Sunday, March 30

Self Doubt and You!

Hey Everybody!

I was going to write a blog post about traveling and how to eat and workout on a trip, BUT this issue has come to my attention.

The "I'm Not as Good as You" issue.

It makes me sad to see so many people feel like they have to be "fast" or "go far" in order to feel like their fitness has any value.  That's not true.

Again, I repeat: not. true.





You enter your fitness at your level.  You run the miles you can go.  You go the speed you can go.  Lift the weights that you can lift.  Never feel ashamed of your fitness level.  It is YOUR level.  Set a goal and challenge yourself to rise to the level you want to be. That's how the weak get strong.  The walkers become runners.  The students become yogis.  Practice makes perfect.   It will take many, many, many times to see your increase in your fitness level, but it is happening!  If you are continuously challenging yourself and setting new goals; YOU WILL DOMINATE!

Surround yourself with people that understand what your true value in fitness are.  Work out with supportive and kind fitness freaks; ones who push you to strive in a healthy way!

I ran weekly with a group of runners who are, to be bold, much faster than I am.  Let's face it.  they are fast!  I am always the last person huffing and puffing in the back.  Physically I cannot pound out 7 minute miles.  Not right now! And probably not next week either.

Instead of being sad and going home crying, posting status after status on how horrible and lazy I am, I focus on what I want.  I work with what I have.  I have my body, my experiences and my goals.  I set my own fitness goals and work out how to achieve them!  You can do the same!  Saturday I managed to get a PR [according to MapMyFitness] while today I had a nice sllllooowwww run.  Both times nobody cared!  Everybody was happy that we all worked our hardest and showed up!  One of my favorite parts of running club is when I am coming towards the end.  I'm dead last, by a LOT, but there everybody is cheering me on!  Then, we all cheer and give each other high fives!  Everybody is proud of everybody's accomplishments.  Not ever did somebody poke fun or make anybody feel bad for their fitness level!  It's all in good time!

I know it is hard to get out of that mindset.  Let's face it; your ultimate goal might be so out of reach you deem it not possible to ever do.  You might be stuck in your rut; because you do not know where to start.

Look no more.

Here are 5 Affirmations to help you feel better about your fitness level (and how to push through that workout.)

1) I go hard, intense with a little bit of rest, so I can go home!
2) Fit girls don't look pretty at the gym.
3)  I've got this b***h.
4)  There is no quit in fit.  You can do it!  There is no quit in fit.
5) I'm lapping the couch potatoes.

And remember...

Somebody will always be faster than you.
Somebody will always work harder than you.
Somebody will always be stronger than you.

But to the person that is sitting at home wishing for it,
Or the person who cannot gather the energy for it,
Or the person who is struggling for it,

That person who is always faster
Always working harder
Always stronger

is you!

Think about it!


Tuesday, March 25

Day 16: Fitness Apps and You!


So just as I promised, I am here to give you part two of awesome fitness apps for you to use!  

I don't have as many to share as the cooking apps, but that's okay!

1) MapMyFranchise 

Price: Free + 2.99 purchase for MVP Level

There is a whole franchise with this app!  Map My Run, Map My Walk, Map My Bike...etc.  They are all the same in essence.  I love this app because I can turn on the GPS device and it will let me know what my pace and my distance are!  I can see what my other friends are doing and rant and rave about their success! Purchasing the MVP level helps you track your routes without having to make them!

2) Couch to 5K

Price: 1.00

Are you a walker looking to expand yourself into the running world?  Look no more than this app!  Couch to 5K is a coach that gets you from walker to runner status by training you to run that first 5K!  I like this app because it trains you how you should train; in intervals over a longer period of time.  

3) WOD

Price: Free!

If you are looking into getting with the CrossFit crowd, but cannot afford the membership look no more than this app!  WOD offers videos and workouts of different types of CrossFit activities that will get you sweating in no time!  Plus there is a newsfeed with articles about best practice with CrossFit and recipes to help you get going!  Each workout has a video to correspond with it so you are not walking into any workout blind!  Work to aspire!

4) All-In Yoga

Want to stretch more? Yoga is your app!  Yoga allows you to make up your own salutations according to your fitness level while also offering you some pre made routines to help you get inspired as well.  This app can be on you iPad but also your desktop computer too.  Each move is timed so you can get that full stretch for a good length of time.  There is no music in the background so you can put your own meditational music on instead.  The one downside is there is no true "meditation" section.  You will have to come up with your own after the app track is finished.  The upgraded version has 25 pre made workouts as well as pre made videos and more! 

