Pulling and Pilates

Well for anyone reading this who may be from the UK, this title is actually referring to the show Pulling, rather than the action itself. Although I’ve already watched the show once before, it almost kept me from my usual Pilates workout. Well, that and the fact that I can be incredibly lazy at times.

Anyway, I set up the iPad with this workout video via Netflix and kept on watching my show!

I like this one a lot, because I always feel sore the next day. Some of my other faves include:

Pick Your Level: Weight Loss Pilates

Crunch: Burn and Firm Pilates

Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates

I’m not obsessed with Ellen Barrett or anything, but seriously she’s the best. She’s the only person I’ve ever watched who doesn’t get on my nerves. Another go-to when I need a serious restart and can’t get to the gym is of course P-90X. I don’t do it often, but when I do, I see results.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: When deciding what snack to choose, think about how much “bang for your buck” you’ll get. Mos fruits and veggies are low in calories and fill you up more than a bag of 180 calorie chips.

 

 

 

WIAW: Blueberries and Strawberries

Once again I forgot to snap a photo of my breakfast, which consisted of oatmeal with almond milk and blueberries and strawberries. It was amazing, as per usual, however I added too much almond milk. I enjoyed this dish while partaking in my usual routine of playing fetch with Gracie and watching My So Called Life. (What can I say, the news stinks these days.)

Good morning, Jordan Catalano.

My breakfast held me over until close to 10:40, when I decided to grab a handful of my delicious Emerald brand Trail Mix. I got the Berry Blend, which is delicious.

    

However I absolutely gagged when I found this little guy.

Needless to say, he got chucked out. The yogurt covered raisins are my fave!

Lunch was a stir fry I made last night with tofu, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. I picked up some Hoisin sauce at the grocery store and decided to put it to good use. It smelled amazing and made the Jimmy Johns unwich I had seem lame. The stir fry was amazing, but the veggies cooked down A LOT. I’m glad I made a big pan of it!

My snack today was my blueberry and strawberry Greek yogurt treat. This is seriously something I could eat every day. In fact, quite often, I do!

Dinner was a batch of my healthy crab cakes. I honestly think this is the easiest “fancy” meal I’ve ever made. When I don’t have time to do veggies, I’ll just get a bag of the steamer ones.

This picture is ugly, but these crab cakes are amazing.

Running Update!

Some of you may remember my challenge  that I started back in the late summer of 2011. I was to “run” to Rome, New York by April of 2012.

That went out the window.

When I got sick right after Thanksgiving, I fell off the wagon. Hard. (“Bruised my bum” kind of hard.) When I read that a person loses a great deal of their stamina after just two weeks, I realized I was going to have to start from scratch.

I began with 1.5 miles. Sounds crazy, but mentally I just couldn’t bear the thought of doing more when I started up again. After a few runs, I started doing intervals. This was the golden ticket for me. I realized that breaking up my distance was truly the only way I was going to get things back on track. By the end of last week, only two weeks after I’d started back to the gym, I was running 3 miles VERY comfortably again. Plus, my body was less sore than usual because I had eased back into things. Woo. So even though it took only two weeks to mess with my game, it also only took two weeks to get it back.

All of that being said, I’m picking back up with my challenge. If all goes according to plan, I’d like to be in Rome by the end of July, having completed 465 miles in just over one year. Not record breaking, but still better than nothing.

So where am I today? 148.40
Distance left: 316.60
Average/ month to complete goal: 52.6 miles
Average/ week: 13.1

Now keep in mind that some weeks may bring higher numbers than others. According to my 2012 goals:

By the end of January…

  •          Be back to running 3-4 times per week (3 miles per run)
  •          Meditate at least 2 days per week for 10 minutes per session

By the end of February…

  •          Run 4.5 miles at least once a week (3 X 3 & 4.5 X 1)
  •          Practice Yoga 2 days per week for at least 30 minutes

By the end of March…

  •          Reduce my road rage by 30%
  •          Meditate at least 3 times per week for 15 minutes each time

By the end of April…

  •          Be able to run 4.5 miles twice per week (3 X 2 & 4.5 X 2)
  •          Effective say no to things I don’t want to do

By the end of May…

  •          Run 5 times per week (3 X 2, 4.5 X 2, 1.5 X 1)
  •          Continue practicing Yoga 2 times per week

By the end of June…

  •          Reduce road rage by 50%
  •          Increase meditation to 20 minutes 3 times per week
  •          Re-evaluate for upcoming 6 months

As you can see, by the end of May, I hope to be averaging somewhere around 16.5 miles per week.

