Salad with a Side of Salad

Why, hello there.

Last week was a pretty decent week for my revamped healthy eating lifestyle. Since, well, moving into our house, my eating habits have been awful. (We moved in almost a year ago.) I’m not sure what the cause, but I’ve known for a while that things need to change.

The funny thing about eating healthy and exercising, is that it’s actually fun to me. I used to relish my Saturday afternoon meal planning sessions, even if it was just an excuse to sit on Pinterest for hours. I used to love that satisfaction of finishing a day under my caloric goal. Heck, I used to even enjoy the idea of hopping on an elliptical, just because it meant I could actually set aside some time for a podcast. However, moving in to my permanent fixture made me a bit…lazy. It was suddenly too easy to just come home, order take out and hit the couch. It was far too much effort to actually lace up my running shoes and head back out for a workout. Plus, for the first time in my adult life, I am without a gym. Sure, we have the treadmill in the basement, but I loathe it! I detest it! It’s honestly a torture device to me! Finally, the best part of eating healthy and exercising was being able to talk about it on Cat Hair in my Coffee. It gave me something to work toward, besides actual work.

Did you enjoy that derailment, because I sure did.

Last week, I made the effort to get up every morning and make breakfast, throwback style. I made two eggs, over-easy with two pieces of turkey bacon. I decided to skip the English muffin to see if I would miss it, and the good news — I didn’t! In fact, I found myself staying fuller longer throughout the day. Amazing.

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Another meal I was particularly proud of was my Caprese salad with a side of salad. I’m obsessed with mozzarella, tomato and basil, so I’ve been trying to incorporate some combination of those flavors into as many meals as possible. This particular one was just a classic serving of Caprese salad with toasted baguette pieces. Since I had a ton of lettuce/salad mix from Round Right Farm, I decided to make a big salad to along with it. I wanted a creamy dressing, so I opted for this amazing creamy avocado dressing recipe I found on Pinterest. The recipe can be found below:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

NOTE: Some people have said that this recipe is way too tart for their tastes. I’ve made it quite a few times (it’s a summer staple for us!) and still love it, but if you aren’t a big fan of tang, try reducing the vinegar to 1/3 cup and use only half a lemon.

  1. In a food processor, combine avocado, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Run processor until very smooth and creamy.
  2. With processor running on low, stream in olive oil through the shoot until just combined.

I personally used my Magic Bullet for the blending and it turned out great! I liked the tartness of this dressing and thought it really went well with the feta cheese I sprinkled on top.

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So there you have it. My “A for Effort” meal. This week, I’m expecting a Blue Apron delivery, so I’ll be back in the kitchen for that.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Making drastic changes too quickly is a recipe for disaster when trying to maintain or work towards a more healthy lifestyle. Stick with small, gradual changes. For example, instead of buying a store bought dressing that is often filled with preservatives, find a recipe on Pinterest or another recipe site and take a crack at making your own. I found this amazing cheat sheet that might help with this!
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FitSugar Squat Challenge

Hey stranger!

Hope the holidays haven’t driven you away from fitness like they have for me. Every year I swear I’ll stick to my workout routine and every year, I don’t. At. All. I know I should let certain things slide around the holiday season and chalk it up to a Cat Hair Coffee moment, but this season I’ve noticed a major side effect: SAD. OK, so maybe not to the extreme that some people are effected, but I definitely have found myself lacking in the energy department. Enter: The 30-Day Squat Challenge by PopSugar Fitness.

I found this challenge on PopSugar’s Facebook page and thought it seemed really reasonable. The whole “Squat Circuit Challenge: 4 Weeks to 200 Squats” sounded so cool to me! Well, maybe “cool” is the wrong word, but it definitely seemed like an attainable goal. Anyway, if you would like to join me, tweet about your experience by mentioning me @baileemorris OR @cathaircoffee and @POPSUGARFitness with the hashtag #200squatchallenge. Here’s the routine:

DAY OF MONTH EXERCISE NUMBER OF SQUATS
Day 1 6 reps of each 30
Day 2 10 reps of each 50
Day 3 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 4 Rest 0
Day 5 5 reps of each, repeat 3x 75
Day 6 10 reps of each 50
Day 7 8 reps of each, repeat 2x 80
Day 8 Rest 0
Day 9 9 reps of each, repeat 2x 90
Day 10 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 11 5 reps of each, repeat 4x 100
Day 12 Rest 0
Day 13 7 reps of each, repeat 3x 105
Day 14 6 reps of each, repeat 2x 60
Day 15 5 reps of each, repeat 5x 125
Day 16 Rest 0
Day 17 9 reps of each, repeat 3x 135
Day 18 5 reps of each, repeat 3x 75
Day 19 7 reps of each, repeat 4x 140
Day 20 Rest 0
Day 21 10 reps of each, repeat 3x 150
Day 22 8 reps of each, repeat 2x 80
Day 23 8 reps of each, repeat 4x 160
Day 24 Rest 0
Day 25 7 reps of each, repeat 5x 175
Day 26 6 reps of each, repeat 3x 90
Day 27 9 reps of each, repeat 4x 180
Day 28 Rest 0
Day 29 12 reps of each, repeat 3x 180
Day 30 10 reps of each, repeat 4x 200

So start squatting! (That was supposed to sound better than it did.)