Do you know any good workout apps that you would like to share? Please let me know so I can rant and rave about it!


Day 13-15 Technology and Your Health

Hello Everybody!

Spring break is HERE! YAY!!!!!!!!!

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for break!

It's been a nice few days back in the Frozen Tundra!  I had the chance to meet up with some of my buddies at my favorite hang out.  I also got a chance to play mass.  I got some wedding plans figured out.  I filed my taxes.  I got to work out.  I got to eat... whew, it was a good time!

Over the past few days I have been experimenting with brand new apps.  I love being able to use my iPad in my fitness and health.  It's super convenient because it does a lot of the work for me.  I am able to have all of my information in one location!  And since I have this wonderful iPad of mine, I figured I'd try to use it as much as possible!  I can cook in the kitchen without the fear of my books getting damaged or full of stuff.  My iPad is secured in an otter box so there is no fear other than making sure my food is extra YUMMY!

So what are some good apps to use in the kitchen or at the gym?  Tonight I am going to give you good apps for kitchen/cooking use, NOT including MyFitnessPal. [Since everybody and their mother is on it anyways!]  Tomorrow I will do the working out apps!

1) Pepper Plate

Price: Free
Need Account: Yes!
Start Right Now! 

So far my favorite app to use!  Pepper Plate is the place where you can store all of your recipes on one domain.  Pepper Plate is compatible with all devices so you can type up the recipe on your computer, pull it up on your iPhone for easy reference at the grocery store and then pop it up on your iPad while cooking.  You can even download the "pepper pin" so when you are surfing the Internet for new recipes you do not have to go back into Pepperplate to log the information in.  You can click on the magic button [it's similar to a Pin button] and the box of info will appear.  Some websites, such as allrecipies is embedded into Pepperplate so no typing is required!  Included in this app is a timer too so you can have multiple timers going on at once.   Included in this app is a meal plan and menu option so you can figure out what you are eating for an entire year if you wanted!  From there you can create grocery lists and save your eating patterns.  The downside to this app is you can't make friends on it.

2) All the Cooks!

Price: Free!
Need Account: No!
Start Right Now!

All the Cooks is a small community of cooks who wants the world to just eat good clean food.  These cooks are AWESOME!  They are just a bunch of "average people" who want to see you healthy!  How cool is that!?!?!

When you open the app up you see beautiful photos of foods that you only wish you could make look so sexy!  You can look up recipes that people have created as well as import your own recipes.  Click on your favorite recipe and follow the instructions with very clear and helpful photos!  You can check off each step as you complete it.  You can take your own photo of your completed meal and it will be added to the photos of the recipe!

There are news feeds and forums to help inspire your every single cooking dreams and aspirations too! The downside to this app is you cannot use it on your desktop or laptop, making it hard to import all of your favorite recipes from your books.

3) All Recipes!

Price: Free!
Need Account: No, but you can if you want!
Start Right Now!

Another free app that helpful in getting your cooking on!  All recipes is the website, but in app form.   It is easy to file and find those favorite apps.  You can save recipes in your recipe box if you have an account.  Just a great search engine app for those who use this site often!

4) iPick Produce

Price: Free, but upgrade for 1.99
Need Account: No!
Start Right Now!

EXCELLENT APP FOR PICKING GOOD PRODUCE!  You want to know about picking good produce?  This is the app!  The app shows when the produce is best, when to avoid it, how to store it and any extra information.    I use this app ALL OF THE FREAKING TIME BECAUSE IT IS A GREAT APP!

The first version, the .99 cent version you get about 50 or so types of produce.  You can upgrade to the "full version" for only 1.99 in total.  Then you get bout 250 different types of produce.  You will not know what to do with all of this information!  I probably spent about 2 hours of my Sunday just looking up different types of produce and dreaming about what I could possibly do with them.

You can also add your own notes and make your own category boxes if you so please!  [I plan on adding a "when in season" section.]  You can see all different types of apples, peppers, berries, lettuce, squash and more!  I like that because not all apples, oranges, grapes, peppers, onions are made equal.  Exotic foods are there as well, which is good for those who want to cook with them but have nowhere to begin.

5) Look and Cook!

