was in great spirits and she posted on Facebook last night so she seems to be doing okay.  Needless to say, that caused some angst and worry early in the week plus a few other things I'd rather not mention on here. 

I slipped and had pasta last night.  Fusilli with squash, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and a little mozzarella cheese.  It was delicious, ha!  I hadn't had pasta in over a month.  I definitely won't be having it regularly as I once did.  Eh, oh well.  Moving on and hoping to get out of this funk real soon!

Paleo Pesto Recipe

Two large bunches of basil, leaves picked off
5 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt (I used pink himalayan)
1/3 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)

Process in food processor until smooth.  This will make about 2 cups of pesto.  Enjoy with chicken, salmon, zucchini "pasta" or tomatoes!

I hope you're all having a good week! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Willpower Went Out The Window

A few girlfriends came over last night for a jewelry party and I made two different dairy packed dips, beer bread and cut up carrots, radishes and cucumbers.  I had maybe 2 TBSP of the dip with the veggies.  NO beer bread but plenty of wine.. ugh!

Another birthday in the office today.  TIRAMISU.  My favorite.  I had 3 bites :(

I've had paleo egg muffins every day for breakfast for the last 10 days with 1/4 avocado and 1 cup fruit or unsweetened apple sauce.  Lunch has been meat with vegetables or salad.  NO snacks at all.

Today the office bought us lunch and I ordered the "best" option - grilled chicken caesar salad, NO cheese, NO croutons and dressing on the side.  So basically romaine and chicken - how exciting.  The tough part is that I have no clue how they marinate the chicken or what's in the dressing.  I could have been worse and ordered pizza but nope.  I honestly didn't even want pizza.

Tonight will be grilled chicken and I'm thinking about making some paleo pesto (no cheese) to spread on it with sliced tomatoes.

The Whole30 hasn't been 100% but my mid section feels very slim and I'm wearing jeans today that I couldn't get on a year ago.

So, there's my Friday confession!!  Haha...have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Weigh In

With my eyes still almost shut, I weighed myself this morning.  Last time I weighed myself was about a week ago before I started "Partial Whole30" as I call it.  I have a non digital scale and I think it said 148.  This morning looked between 144 & 145.  I'll take it.  The lowest I've recorded since starting this whole thing, eating better in general, exercise routine, MFP, etc - was 143.  I'd like to get down to 135, however, I feel good and my mid section feels small, so I'm glad about that.  I know the number on the scale really doesn't matter, but I like to keep myself in check.

I haven't had one carb in the form of bread, grain, pasta, corn in almost 2 weeks.  Before this, I was pretty much avoiding them anyway but would have it about once a week.  A couple years ago, I wouldn't think twice about having a bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner.  Those days are long gone.  Meat, vegetables, vegetables, vegetables, & fruit.

All that produce we bought last week?  Gone and then some...we picked up a few yams and squash at TJ's the other day - that's gone as well.

It is extremely time consuming to shop, prep and cook all of these meals, but it's worth it.  

Have a good Wednesday! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

5K For Cancer & Whole30 Update

Happy Monday, all!

Yesterday we ran the Ameican Cancer Society GWB challenge.  I originally signed up for the 10K but decided to to the 5K due to the pain still lingering in my hip and lower back.  I finished in 33 minutes, 32 seconds at 10:49 min/mile.  Pretty happy with that!

It was a really nice day and felt good to do something for a cause.  Our team raised around $550.

As for the Whole30, it's going just okay.  I went 5 days without half and half in my coffee but caved today and used 1 TBSP organic heavy cream, NO sugar (as I've been doing for a few years).  The Whole30 is very strict and they say even if you have one bite or lick of anything "not whole30," to start over.  Well, I'm not starting over - I have not "cheated" food wise at all.  I've only been eating meat, an insane amount of vegetables, coconut milk, fruit and eggs.  No sugar (real or fake), yogurt, oatmeal, rice, pasta, or bread of any kind.  For me, those are easier to avoid than 1 TBSP cream in my coffee.  My mid section feels smaller and tighter (the ab challenge is helping that as well).

I think a lot of people think heavy cream is bad because it's high in fat, however it's not processed, so which is worse?!  Whole30 is based on cleansing your body and actually getting your body used to good fats - avocado, cocounut milk/oil, olive oil, etc.  I've read a lot of forums and many people who eat Paleo use heavy cream so I'm going to try that for now. 

The scale has not budged.

Also, I tried coconut milk in my coffee - not a fan.  However, I whipped a can of coconut milk with vanilla extract and had over berries - AMAZING.  Freeze it for an hour and then try it with berries.  It tasted just like heavy whipped cream.

Have you tried Whole30?  If so, did you make it through the 30 days EXACTLY how it's supposed to be followed?  I'm curious.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flashback Friday

A friend tagged me in this last night on Instagram and I found it appropriate to share since it's Prom season.  I still remember that day very vividly and I LOVED my dress.  I still have it.  It's Jessica McClintock and it ALMOST still fits me.  My boobs are bigger now ;)

I cropped my little neighbor at the time out because I'm not sure she'd like her picture to be on my blog, lol.  I think she's 15 now... how time flies!  She will be going to her prom in a couple of years.

Also, today we are allowed to wear jeans to work if we donated $5 to Partners for Women and Justice.  I forgot to take a picture but I'm wearing my mint jeans with a chevron top :)

I'm still undecided on whether or not I can run the 5K on Sunday.  My hips are friggin' killing me and I've been taking it easy so this isn't a good sign.  Either way I'm going, dammit!