Getting Organized: How I Discovered My Cat’s Stash

Today I decided to go through Karen and Grace’s toy basket. It was beginning to overflow and to be honest, I was kind of curious what was in it. Now you may be thinking, “Well, what’s so interesting about a cat’s toy basket?” I’ll tell you.

My little girl Grace has been known, on occasion, to swipe numerous objects around my house. Things go missing and we always assume it’s her. Our assumption was right.

Toy Basket
As you can see from the picture above, our little miss sticky fingers has outdone herself.

Apparently she went to see Friday the 13th in theaters a few years ago and it looks like some kind of rave at another date.

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I found the whole thing pretty amusing. Anyway, this little cleaning adventure, while it was long overdue, was made in part by the inspiration of A Bowl Full of Lemons. I found this blog on Pinterest one day and immediately got sucked in. The whole site has amazing tips on how to keep your home clean, organized and looking great. One tip was to spend no more than a minute or so going through each room in your house and putting away things that are out of place every day. This has always been something I’ve struggled with, but after reading that tip, I realized it was something I should have no problem managing. Check out the site for some great tips!

Ok, that’s it for me. I’m getting ready to head off to yoga! Have a good one.

Workout Challenge for Tonight: Try to complete as many pushups as possible. Record your number and then repeat tomorrow night. See if you can add at least 5 pushups on to your original number by Wednesday!

Definitely Not a Cat Hair in my Lap

A few nights ago, Karen hopped up on my lap after I had returned home from a long day of work and errands. We had just settled in when the dreaded cat gagging sound started up. Maybe I was too tired or maybe I’m just truly no longer repulsed by anything gross my cats may do, but I had absolutely no reaction to her vomiting in my lap. I stood up, took the blanket to the bathroom to clean and tossed it in the washing machine. Minutes later, she was running around with Grace as if nothing had happened. I returned to the couch only to hear her gagging once again, only this time, on my beautiful dining room table cloth runner. Again, little to no reaction. I cleaned that up, tossed it in with the blanket and realized that I had really become a “grown-up.”

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Poor Karen!

I always thought it was amazing that adults/parents could wipe our spit up off their clothes and continue on with the day like it was no biggie. A few years ago, I would have cried (my reaction when I get really grossed out) at the thought of something hurling in my lap, but now I’m the one shrugging it off. Maybe it isn’t about being a grown-up, but rather about truly being a devoted cat guardian (I’m trying not to use the word ‘owner’ anymore). Anyway, it was a nice moment to realize that skipping a work out or having a piece of cake really doesn’t mean anything. Just like having a little cat vomit on you doesn’t ruin your night.

I say all of this because I’m about a week behind on my Jillian Michaels workout. I have two weeks until the wedding, but really don’t feel that terrible that I’ve been spending my evenings celebrating birthdays, having dinners and enjoying life. That being said, I am going to get my butt back in gear as soon as the race is over this weekend. My energy levels have been way down from my lack of cardio! Oh and before I forget…let me recap the first week of Ripped in 30.

At first, I felt like I was going to die. I was sweating more than I do when I run, but after day three, I felt amazing. I felt my legs getting stronger and my arms leaner. Week two should be interesting considering I took some time off in between! I’ll keep you posted.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you have a desk job where you sit in front of a computer all day, set a time every hour to get up and stretch or walk around for five or ten minutes. You could even get creative do something like the Weather Channel and move around on the 8s. I get up at every :30 mark. I even find myself getting antsy a few minutes before!

Ripped in 30

Today I started the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD workout! I have to say I was always sort of intimidated by her workout routines because I never thought I was “ripped” enough for them. I always figured I could just stick with my 10 Minute Solutions Pilates DVD and running 2-3 times per week. Boy was I wrong! I’ll admit I was feeling a change there for a few weeks, but as soon as I started getting comfortable, I noticed that little bit of pudge around my waistline creeping back in. I knew I needed to make a change. So, after I heard a few of my girlfriends talking about Jillian’s 30 Day Shred DVD, I knew I had to check this lady out.