Price: Free
Need Account: No!
Start Right Now!

Another great photo-esque app!  Look at the pretty one and you will get to see a photo of all the ingredients that you need.  From there it breaks it down step by step with very clear and helpful photos as your visual guide!

This app is great who have never worked with some of the techniques before.   You get a full understanding of some of those difficult cooking techniques.  Pictures are extremely clear and helpful.    There is also a section where you can click "shop" and you can purchase some of the tools that are needed to make the foods.  The downside is you cannot import your own recipes, as of yet!  This app got stunning review on the iTunes store!  

So what app are you going to use to start cooking? Do you have any apps that you like to use?  There are other ones out there, but these are the ones that I currently have and use!

Next shall see some of the great fitness apps that I use!

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, March 20

Day 12: Slow and Steady Wins the Race in the Kitchen, but not the Gym!

Hey Everybody!

Happy Spring!

Today was a great workout day for me!  It was a day where I took it easy teaching, walking, with a little bit of relaxing.  [This was during my prep time people! The kids were safe and good all day!] Thursdays can sometimes hard because Thursdays are typically my strength + run days. At first I did 30 minutes of strength followed by the 3 mile run on the treadmill.

Well then I realized THAT wasn't effective!  Now,  I usually to 50 minutes of strength training in the morning.  

Looks like I'm just lounging and having a kick back time taking photos.  Nope.  The instructor, Mandy is one TOUGH COOKIE.  Sarah makes things hard too...but the worst is when Lisa comes in with her big smile and her 10,000 push ups and lounges.  Makes me hurt for WEEKS!

Then in the evening, I run with the Run Janesville! group for a 5 mile run whenever possible.  Tonight was one of those nights I got to partake running with them, YIPPIE!

We look tough don't we?  Well let me tell you this group of people do NOT take it easy [unless it is an easy run day.]  Today was one of those days where I decided I needed to just get it all out and run like there was no other! I had to push out all of the crap that was harboring my body.

Ever get that urge? To push things as hard as you possibly can?  To "get it down ASAP so you can enjoy other really fun stuff while the sun is still shinning?"

Well I did...push things super hard during running club tonight...and I landed my new PR of a 8:36 mile pace!  WHOA!!!!  It was awesome to be able to keep up with the running club!  I felt that I was dying during the run, but the reward of being physically able to push my body in that type of setting was also rewarding.  We all were pretty excited about this personal goal.

Now I could have ran the 5 miles at my [recently slower pace of] 9:45 pace.  I could have just jogged down lightly and smiled at all the pretty people who were biking and letting their kids play by the water.  After all, it is about the distance not the intensity right?

WRONG! [Sometimes!]

True it is good to go 5 miles than not going at all.  However, this idea that going slower for longer is going to make you lose weight or maintain a healthy body is just junk!  It is like learning how to read.  Eventually you will have to read harder material.  Eventually you will have to try sounding out difficult words at a faster pace than usual.  This could be for a variety of reasons that I don't feel like making up.  Just trust me that there will be a day you are thankful for a teacher that made you read fast so you could gobble up your coffee while reading about my blogging.  [AHEM Don!!!!]

The fact is; if you want a stronger body you have to push...push...PUSH!

I am not talking about pushing for the entire workout.  Nope, just for PART of the workout!  This type of work out is called Interval Training or HIIT training.

It's when you put all of your effort into 30-90 seconds of working out.  That's right, turn up that resistance, run as fast as you can, lift those heavy weights.  Then...for about the same amount of time [or slightly longer] go back to your "moderate pace."  Or what I call "zero pace."  [You know the speed you go when you are day dreaming and not paying attention to what's going on...we've all done it, even me!] Rinse and repeat.

It's how walkers become runners.  It's how runners become faster runners.  It's how faster runners become even faster runners!  I know this is true because this is what I did to become a faster runner.

For me I do 4 types of runs a week; Tempo, Speed/Interval Work, Mid-Race Run, and Long Run.    Each run has a different purpose but all work towards the same goal; run faster and further.  My speed/interval work involves toggling the treadmill for an antagonizing 2.5 miles (about 22 minutes of pure hell) in order to teach my body how to push and recover during a race.  When your body is pushed at intervals it forces your body to burn energy, thus burning fat.  It strengthens your heart so you are able to hold your endurance longer [aka longer workouts!].  It helps to regulate your breathing and build lung capacity! Also, your body releases hormones to repair and build your muscles...which means a tight, toned body for YOU!

