Saturday, March 31, 2012

seven for saturday.

1. Tomorrow is my little sister's birthday.  She's going to be a teenager... that means I'm getting old.  Yikes.

2. This is her and Thor-Bruno, the puppy.  I can't decide which one is cuter.

3. This is what $3.25 child-size ice cream looks like.  Nelson's Ice Cream=winning.

4. My brother and sister-in-law may disown me after publishing that photo.  Shoot.

5. The more I run, the easier it gets.  That makes me excited.

6. Remember that nail polish collection I wanted?  Hubz ordered it for me... without me asking him too... after I agreed to let him order a new Xbox... Hm.  Not sure how I feel about that anymore...

7. Sometimes getting dressed-up is fun.  Especially when it involves Thai food and best friends.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

tuesday tune: dream on

There is so little that I need to say about this song.  Inspiring.  Exciting.  Epic.  Jam-worthy.  Suspenseful.  That's about all I've got.

Oh, I should also mention the fact that you really can't go wrong when you combine strings and rock music.  Skillet, anyone?  Yellowcard, perhaps?  Yes, please.

Apparently the person who lives a floor below me really digs this song too... as it's all I've heard for 30 minutes straight.  I ain't complaining.


Monday, March 26, 2012

raindrops keep falling on my head.

I made it through week 1 of my 5k training and how am I rewarded?  Rain.  Again.  This time coupled with cold, hard wind.  Awesome.

But guess what?  Once again, I did it.  I didn't want to do it but I took the first step out the door and didn't look back.  It was hard but I felt awesome after I did it.  I even managed to do a 20 minute Zumba ab workout.  Things they are a'changing, folks.

Also, did I mention that running hills is not enjoyable?  Yikes.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

seven for saturday.

1. My body is naturally waking up between 5:30 and 7 am these days... ugh.  That is not the way I want to start my Saturday.  Being an adult is hard.  Jeepers.

2. Anyone want to volunteer to buy me this whole collection?  Thanks in advance.

3. As nice as it is in Minnesota (75* in March!), I'm totally craving a trip to Belize right now.  Seriously, what I wouldn't give to climb some Mayan ruins, get a massage in the rainforest and drink a pineapple Fanta.  Somebody needs a vacation...

4.  I want to make this recipe sooooo bad right now.  I have been craving it everyday for the past week.

5. I would make that recipe this week buttttt... I have no money left in my grocery budget.  We are pretty much going to be eating out of the pantry and freezer all week.

6.  On the bright side, I have $25 worth of cheese and a $15 lobster tail to make lobster mac
tomorrow.  Winning!  But also poor.  Shoot.

7. Hubz and I are rearranging our bedroom so subsequently our whole 700 square foot apartment is a complete disaster.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIAW: spice up your life

Is anyone else singing the Spice Girls after reading that blog title?  SPORTY SPICE FTW!

Yay!  Two posts in one day!  This is a record for me, friends, and it is your lucky day! ;)

I was really on-plan and focused with my food, exercise and attitude today which I'm super excited about.  Now the goal is to make days like today the rule, instead of the exception (He's Just Not That Into You... anyone? ANYONE?).

I started the day off right with a quick 10-minute upper body Core Fusion DVD workout.  My triceps will definitely be feeling it tomorrow!
(1 AP Earned)

Lately I've been having oatmeal for breakfast pretty consistently, but with the weather getting warmer I'm starting to crave smoothies and shakes more often.  This morning I had Shakeology (really love this stuff) blended with 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 a banana, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter and some ice.  Icy and delicious!

I'm thinking that this breakfast may be a staple for the next few weeks!
(8 P+)

While I was at work I snacked on a fruit cup with pineapple, mango, jicama, blackberries and a strawberry.  I know the strawberry looks kind of pathetic... it was.  There may have also been a mini cadbury egg that snuck in there without getting photographed.  What can I say?  It was camera-shy... or something.

That view right there?  That's what I see everyday working the drive-thru at my coffee shop.  Living the dream, people.  Living the dream.

Yay for free fruit on Weight Watchers PointsPlus!  Too bad chocolate isn't free too...
(1 P+)

Lunch was leftovers from last night and was ridiculously delicious.  I made Jenna's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala which obviously did not disappoint (I've loved every recipe of hers that I've made!).  This is definitely comfort food which is what I've been craving with the dreary weather outside.