Ripped in 30 uses the 3-2-1 interval system, which stands for 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. Believe me when I say thank goodness the cardio is only for 2 minutes at a time, because I was sweating harder than a 30 minute run! It didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard or anything like that, but I definitely was shocked to find myself drenched in sweat. (Sorry if that was TMI.) Anyway, this DVD splits up the workouts into four weeks. Each week has a very unique set of moves with varying levels. Obviously there is a beginner, moderate and advanced level for each move. I found that I was actually a mix between the beginner and the moderate levels. Some things, like pushups, I can’t do to the fullest, but I’m hoping that things may change by the end of this 30 day challenge! Oh and did I mention each workout is only 24 minutes long? That means that I can continue my 10K trainer!

You’re probably wondering why I’m still bothering with the 10K trainer since I didn’t actually get to complete my race. Well, I still plan to do a race sometime in the future, but I don’t see a point in quitting my training altogether. I plan to continue working towards my goal of running 6.2 miles and then see where I’m at from there.

So, in summary, I highly recommend this DVD. Jillian Michaels is a wonderful motivator and even offers a 30 day meal plan to accompany this DVD. Here’s a five day preview.

 

Day 1
2 Eggs and Toast
Turkey and Avocado Wrap
Apple Berry Banana
Smoothie Turkey Kebabs

 

Day 2
Yogurt, Berries and Almonds
Grilled Sirloin Salad
Almonds and an Orange
Chicken Satay

 

Day 3
Waffles and Bananas
Mexican Pizza
Protein Bar
Black Bean Chili

 

Day 4
Ezekiel English Muffin or Toast with Almond Butter
Hummus and Vegetable Pita
Turkey Jerky
Roasted Salmon

 

Day 5
Oatmeal with Apples and Pecans
Seared Tuna Salad
Hard-Boiled Egg With an Apple
BBQ Chicken and Black Bean Burrito

I‘m not sure if I’ll try the meal plan, but I’ll definitely be pulling a few meal ideas from it.

Finally, I’d like to offer my before pictures. Now, normally I cringe at the thought of people seeing me in workout gear from various angles, but what the hey. A lot of people do this, so I’ll give it a try.

 

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We’ll see if we can lose some inches around my hips and tighten up those triceps!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you are interested in taking the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 challenge, pick up the DVD and start with me today!

 

WIAW: Anything with a Spoon

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As you can see from the collage above (and from numerous mentions in the past), I love foods that require spoons. If I eat something that doesn’t, I’ll try to find a way to incorporate one into the mix. I sincerely have no idea why I love them so much. Anyway, I started off the week with, you guessed it, leftover Lentils and Wild Rice Stew. I still have a quart in the freezer to get through! With that, I snacked on a snack pack of carrots with ranch dip. So inspired by this delicious dip, I decided to make my own using Greek yogurt. I paired this with broccoli and carrots, as well. For a snack, I wanted yogurt, so I made a pretty little parfait using vanilla Greek yogurt, thawed frozen berries and some Multigrain Cheerios. I thought it turned out rather well. (Tasty to boot!) A simple veggie sandwich was thrown into the mix and was severely coveted by my lovely grey kitty, Grace. A delicious smoothie bowl was devoured for breakfast and finally, some very sinful Edy’s cookie dough ice cream. I didn’t feel terribly guilty about this one, because I had been to the gym earlier that day. So there it is!

Before I wrap things up, I wanted to take a moment to point out a pet peeve of mine. (Shocking, I know.) While at my apartment complex’s gym a few days ago, I encountered one of my biggest pet peeves: gym texters. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I text while on the elliptical, but I’m actually moving. What I can’t stand is when someone (sorry, but usually a guy) stands around the weight section either texting or actually having a phone conversation. In a span of 15 minutes (yes, I tracked it, but only because it was half my workout), this guy did two sets of about 10 reps of, we’ll say, bicep curls, and spent the remainder of that time chatting. Meanwhile, he practically set up his own lounge area. I seriously expected him to bust out a beer and start scratching himself.

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Yes I snapped a photo of him actually taking a break to lie down and enjoy his phone call. To be fair he did push out five chest press moves with free weights after the call ended. Anyway, the moral of the story is this: talk on the phone at the gym, text, whatever, but don’t do it in front of an area that is commonly used. Kindly move to a corner or take it outside. Oh and for the record, I don’t take phone calls when other people are in our gym.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you are going to put all the effort into getting dressed and heading to the gym, why not try to, oh I don’t know, work up a sweat.

My First Smoothie Bowl

So far, I’ve used my new blender to make four different smoothie recipes and have loved every single one! Today I went with a PBFingers classic: the Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie.  I actually made mine into a smoothie bowl by adding more milk and a little more ice. Yum! I wasn’t keen on the idea of using a banana in this recipe, but I found it surprisingly delicious. The banana flavor wasn’t overpowering and it really helped thicken the whole thing up. I dumped the whole thing in my favorite Christmas soup bowl.