Even if you are not a runner, you can apply this theory to lifting weights [lift heavy for 30-90 and then rest] or for those cardio machines [go all hard for 30-90 and then recover!]

Your body deserves to be treated to it's absolute best!

So, if you are looking for a great interval work out...THIS one SUCKS!  I got it from SELF Magazine from their November Issue.  I've done this workout several times and it...HURTS!  I don't always go the pace that they tell me to, but if you go out of your comfort zone you WILL not only burn calories, but you WILL benefit from all of those cardio and muscle benefits too!

Here it is, made all pretty for you.  It's just a screen shot of what I have.  [I take my version to the gym on my iPad for easy reference!]  If you want the actual document, just let me know and I will email it to you!

Now if you apply that "pushing as quick as possible" rule to your food, you will FAIL!  Slow and steady wins the race there.  Take it a day at a time.  Do not try to implement every single clean eating philosophy in one day.  Heck don't even do it in one month.  As I have stated before, give yourself an entire month to overcome your limits and achieve your goals.  You will be more successful that way.   Believe me, the pounds will melt right off of you!  It happened that way to me; unlike any other method I've tried.  And did I mention I lost 50 pounds? [And have kept it off!]

And remember, you are doing this for YOU!  Not for me, not for your mom, not for your boy/girl friend.  Do it because you want the health benefits!

As for food.  I have decided I am not going to take a picture of every single thing I ate, only the new things that I ate for the blog.  I do not want to take pictures of the same egg scramble for an entire month.  Not only is it boring for you, but I think we all get the idea that I eat a lot of the same meals to save money and stay healthy!

Breakfast: Egg scramble c/toast
Lunch: Chicken fingers and veggies c/PB
Snacks: nuts, nuts and NUTS!  Banana and a protein bar!

Dinner: Skillet Spanish Chicken & Rice!

A great and easy recipe!  Only about 350 calories, but packed full of protein and other awesome vitamins!  This was a huge portion for the calorie toss off!  Heavily recommend for those who are on a late night and need a quick fix!  You can get the recipe by clicking here.

That's all for now!  Have a wonderful night! Off to do report cards!
<3 Em

Tuesday, March 18

Day 11: S is for Snacks!

Hey All!

I hope everybody had a fantastic day!

I've been on the brain about snacks.  Snacks are such tricky animals.  What is considered a snack and what is considered a meal?

Clean eating encourages you to eat at least 6x a day; three meals and three snacks.   Not everybody follows this practice.  Some eat when hungry.  Some eat 3 meals and 1 snack.  Finally, some eat just 6 tiny meals all ranging between 300 calories a piece.

For me; snacking is about 200 calories or less while a meal is over 200 calories.    Also, this changes if I am going on a run.  All my running snacks are around 250 calories!

I think if you get the snacking under control then you are SET!  Man oh man is it sometimes hard to do this.  This past weekend I struggled with this.  I had two chocolate eggs which turned to 4...5...6...17...18..19...20...ugh. It's hard when one gets hungry!

This week I am going to work on getting better snacks.  I feel that most of the snacks that I have repeat over and over again.  I sure feel like there are days that I am "sick" of my own snacks!

So what do I snack on? Here are some recent snacks I have eaten; not all have photographs associated with them.  However, this is what I have had in the last month or two at the most.

1] Apple with peanut butter/walnuts.

2] Banana with carrots

3] Clementines with Tea

4] Slice of toast with cashews or walnuts.
5] Apple with cottage cheese
6] slice of toast with bananas on top
7] FiberOne Bar
8] Pumpkin Protein Bar c/Tea

9] Hard boiled Eggs
10] Grapes with sweet peppers [my snack for today!]

What are some of the snacks that you eat?  Please share with me what you eat for snacks!  I would love to hear what you eat so I can expand my clean eating!!!

This is what I ate today!

Breakfast: 1 Egg c/1/8 of Egg Substitute Scramble c/Toast

Lunch: Dunkin Doughnut Bagel c/Shepard's Pie and Sweet Potato [I did not eat the sweet potato because I was feeling full/]

Dinner: Turkey Casserole c/Whole grain noodles and mushrooms

That's all for now!  Have a great day!

Monday, March 17

STOP! It's a Shakedown!

Hey Everybody!

So this weekend...nuts!