So what’s my upcoming goal? 160 miles by February 1. Hold me accountable, please!

Health Tip of the Day (brought to you by the iGoogle app): When exercising, breathe in through your nose, and exhale from your mouth to keep the lungs clear and allow more air to enter.

 

 

Favorite Things Friday!

Ok, so this probably won’t be real segment. In fact, I kind of snagged the idea from Peace, Love and Oats and Brianna Swisher Photography.  Actually, this is more of me wanting to pay my dues to the companies that provide me with the products I love and use nearly every day.

Kashi – I’m obsessed with their products, so it’s only natural that I’m on their monthly mailing list. Why do I love them? Well, mainly because their products are healthy and don’t taste like cardboard. Plus, they’re always up to something beneficial to the community. Finally, the main reason I love, love, love Kashi…

Not familiar with this brand?

We are a small (after 25 years, still fewer than 70 of us) band of passionate people who believe right down to our bones that everyone has the power to make positive changes in their lives. We think getting healthy starts with taking little steps, like choosing healthy all natural foods. Kashi is about embracing and living your best life.

Apple – I love my iPad. I’m obsessed with my iPad. I embrace my iPad.

Chobani Pineapple Greek Yogurt – For those of you who have tried this, no further explanation needed. If you haven’t and love things that are healthy and sweet, I highly suggest you try this flavor ASAP.

Snow – It finally came and I couldn’t be happier.

Wish this could be me.

My Healthy Tip of the Day is Brought to You by the iGoogle app Healthy Tip of the Day: Try to keep a steady eating routine. It will throw your body off if you skip a meal and starve yourself only to overeat later. Avoid such situations as much as possible.

Oops!

When I posted the list of blogs I follow, I forgot to mention my two local favorites. Candace Nelson, author of Candace Lately, has an amazing food blog where she posts local restaurant reviews and recommendations. (You may remember me mentioning her blog here.) I’ve visited this blog on many occasion before heading out to a new spot.

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“Candace Lately is a blog about the local food culture in Morgantown, W.Va. Its purpose is to speak to the community of foodies in town and provide a forum for discussion about local restaurants, food and people who embrace this Appalachian city’s culture.

From information about farmers’ markets to the state fruit to restaurant reviews, Candace Lately aims to help keep the community informed about all things food- and drink-related. Created in 2009, the blog flourishes as a labor of love and hobby.

I’m Candace Nelson, and I am a graduate student at West Virginia University pursuing my master’s of science in journalism. I have a passion for reading, writing, media, West Virginia and all things local – specifically food. I fully believe in supporting the local economy and culture. As a lifelong Appalachian, I value the state and the fruits it creates.

This blog is my take on local food culture from a college kid’s perspective. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But I am here having fun.”

I met Candace when I was in undergrad at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism. I don’t really remember how we met, but we eventually took our relationship to Twitter and then to the blogosphere. She is pretty much the jam and even had a burger named after her. How cool!

My dear friend Brianna Swisher is the author of Brianna Swisher Photography. What started out as a type of portfolio for her work eventually turned into a fashion, food and “Few of my Favorite Things” forum. She posts anything from outfits she likes to recipes that catch her eye.

These are a few of my favorite things: Browns with a pop of Orange

So check out her blog to get some cute ideas for…well anything!

 

My First WIAW

As previously mentioned, I’ve been following quite a few blogs. On several of these blogs, I’ve been spotting a trend created by the author of the blog Peas and Crayons. Here’s a little information on the neat-o trend:

“What-I-Ate blogs are taking over the internet.  The little voyeur in all of us gets pretty darn curious sometimes… I mean, we obviously see what we eat ever second of every day… but what on earth does everyone else put in their faces?  So as a Registered Dietitian in-the-making, a former vegetarian, and a current whole food eating nutrition nut, I decided to give you a little weekly peek at my eats for an entire day.  The good, the odd, and the she-ate-WHAT!? — it’s all there!