That's really all I've got - TGIF and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Whole30, Day 2

I won't update every day but wanted to share how I felt during Day 1 and Day 2 thus far.  Of course I would pick the first day of Aunt Flo to start this challenge.  Oof.  All in all, it went great yesterday.  I had breakfast at 8am and by 12:45, my stomach was growling.  So, for close to 5 hours I was full.  No snacks.  The key is to have 3 large, filling meals - limit snacking and have your last meal a few hours before bed so for me, that's by 7 or 8pm.

I was hungry for dinner when I got home at 5:15 and knew I was going to class at 7, so for dinner I had leftover steak with about 2 cups of peppers, onions and yellow squash, and 1 scrambled egg.  I love eggs but I know in another week, I'm going to be sick of them.  I'll have to switch it up and add different veggies, hot sauce, etc.

I decided to make egg muffins last night to save some time for the morning.  I had two this morning - they were good and full of flavor!  101 calories each.  I used coconut oil to grease the muffin pan.  With that, I had a handful of blueberries, a kiwi and 1/4 of an avocado with hot sauce.  Oh and black coffee.  Still getting used to it!  I saw a recipe for whipped coconut cream so I might try that in my coffee.

Lunch today is romaine salad with tomato, cucumber, avocado, homemade dressing and a whole can of plain tuna.  I saw a recipe for paleo mayo which I might try.  Dry tuna is just blah.

On another note, my back & hips are really bothering me today.  Not my lower back but the whole left side.  Just fantastic.  Class in the park last night was tough, but good.  Monday's class was harder and I wasn't in pain after that.  It's strange how our bodies work and react to different moves.

Tonight I'm looking forward to dinner with my future MIL & SIL.  Hmm, eating out will be interesting on this plan.  Enjoy your Thursday :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Whole30 Plan, Day 1

Today I'm following the Whole30 plan.  I saw that Amanda tried it and was curious.  I read about it and decided to start it TODAY!  I knew we were heading to the Farmer's Market after work last night, so it was perfect.

I pretty much follow this anyway, with the exception of having yogurt 1-2x a week, half and half in my coffee DAILY (but no sugar), brown rice and WINE!  So those are definitely going to be tough to pass up but I know I can do it.  There's a lot you CAN eat on this plan, so I shouldn't feel deprived.

Here's my plan for today:

Breakfast - 8 AM - I had black (eek) coffee, 2 scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil with 1/4 sliced avocado, 1/2 baked yam, a handful of blueberries, 4 strawberries and 1 cup grapes. 

Sounds like a lot, I know.  This plan encourages 3 big/filling meals and less snacking (blood sugar spikes).

Lunch - 12PM - leftover grilled salmon filet from last night, 1/2 baked yam, steamed broccoli and a few asparagus spears.

Dinner - 6PM - Steak or chicken with grilled vegetables.

Last night we spent about $90 on the following: 4 lbs fish, 4 lbs fresh chicken breast from a local farm, and TONSSSSSSS of fruits and vegetables.  Seriously our fridge is so packed.  We gave some to my MIL, as she often shops at this market and gives to us :)  Strawberries were only $1 for the regular sized container - you CAN'T beat that.

And there's more - not all of it fit on the table.
This plan encourages you to consume grass fed/organic meat.  I'm not sure this will always be in our budget but I recently saw a package of grass fed burgers at TJ's for around $7 for 4... not terrible.  If you think about it - a burger out at a restaurant is between $8-$12 usually - for ONE.  I often go to a local chicken farm.  They don't use hormones and their prices are decent.  4 lbs or 16 cutlets for $19.  Again, a chicken dish at a restaurant averages $15 for 2 cutlets & a side of pasta/veggie/salad.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tabata Workouts

Happy Tuesday!  Although I had a dream it was wear-jeans-to-work-Friday.  Still 3 days away from that!  Oh well.

Last night the weather held up, so I headed to class in the park.  We did a good 40 minutes of different planks, Tabata style.  If you're not sure what that is, check it out HERE.  We would work for 20 seconds, rest 10, 8 reps of each exercise.  It sounds easy but it's NOT.  Plus, it was extremely muggy outside last night so I was dripping.  We also did about 10 minutes of squats and some ab stuff, plus I did the "300" ab series at home.

I'm pretty frustrated with my belly lately.  Although I'm wearing a smaller size now, it's still flabby and feels bloated.  Bleh...It must be the hardest thing to tone.  I feel good about my legs though, so that's a plus.

I'm signed up for a 10K American Cancer Society GWB challenge this coming Sunday.  Last year I almost had an anxiety attack when we got on to the GWB.  Either my fear of heights kicked in or since it was my first race, I was anxious.  I think I'll be ok this time.  I'm most likely switching to the 5K.  My hip/lower back is still bothering me (more so today from dancing over the weekend plus the workout last night).  I can always walk it, but it's just not the same.

If you're interested, here's a Tabata Workout.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wedding Fun

Happy Monday!  I'm still tired from my friend's wedding on Saturday.  It was a blast! 

We danced all night which probably explains my lower back pain this morning.  Oh well - it was worth it!  I stayed in bed until 10:30 yesterday morning which is late for me.

Fun times :)
Update on the 300/30 ab challenge - I won't lie, I didn't do it this weekend but I will be back at it today with 3 weeks left to go.
I'm hoping to go to class in the park tonight or if it's canceled due to the weather, then hot yoga.

That's all I've got for now.  Have a good week!