I ate about half of a serving of the Chicken Tikka Masala with 1/4 cup of basmati rice.  That's about half of the amount that I consumed for supper last night, but it was just the right portion for lunch (and fit into my Daily Points allowance a lot easier!).
(8 P+)

I washed lunch down with an iced coffee with a shot of sugar-free caramel and 1 Tbsp. half and half.  I only finished the amount shown in the picture.  I wasn't really feeling it so figured there was no point in finishing it... especially since it was free, you know?  Plus, the only thing in it that has any P+ is the half and half, and 1/2 Tbsp. of half and half is 0 P+.
(0 P+)

Today I finished the second workout of the Weight Watchers 5k Training Plan and guess what?  I did it by myself!  Nobody else was there to make me do it or to motivate me along the way, it all came from the grace of God and my determination, baby.  Awesome.  Call me depressing, but I kind of love the gloomy trees in this photo.

Friday is the 3rd workout of the training plan and I know it's going to be challenging!  We're moving to running in two minute increments.  I know I can do it though!
(4 AP earned)

After my workout I fueled back up with 4 carrot sticks, 1 ounce of dried apples, 12 almonds and a Laughing Cow Queso and Chipotle wedge.  My own little afternoon plate.  Cute.  I know it sounds like a lot of food but I was seriously famished!

I like to have a little bit of everything in my afternoon snack and this was seriously delicious.
(5 P+)

For the second time today, I had indian food.  It's the new thai curry, my friends.  Comforting, spicy, sinus-opening and soooooo yummy!  I used this recipe for Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes) and it turned out really good.  Next time I would like it to have a little bit more sauce though.  I'm all about sauce.

We served this up with 1/2 cup of basmati rice, cilantro and a bunch of hot sauce, obviously.  I think tomorrow I'm going to mix this with the rest of my leftover Chicken Tikka Masala.  Yummmmmmm.
(9 P+)

As you can see, I didn't do a very good job of going green with my WIAW, but I did get a lot of fruits and veggies in and today that's good enough for me.

Total P+ Used: 31 (only one over my Daily Target--the other one will be taken out of my activity points I've earned)
AP Earned: 5 (works for me!)

Have you ever tried Indian food?  Did you like it?


Mango Avocado Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pinterest is a wonderfully addictive past-time of mine.  It ranks right up there with Gilmore Girls marathons, Just Dancing and making awkward Song of Solomon references.

One of my favorite parts of Pinterest is finding new recipes!  Surprise, surprise, I know.  As I mentioned earlier this week, with spring here and summer quickly approaching, I've been craving more fresh produce, salads and lighter food in general.  The problem comes with me not being the biggest fan of salads.  Let me explain.  If I'm going to enjoy a salad it better be a freaking monster salad.  It better have toppings.  The dressing better be ridiculously awesome.  Iceberg lettuce is not allowed in my house.  Simple salads as a meal just doesn't cut it, folks.

Pinterest to the rescue, my friends!  After seeing a picture of this salad, I knew that I needed to try it... with a few changes, of course.  Someone just can't leave recipes alone!

This makes a wonderful salad for lunch!  It's big enough and plenty filling to be an entree, but if you'd prefer I'm sure it would be great with chicken or some seafood.

Mango Avocado Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine

For Salad:

Servings: 1

2 Tbsp. sliced or slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. water
Cinnamon, to taste
Paprika, to taste

2-3 cups spring mix
1/2 large mango, diced
1/4 avocado, diced

Sprinkle brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat.  As the brown sugar begins to warm and separate, add the water to help it dissolve.  As the sugar begins to boil, it will become darker, thicker and more syrup-y.  Be careful not to burn the sugar.  Add in the almonds and add cinnamon and paprika to your taste.  Remove from heat.  Toss the almonds to coat in the sugar syrup.  Let cool on wax paper.  

Meanwhile, toss together spring mix, mango and avocado.  Add almonds after cooled.

For Dressing:
Servings: About 14  | Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 Tbsp. dried onion
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
1/3 Cup canola oil
1/3 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.

The flavors in this salad combine together so wonderfully.  There's a beautiful balance between the sweet, bitter, tangy and salty elements in the salad.  The best part?  You can totally change this salad to suit your tastes or the produce that's in season.  I personally think strawberries, goat cheese, raspberries or pecans would also be super tasty!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

tuesday tune: guilty pleasures, so says i

Want to know what I think is super interesting, horrifying and awkward fun to find out about people?  Guilty pleasures.  Ugh... there's nothing better than a guilty pleasure:  They are semi-embarrassing, usually hilarious and not a fact you usually find out about someone until you really know them.