What I Ate Wednesday has been a fabulous way for me to reflect on my eating habits and spot out patterns, slip-ups, and successes!  Looking back at a full day of eats has benefited my healthy eating goals so much, that I wanted to share the love by making it into a blog link party for everyone to join in on!  Helloooo virtual pot-luck!

What started as a once-a-week food diary has now turned into a bloggy social event every Wednesday! I’ve met so many fabulous new bloggers from WIAW and love getting meal inspiration from everyone’s posts!  It’s also been a great tool for shaking up a food rut + finding new, exciting ways to eat your favorite foods!  Without WIAW I might not of realized that PB+J quesadillas and uber green smoothies with spinach were absolutely amazing together.  If it all seems like a crazy hot mess to you, don’t stress it – life is supposed to be a little nutty =)

Want to join in on the fun?

I’d love to see a day in the life of you! Meals, snacks, drinks – all that good stuff!  Don’t stress it if you forget to photograph your snacks or even forget an entire meal until long after the plate has been licked clean… just post the rest of the goodies!

Simply photograph a day of meals any day of the week and create your What I Ate Wednesday post to link up on any (and every!) Wednesday you choose.  What I Ate [Last] Wednesday posts are popular and so are Monday and Tuesday eats! ❤  You can title it whatever you’d like and get as creative as your heart desires.  Make sure you add the WIAW button to your post [this will allow your readers to join in on the fun!] Now get your party pants on and join us every Wednesday for a fun food diary party!”

Although I can’t say that I photograph everything I eat, I do manage to snap a few pics of my food.

Sidebar: I have a great camera sitting at home that I used to use constantly…until the lense broke, I grew too lazy to take it in and had to resort to using my loud, low-quality Kodak. Now I just snap the occasional photo and count down the days until I can muster the courage to dump money into repairing my lense (or until I get a new phone with a great camera in April).

All of this being said, I’d like to formally begin participating in WIAWs and I’d like to start today.

Breakfast

NOT PICTURED – 1 bowl of overnight oats with strawberries, flax seed, almond milk, and Splenda. I can’t stomach cold oats, so I heat it up in the microwave. Maybe I’ll get there someday.

Lunch

¾ cup of brown rice mixed with ¾ cup of cooked spinach with garlic salt, ¼ cucumber, sliced, with rice vinegar and a little Splenda, and sliced kiwi with 4 strawberries

Snack

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt mixed with a handful of blueberries and three strawberries (pinch of Splenda)

Dinner

a pesto quesadilla with some chips and queso dip from Black Bear Burritos

Minus the beer.

Yes I realize I used Splenda on three different occasions today, but I’m trying to use the remainder of my bag so I can switch to Truvia. Oh and does anyone else think that brown flax seeds look like ticks? I was going to post a picture of a tick, but I made myself nauseas looking up pictures of them.

My Healthy Choice of the Day: Opting for a run, despite having quesadilla belly!

Vegetable Purée

In the past few months or so, I’ve been served a vegetable puree in place of the standard steamed vegetable side dish. The first time was at a place in town called Sargasso. Known for its great atmosphere and killer entrees that sample a variety of cuisines ranging from Asian, European to Caribbean, this fusion restaurant is an absolute must. Anyway, when I dined there last, I ordered some fish dish that was accompanied with a sweet potato puree. While Alex and my Mom had a hard time getting past the baby food-looking side, I was completely sold after the first bite. After a few more giant bites, I started using the puree as a sauce for my fish and proceeded to ask for its hand in marriage.

20120113-135312.jpg

Look how fabulous their presentation is!

My second encounter with this style of side dish was at my absolute favorite restaurant, Stefano’s. Not only is the food to die for, but it’s also an added bonus that my terrific friend Katie works there too. This place has always delivered and always keeps my mouth watering. On my last visit, I ordered yet another fish entrée that came with a root vegetable puree. Once again the baby food-like substance made my taste buds do a jig. Although a different combination of flavors, this parsnip and carrot puree added a lot of flavor to my already delicious fish. Although I’m totally biased, I highly recommend hitting Stefano’s for a special occasion, of if you just want to treat yourself.

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Can you guess where my favorite spot is?