Very nuts!

I have been trying to work on something for my other 1/2 of my article about potassium, but it isn't finished yet.  Lots of things have happened over the weekend that caused me to put pause on the blogging for a bit.  [All good things!]

Today I want to talk about Facebook-ing your progress.

Last Friday I came across an article discussing Facebook Boasting about your fitness goals.  [Read the article here!] Bascially this article discusses the frustrations the author has about people posting fitness and health progress on their [personal] FB pages.   The author gives 11 reasons to support her thesis with some photos for examples.

So here they are...the "Evil 11" with rebuttals!

1. They make completely average people think they are famous.
First of all, I'm "Not Your Average Jane," so do I even qualify to be called average? Haha, in my own mind I am not, but to others I am just "some gal."  I think the author thinks that fitness freaks have huge following fans that just wait for me to post information about my health.  I can tell you that my own fiancee doesn't even read my blog.

As for being well known? Sure.  In my circle of friends, I am quite well known.

2.  They make you feel bad for eating normal food.
**Face palm**
One of the MAIN reasons I decided to do the posting daily is because I am SO SICK of people telling me what I eat "isn't normal."  HELLO!  An apple is more natural than a box of Teddy Grams or a bag of chips!  Clean eating is about eating natural and whole foods.  Many times this means avoiding the processed junk found at the grocery store.    If an Oreo cookie is supposed to be considered "normal food" then I apologize now for misinforming everybody for the past month [you know all of my fans because I am super famous and all] on what good food is.  Whoops!

3.  They think this is sexy.
The "this" is a photo of a woman who is buff showing off her arms.  I will admit, I do not think the photo is "sexy" at all.  How about we all have our own opinions and agree to disagree on this one!

4.  They only know how to express themselves in meme form.
I'm quite sure I am very good at posting Facebook Status that clarify how I feel.  I am also good at using my own mouth to bury myself into a hole.  FYI.

5.  They complain about their self-imposed lifestyle.  [aka meal prepping]
Yes, because the only people that complain about their self-imposed lifestyles are people who are fitness freaks.  What about people who have to file taxes?  They imposed that on themselves and have the right to complain about it on FB!  Or how about the lazy people who self-impose their lifestyles by eating "normal" foods and complain how fat or unhealthy they are?  People complain sometimes; GET OVER IT!

And FYI--while I complain about many things, meal prepping and doing my fitness isn't one of them.  In fact, I am happy and proud God gave me a body that is able to work so well!

6.  They upload photos and videos of workouts that anyone can do.
Yup...ANYBODY can do a pull up...enough said about that.

7.   They suddenly believe they are certified nutritionists
I can tell you that I am a lot closer to being a certified nutritionist than the self-imposed unhealthy Joe's that can do a pull up like a boss.  You know, the guy that weighs 300 pounds and complains about not being able to do anything while eating his "normal" food.

8.  They "follow" and "like" people and posts as if they belong to a cult...which they do.
I think they are called Facebook Groups still...[?]

9. Neon clothing.
Actually, mint green is the huge workout wardrobe color this spring.  I know this because all BonTon has is mint green workout clothes.

10. Their food makes us sad.
I'm sure some people get sad by the food I eat...but since I've been posting my food on FB people have been begging me to give them the recipes!  Why? Because it makes them happy!  They want to try the yummy food!  Also, psychology studies have found that colorful dishes make a person happier...and clean folks eat colorful dishes!  So I'm not sure how even psychologically you could get sad over colorful dishes.

And more importantly, wouldn't you rather have me share recipes than drugs?

11.  They date each other, procreate and form tribes of weight lifting spawn.
This one makes me the most angry!  Would you rather have healthy people give birth to unhealthy people who are going to need medical assistance or need medication [perhaps supported by you through your taxes?]  I mean, we have all of these wonderful programs like "National Nutrition Month," "Play it 60" and "Jump Rope for Heart," that are supposed to encourage fitness, but OH if you grow up and have kids YOU MUST become unhealthy again?  What?  When I become a mother, I want to instill healthy choices into my kids.  I want them to grow up trying lots of clean foods and recipes because it is healthier to eat them.  I do not want them to suffer the health issues that myself and the generations before me suffered.  Why would I quit a good thing?

And more importantly, why would you encourage bad health onto your kids?

It is like Michele always says...idiots are everywhere!