Since we are becoming closer and closer every day, I figured it was about time you learn some of my guilty pleasures:

  • Even though I'm really, really bad at it, I love playing Super Mario Bros on my Wii.  Hubz sits next to me on the couch and just giggles as I miss 3 coins in a row, accidentally run into a mushroom and fall into the lava... all at the same time.  Now that, my friends, is talent.
  • I would probably wear leggings as pants 90% of the time if it was socially acceptable.  No joke.  As I'm sure you know, I don't have the type of body that makes this admissible.  Does that stop me?  Heeeeeeeeeck no.  THEY MAKE ME FEEL FREE, OK?  Sorry I'm not sorry.
  • One of my favorite songs of all time is about an affair.  You can't tell me that every time you hear "Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul you don't start to sway and sing along in the kitchen.  YOU CAN'T DENY IT!  The lyrics are completely against my moral values but Billy Paul's voice is butt-aaaa.  Le-sigh.
  • I like regular soda.  Love it, in fact.  I know it has absolutely no nutritional value, but there's just something so satisfying about the fizz and the cold refreshing taste after a long day served up with some tacos!  Yummmmmmmm.  I had a Dr. Pepper tonight and I don't regret it one stinking bit.
  • TV marathons are probably my worst guilty pleasure.  I could honestly watch the same episode of the same show more times than I'm willing to admit.  I've watched every episode of "The Office," "Chuck" and "Friday Night Lights" at least four times.  This is what happens when you are broke and can't afford cable, people.  I'm currently watching every episode of Gilmore Girls for the third time.  Gilmore Girls has to be one of my favorite shows of all time.  The humor is fast, witty and hilarious and I kind of want to be BFFs with Lauren Graham Lorelai Gilmore.  The last episode I watched featured a scene in a night club with a live band, which just so happened to be The Shins.  I loved The Shins in high school (who wouldn't after seeing Garden State?) but haven't listened to them much since.  This song is so catchy in a really not-annoying kind of way, you know?  And I just love the WhooooOOOO-HOOOooo!  Just listen to it and you'll understand, ok?  Stop judging me!

Get it now?  WhooooOOOO-HOOOooo=the best part of the whole song.

What are your guilty pleasures?


Monday, March 19, 2012

bring on spring.

If you didn't know, I was born and raised in South Dakota.  I moved to Minnesota to attend college when I was 18 and have lived here ever since.  All that to say, you would think that by now I would be accustomed to winter, snow and being frozen to the bone.... yeah, not so much.  Imagine my delight with the winter weather that we had this year.

This time last year I was still wearing a down coat and snow boots... today I wore leggings, a t-shirt and flip-flops.  I could get used to this!  75 degrees in the middle of March?  Yes please!

Other signs of spring:

  • Salads for lunch (recipe coming tomorrow!)
  • Light scarves
love this scarf... mainly because it's purple!
  • Baseball caps (love them!)
  • Bright nail polish

turquoise and caicos by essie--love!

  • Open windows
  • Tons of iced tea (can't get enough of it!)
  • Working out outside 

Today Hubz and I started the Weight Watchers 5k training plan.  I ran a 5k about two years ago and even though I felt amazing after I finished it, I haven't really ran since that day.  Lame.

2010 challene obesity 5k--Como Lake
I've been disappointed in myself that I haven't continued running since then, so yesterday I decided that it was time to get back to it.  If you don't like something, change it--that's my motto lately.

Lucky for me, the Hubz loves to run (though he also hasn't done it much lately) and running together is motivational for me, even if I want to strangle him for being so stinkin' positive by the end of the workout.

Today was Day 1 of the 5k training and as we stepped outside, it was quite obvious that we would be wet by the time we got inside... Little did we know just how wet we would be!  We continued the plan as long as we could, until the lightning and thunder were getting too close for comfort.  By the time we got inside (soaking wet!) we had finished about half of the Day 1 workout and I was... relieved disappointed.

Wait... what?  Did I just say that?  Yeah.  I did.  I was sad we couldn't finish because of the weather.  I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

I honestly wasn't ready to be done, it just didn't feel right.  When we got inside we did the stairs a couple of times (and consequently got the stairs rather wet... oops!) and that made me feel a little bit better.

So even though I'm kind of bummed about tonight's circumstances that I couldn't control, I'll count today as a victory, and tomorrow I will continue with the plan.  I mean, let's be honest, considering this was basically my first run in 2 years, the fact that I made it as long as I did (really, that I even started the workout) in the POURING RAIN is a huge accomplishment.  I could have easily used the weather as an excuse not to workout, but I didn't... and that's HUGE for me.

this is what I look like after running... in the rain
So tonight I'm gonna go to bed satisfied and eagerly anticipating tomorrow's workout.  I don't even know who I am today... but I'm kind of liking it.  Awesome.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

seven for saturday.