So if you can’t find a vegetable puree anywhere on a menu near you, try this Autumn Root Vegetable Puree ASAP.

INGREDIENTS

· 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

· 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

· 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

· 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks

· 1/2 medium rutabaga, peeled, trimmed, and cut into small chunks

· Kosher salt

· 1 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

· Freshly ground black pepper

PREP

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the turnips, carrots, parsnip, sweet potato, and rutabaga, add a good pinch of salt, and cover by 2 inches with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Drain the vegetables and then return them to the saucepan to dry out over medium heat for 2 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food mill and puree. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste, and reheat if necessary before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: “It’s good to put yourself first, because then you have more energy to give others.”

— Valerie Bertinelli

Oh and if you don’t believe me about Sargasso, check out what local food blogger Candace Nelson said.

Blogs I Love

I’ve been pretty busy lately, so I’ve only really had time to read other blogs, rather than keep up with my own. That being said (God, I hate it when I say that), I’d like to take this time to share with you some of the amazing blogs I follow daily. The women behind these blogs are the ultimate health advocates and I for one would be lost without them. So here they are, in no particular order:

PBFingers – ‘Peanut Butter Fingers began in September 2009 as a way to share recipes, exercise tips and random musings with my friends and family and has since grown into a blog that I update three times daily to document my life, fueled by (mostly) healthy food and fitness.

I love creating healthy meals and experimenting with new foods and flavors. I try to live a healthy, balanced life but also enjoy my favorite indulgences (like a peanut butter finger or two… or five ;) ). This blog is constantly updated with my “healthified” versions of indulgent meals, sweaty workouts and quick and simple recipes.

Along with a focus on living an active and healthy life, my blog follows my daily adventures with my husband Ryan and our insane dog, Sadie.’

Peace, Love & Oats – This blog is written by the fabulous Katie, who lives a gluten-free life. Not only does she work her butt off to keep up with her love of running, but she’s also a law student. Wow! ‘I’ve started getting into trying out new recipes and sharing them with my friends. I thought starting this blog would be a great opportunity to share both the recipes I’ve been trying out, as well as the workouts and exercises that I do with my friends, and anyone else who finds my story interesting!’

Live & Love to Eat – ‘My blog will mostly focus on food instead of my personal life.  I might mention personal events or friends/family, but that really isn’t what this blog is here for.  I want to share my knowledge, ideas, and experiences that involve food, exercise, and living well. I am a registered dietitian but by no means am I the food police.  I love to indulge in chocolate, frozen yogurt, and other forms of “junk” food on a regular basis.Everything in moderation!’

Chocolate Covered Katie – ‘This isn’t just any dessert blog: it’s the healthy-dessert blog! The recipes featured here are healthier versions of your favorite naughty treats: Cookie Dough Milkshakes, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, Brownie Batter Pancakes…

What will you find on this website?

Naughty treats that have been given a healthy spanking! My aim isn’t for people to say, “This is good… for ahealthy dessert.” I want them to say, “This is good. Period.”

For the actual recipes, see: CC Diet Recipes.

This site is for anyone who wants to be healthy but refuses to give up eating delicious desserts in the name of health. Happiness and health go hand-in-hand, and how can you be happy if you’re not eating what you truly desire? My favorite food is chocolate, and I eat it at least once a day. I’ve never been happier. Or healthier.’

 

Any Lucky Penny – This blog really makes me want to travel! ‘Most of my posts will be about baking/ food, interior design ideas, traveling, photography, and songs of the day. Well I hope you all enjoy my blog! I am excited to have my first blog and I hope you all enjoy it!’ Adriana, the author, has a serious eye for interior decorating and usually gives me some good ideas for my future home! 

How Sweet It Is – ‘I’m Jessica and this is where I share my stuff. You will find a balance of healthy recipes, comfort food and indulgent desserts. I am madly, passionately, inexplicably in love with food. Bacon makes me beam. Chocolate makes me shout from the rooftops with joy. Vegetables and I are the best of frenemies. My perfect world would include none of them.

I have an unnatural obsession with James Taylor’s music. Contrary to popular belief, the name of this blog has nothing to do with the plethora of butter and sugar we’ve got going on – but because the song “How Sweet It Is” is constantly streaming in my mind. Sometimes it’s loud.’