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My teeth were chattering by the end. Coffee quickly fixed this. Anyway, the thing I love about smoothies is that they make me feel full but not weighed down. I know they’re going to be perfect for summer weather!

In other news, I’ve finally started getting into a solid gym routine. Yesterday, I made it in after work and squeaked out a 20 minute workout before meeting my friend for dinner. Here’s a sample routine I’ve been trying out. (Yes, I’m on the ‘create a graphic for my workout’ bandwagon and loving it.)

2013 Kick Off Workout

 

Give it a try and see how if feels!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you are having trouble finding your workout groove, start out slow. Try making it a rule to do some form of exercise at least twice a week and then go up from there. After you get your days down, you can start figuring out what works best for you. I like to work out Monday-Thursday and then at least once on the weekend. I find that allowing myself two to three days off really keeps me from getting burnt out.

Finally Back to Normal

For the past few weeks, I’ve been b-u-s-y. I’d say I can’t complain, because I love to stay moving, but unfortunately my workout routine has been severely effected. Between work and my series of dental procedures, I’ve had virtually no time to run, elliptical or any other type of physical activity. I know, I know; boo-hoo. So now that everything has calmed down, here is what I hope to accomplish over the next few weeks.

  1. Run 1-3 times per week.
  2. Complete the **30-day challenge.
  3. Clean up my diet by cutting back on starches and ramping up the veggies.

So far, I’ve managed to squeeze in two 3 mile runs last week, but filled my diet with sugary granola bars and way too much ice cream. The cure for this? Sunday Funday must be eliminated. Instead, I will now allow myself 3 ‘bad’ meals a week, so I can better control them. This may seem crazy, but I’ve found that if I allow myself to splurge a few times a week versus all at once, I’ll find more excuses to skip that piece of cake. When I first tried this, I would save all of my fun meals for the weekend and would usually push them back to Sunday. Thus, Sunday Funday was born. However, now, I’m realizing that the best course of action is to limit myself to only one of these fun meals per day. We’ll see how it goes!

Tonight, I decided to celebrate the end of Sunday Funday with Alexia Saute Sweets. This yummy side of sweet potatoes, sweet corn, black beans, red bell pepper, and onions is ‘blended in chipotle-infused oil and finished with chipotle infused 100% olive oil.’ I also sauteed some spinach with onions, garlic and topped it with a pinch of mozzarella cheese. So good. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

 

Want to try out the 30-Day Challenge with me? Well here is the great little workout I discovered on, none other than, Pinterest!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Challenge yourself and try this workout with me. If  you feel sore, do it every other day, but just keep track so you can make sure to do it 30 times.

Officially Moved

I’m going to keep this brief, but I am officially moved into my new place. I have several things to take care of, but for the most part, the unpacking process is going relatively smoothly. The girls have adjusted, which is great; however they’ve become ultra, super-duper divas from all of the pampering they have been receiving. Lesson learned!

In other news, I haven’t been able to get any running in, which is a major bummer. The good news is that I’m within walking distance to my gym now and plan to spend some time there this evening. It’s weird how moving means I physically stop moving. (I also blame sore muscles from moving boxes. Hey, at least it was a sort-of workout!)

I promise I’ll get back on track with everything (blogging, healthy eating, running, etc.) soon!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Exercise before eating. Even a ten minute walk can decrease your appetite and prevent you from over eating.

TTT: Things I Won’t Drink

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Tomato Juice. I’ve never tried it and probably never will, even though everyone I know loves Bloody Marys. Tough!

Red Bull. When I was younger, I was introduced to the Jager Bomb. This “classic” bar favorite was something I assumed would taste great and make me feel even better. WRONG. After that retched substance (the Jager) finally left my body the next day, I vowed never to touch the stuff again. A few weeks later, a friend of mine popped open a Red Bull, nearly sending me to a nearby bush. It was then I realized that Red Bull was the culprit that made me horrendously ill…well that and forever the smell of wing sauce.

Mellow Yellow. Maybe it’s the fact that I spent most of my youth watching my uncle spit his tobacco into a Mellow Yellow bottle that made me want to vomit at the sight of this pee colored drink, or maybe it was the actual fact that it was a pee colored drink. Whatever the reason, this drink has never touched my lips, nor do I ever plan on letting it. I’m sorry if some of you out there are a fan, but this stuff makes me cringe!

I apologize if any of these drinks are a personal favorite of yours.

In other news, I arrived home after my run to find that my Stella & Dot earrings had arrived!!

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Hooray! I’ve had my eye on these bad boys for quite some time!

Before I wrap things up, let me ask you: Are there any drinks you refuse to touch?

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you can’t face doing 30 minutes exercise a day, break it down into 3 ten-minute bursts.