1. In case you were wondering, I did finish the juice fast -7 hours. I would have finished it but my body honestly needed food. I was running around like crazy at work for 3 days and my body just wasn't holding up like I needed it to be. Am I sorry that that's the way it ended up turning out? Sure. Do I feel bad that I stopped the fast early? Absolutely not. I refuse to feel bad for listening to my body.

2. I would definitely do a juice fast again... But I would probably only do it for 3 days at a time and would need to supplement it with something such as Greek yogurt or something. We'll see.

3. Hubz and I went for a 7 mile walk this afternoon. It was hard, invigorating and a good excuse to have 2 hours of uninterrupted time with my BFF. Cute.

4. Paying for things like a hotel room and an expensive incredible dinner in cash is pretty freaking cool. Hubz and I did that last weekend. Budgeting and saving FTW!

5. I need this necklace in my life, like now.

6. The Hubz and I both have strong feelings about caramel rolls: we wanna marry them. We're all about moderate indulgence in life's greatest pleasures.  A life with no caramel rolls is not a life worth living, my friends.

7. I've been obsessing over this blog for the past two weeks. Can you say motivation?  I can.  This girl is amazing.  For reals.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

quick check-in

Hey guys!  Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still here and kicking... just been super-duper busy the past week.  Hubz and I had a little weekend getaway that was fabulous that I will talk more about later.  Also, in case anyone was wondering, I did finish the juice fast and will also talk more about that later.

I'm hoping you'll hear from me tomorrow... Bed time for me now!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

tuesday tune: pump it

Wanna know what I'm looking forward to sooooo much?  Only one more day until I can chew real food.  Who knew that was such a luxury?  I do now.  I'll talk more about this later, but doing this juice fast really, really makes me remember how much I love to cook and appreciate real food.  I'm not craving processed and super sugary foods (well except for fish fry... even though I'm not Catholic, Lent always makes me crave fish fry), but I'm really looking forward to eating oatmeal, roasted vegetables, quinoa, tilapia, almond butter and greek yogurt.  So close!

I had a really busy day today and ended up buying a juice at the local co-op because I knew I wouldn't have time or motivation to clean the juicer while rushing around to appointments, errands and meetings.  

Beet, apple, carrot, celery and ginger. Sooooo pretty!

By the time I got home and was ready for "supper," I was exhausted, hungry and rather cranky.  All I wanted was stir-fry, curry, taco salad, salmon, roasted potatoes and possibly even a veggie burger.  You know, no big deal.  Eventually I convinced myself that I only have 4 juiced meals left until I could enjoy all of those things (though hopefully not all in one meal...), and I would be really disappointed with myself if I quit this thing now.  Needless to say, it took a lot of pumping myself up to pull out the juicer, oranges, lemons, spinach, celery and ginger.  It took a lot of pumping myself up to clean the juicer.  And it certainly took a lot of pumping myself up to drink the juice and pretend like it tasted as good as fish fry... But pump myself up I did.  The Black Eyed Peas also may have definitely helped pump me up.

My little sister, Katie and I LOVE this song on Just Dance 3.  It's sooooo much fun and is like a Zumba class in your living room.  I've been watching it on YouTube and practicing it so that I have a chance to be half as good as Katie next time we battle it out.  

Don't even pretend like you don't want to dance now...


Sunday, March 4, 2012

juice juice juice.

Guess what?  For the past 48 hours I have consumed nothing but juice.  Literally.  Who am I?  I don't even know.

Now, let me preface this post with a few points...
  1. I know detoxing and fasting is super controversial, but let's keep things friendly, shall we?  Thanks much.
  2. I'm not advising anyone to alter their diet or start a juice fast.
  3. I still am a member of Weight Watchers and still whole-heartedly support and advocate the program.
  4. I am not primarily doing this juice fast for weight loss purposes.  Any weight loss is just a welcome side effect.
  5. I did do a fair amount of research before starting this fast and am not walking into it blindly.
So let's backup a bit, shall we?  Lately I have really been enjoying all of the documentaries that I can stream online with Netflix.  Not surprising, I thoroughly enjoy the food and health-based documentaries like "Food, Inc." and "Forks Over Knives."  A week or two ago I enjoyed another health and food centered documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead."  After watching it once, I convinced Hubz to watch it with me the next day.  In a nutshell, the creator of the documentary does a 60-day juice fast, loses 70 pounds, basically reverses a disease he's had for several years and comes out of the whole thing super duper healthy!  Yay!  Even though we have wanted to purchase a juicer since we first got married (almost a year and a half ago--crazy!), this documentary convinced us to buy one! 