Spoonful of Sugar Free – Alex is a sugar-free blogger who actually has an allergic reaction if she ingests this delicious, sweet substance. She loves to blog about living a sugar-free life, as well as sharing recipes that are good for you and delicious!

I find new blogs to read every day and find myself learning something new from each and every one of them. So thanks ladies for inspiring me to keep going. Keep it up!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Eat breakfast. I can’t stress this enough!

F5 Plan

I believe that every once in a while (say every six months or so) a person needs to hit the restart button. What better time to do so than right after the food-centered holiday season! Now I’m not a huge fan of diet/exercise New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I believe it should be something you strive for everyday (with the occasional Cat Hair in my Coffee moment, of course). However, this restart meal plan sounds like just the right thing for the day after a holiday binge. Although I can’t take credit for it, I call this my “F5 Plan”.

This Not That EF5

 

The Plan

Breakfast
• 8 oz water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
• Scrambled egg whites with chopped fresh herbs (such as basil or oregano), topped with a dollop of salsa, and 1 slice whole-wheat toast, dry
or 1 cup cooked oats or cooked oatmeal topped with ½ cup berries or 2 Tbsp nuts
• 8 oz decaffeinated green or herbal tea

Snack:
• Sliced apple with 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
or 1/3 cup natural trail mix

Lunch
• 1 cup fresh spinach or lightly sautéed spinach or kale, squeezed with fresh lemon or orange juice
or 1 cup asparagus with 1 tsp olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice
• 4 oz grilled, baked, or broiled salmon, chicken, or pork tenderloin, seasoned with spices such as lemon pepper
• 1/2 cup edamame beans, steamed
• 8 oz water or decaffeinated green or herbal tea
• 8 pecan halves

Snack:
• 1/2 sweet potato or one citrus fruit (orange or grapefruit)
• 4 oz low-fat yogurt

Dinner
• Large spinach or romaine salad with vegetables. Dress with 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil mixed with lemon juice or vinegar (any variety)
• ½ cup to 1 cup asparagus or artichoke hearts, steamed
• 4 oz lean chicken with spices, baked or grilled
• ½ cup brown rice, barley, bulgur, or quinoa
• 8 oz water or decaffeinated green or herbal tea

Snack:
• ¾ cup to 1 cup blueberries
or ½ cup pomegranate seeds
• 4 oz nonfat Greek yogurt
or low-fat organic yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese

If you’re a vegetarian, get creative with your protein substitutes and opt for any of these faves:
·         beans
·         eggplant
·         mushrooms
·         tofu/seitan
·         eggs

 

Trust me, I get it.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Do you find yourself snacking while preparing dinner and then sit down to eat, already completely stuffed? Try sipping tea or chewing gum while cooking. If you still feel too hungry to wait, keep some sliced veggies on hand to snack on. Bigger picture: try to have a healthy snack in between lunch and dinner so you won’t find yourself struggling time and time again.

What Snow?

I’m a huge fan of winter. I love the drinks, the clothes and the feeling of coziness when I’m home watching movies while the snow pours out of the sky. However, this winter has consisted mostly of rainy days and temperatures ranging anywhere from 30 degrees to…

Jan 7 temp

Oh, did I mention that I DON’T LIVE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA? January and February are supposed to be the months where WV sees major snowfall. We’re supposed to experience stuff like this:

DSC_0146    DSC_0155

What happens when Bailee sees stuff like that above?

Photo_021110_005

She busts out her earmuffs and becomes Mrs. HappyPants. But this winter has been different. We’ve experienced one decent snow, at best and the forecast just keeps predicting sunshine. Now I realize that I’m in the minority about this one. Most people are thrilled not to be freezing their buns off this winter, but I’m just not feeling it. To put it in perspective for all of you summer folks, imagine a summer with temps reaching a high of 50 and a whole lotta rain. That’s what my winter feels like.

But hey, what can I do?

Arrow Cat Hair

Cat Hair From Grace

Let’s just say I’m listening to my morning sign and scrapping this winter up to a Cat Hair in my Coffee moment. I think I’ll find the positive in the lack of snow by reinstating my Rail Trail runs.

What do you like best (or least) about winter?