I've been wanting to do a detox or a cleanse for quite a while.  I have just felt the need to reset my body and give my system a little rest while still giving it all the nutrients it needs.  I also wanted to do a type of detox during Lent because I know that it will cause me to really focus on not only my physical health, but also my emotion, mental and spiritual health.  Win-win.  So I decided to undergo a very similar regimen as the creator of "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead," though for a much shorter time.  I'm aiming for five days.  It's quite a challenge but I'm up for it, and so far so good... well, sort of.

One thing that I didn't necessarily follow the instructions from my research on was that I should have probably cut out animal products, excess sugar, caffeine and other food products that aren't as nutritious for your body for a few days before starting the fast.  I... didn't.  In fact, Friday, the day before starting the fast I enjoyed copious amounts of coffee, a big blueberry muffin and spaghetti with ground beef.  Possibly not the best life decision.  Lesson learned.  So without further ado, here's what the past 48 hours of my life have looked like:


Juice from 1 orange, 3 carrots, 1 cucumber, handful of broccoli, handful of spinach and a handful of kale

This was probably my least favorite juice so far... but it got lots of dark greens into my system right away, though it was probably a shock to my system!

Juice of 1/4 a pineapple, couple handfuls of spinach, a couple of strawberries and half an inch of ginger

This was deeeeelicious!  Probably my favorite so far.   Supposedly the pineapple, spinach and ginger are supposed to help relieve menstrual cramps, which I unfortunately was afflicted with.

Juice of 5 stalks celery, 2 big handfuls kale, 1 lemon, 2 apples and a half inch of ginger

This one was also really good.  Though it was a little bit too acidic for my stomach.  Maybe next time I'll try to cut down on the lemon and ginger a little bit.

Lots and lots of water and two cups of decaf green tea

How do I feel?
As I already stated, I'm suffering from the cursed female ouch time so it's hard to tell which "side effects" are from the juice fast and which are from the PMS.  This is way TMI, I know, but I can't lie, I spent A LOT of time in the bathroom this morning and early afternoon.  I was slightly totally miserable.  I also have had a headache for quite a bit of the day, and am generally just kind of crabby and irritable.  I haven't really wanted to quit, but it's been amazing to see the emotional attachment that I have to food.  I have been craving spaghetti and roasted potatoes with rosemary all day.  I don't really crave chocolate or sweets so much.  I'm a born and bred South Dakotan, so meat, potatoes and me are likethis.  Am I crazy for trying this?  Probably.


Juice of 2 apples, 3 carrots, 4 strawberries, 2 handfuls of kale and half an inch of ginger

This one was really really good again.  It's amazing what a couple of fruits can do to disguise the taste of dark leafy greens like kale and spinach.

Juice of 2 oranges, 1 apple, 3 carrots and 1 stalk of celery

This juice was super tasty, the only downside is that it didn't have any dark greens which I have been trying to incorporate into most of my juices.  The dark greens make your juices super nutrient dense and have more protein, which was one of my concerns when starting the fast.

Juice of 2 cucumbers, 2 apples and 3 carrots

This juice definitely wasn't my favorite.  It wasn't bad but it also wasn't great.  I probably won't make it again, or will need to alter it so that I can enjoy it.

Tons of water, one cup of rooibos tea, one cup of detox tea and one cup of decaf green tea

How do I feel?
I woke up feeling pretty good today.  I got decent sleep and even though I woke up feeling hungrier than normal, I felt fine after some water and my morning juice.  I noticed that my biggest food cravings are right before I juice, when I get the most hungry (I know, big surprise).  Overall I feel way better today, though it could be because my cramps aren't so bad.  I didn't have to spend much time in the bathroom today (thank goodness!) and I think overall I was less crabby.  My headache was a lot worse today.  I know that my body is going through the major detox phase right now and that's why I'm not feeling as good.  I'm hoping that by tomorrow I'll be feeling really good.  I've been told that after a few days you start feeling really good and energized.  

So that's how it's going so far!  We'll see how I'm feeling in a couple more days.  I'll definitely update you.  I'm excited to see how the rest of this little experiment goes. 

Have you ever tried a detox or a cleanse?  How did it go?