I am sure the author had a good reason for writing what she wrote.  Perhaps she was being sarcastic about the entire issue.  Perhaps she is just jealous she is unable to get her health into full gear.  Maybe she believes the way she eats is good and there is no need to be a clean eater.  Whatever the case is, this article sure made waves in the healthy eating world!

So what do you think?  Is Facebook boasting about your progress a good thing?  Or is it a bad thing?  Should people like me limit what we post about?  Are fitness raves completely annoying or are they inspirational?  Write something in the comment section below [or on my FB page!]

I will start reposting foods!


Wednesday, March 12

Day 10: It's the Little Things Part Uno!

Hey Everybody!

Today's topic is discussing the importance of those other types of vitamins and minerals that your body potassium!

Sounds boring, BUT, as somebody who suffered from not having potassium [which landed me a trip to the ER and six days of misery] I cannot stress on how important this issue is!  When you eat clean, you are getting a full amount of your vitamins and minerals with your foods.  You are eating veggies, fruit, lean proteins and healthy grains at least 80% of the time!  You either know what vitamins and minerals are in your foods you are consuming or you are researching/logging into a calorie counter to know for sure!  It's the best way to figure out what you need.

Do you know what vitamins and minerals help you? Since this is such a large topic I am going to divide this one into two parts.  Today I am going to talk about Vitamins, tomorrow I will discuss Minerals.  Both are important!

Common Vitamins and Their Role in Our Bodies 

Vitamin A: directly helps with vision including fighting off cathartics.  Vitamin A plays a crucial role in bone growth, especially in the younger years.  It also helps keeps your tissue and skin healthy and clean.  Also helps reduce certain types of cancer.  Foods: Eggs, shrimp, beef, cheese, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, spinach, mangoes

Vitamin B1: Helps convert food into energy as well as fuels skin, tissues and brain cells! Food: Pork chops, ham, watermelons and acorn squash have a significant amount of B1, but most clean foods have some sort of B1. 

Vitamin B2: Also helps convert food into energy as well as fuels skin, tissues, BLOOD and brain cells.  Food: Milk, yogurt, cheese and whole grains  

Vitamin B3:  Helps maintain the nervous system. Food: Peanut butter, mushrooms, meat, poultry, fish and potatoes are a few examples. 

Vitamin B5: helps convert food into energy.  It also helps makes lipids (fats) neurotransmitters (those things that help us think) hormones and hemoglobin. Food: Most chicken and veggies out there.  Mushrooms, avocados and tomato products have a significant amount per serving.

Vitamin C: Helps reduce the risk of some types of cancers in people.  It helps build collegian and plaques that help heal skin tissue faster.  Also neutralizes unstable oxidants in the body. Foods: Citrus juices!

Vitamin E: In addition to neutralizing oxidants, this vitamin helps protect vitamin A from bacteria that would typically destroy it. Foods: Most veggies and oils. 

Vitamin D: Helps bones and keeps teeth white:) Food: Milk and dairy products. 

Vitamin K: Helps to activate protein and calcium so the body can use it.  Also helps with blood clots. Apparently it helps with hip fractures.  Foods: Cabbage, liver, eggs, milk, spinach and broccoli. 

So very important to have all of these!  Are you getting enough of your vitamins and minerals?   According to MyFitnessPal, I sure got the majority of my Vitamin intake!  Here is what I ate today!

Breakfast:  Runner's Banana and PB Sandwich

I was in a rush so this is what I ate.  However, I can tell you that it was not enough.  This baby was only about 250 calories and I typically need at least 300 to make it to snack time:)

Lunch: Leftover Lemon Chicken c/Veggies, Clementines and a Cookie!

This filled me UP!  And yes, I did eat that cookie and yes I enjoyed every single bite while eating it!  Super amazing and good!

Dinner: Dinner: Moroccan Veggie Stew [I made it into a curry] w/Whole Wheat Quionia

This was an unplanned dinner.  I wanted something with enough potassium so I could recover from my run properly.  This is what I came up with.  I have the recipe.  Just click here to retrieve it!  It is loaded with some potassium friendly foods; sweet potatoes, squash and more!  It didn't take long to make once all of the veggies were cut up.  I added green curry paste instead of tomato sauce and it turned out SPICY and EPIC! Best part? Only about 350 calories per 1 cup of curry and 3/4 cup of quionia! If you make this dish, please send me a pic [or post on social media!]  Let me know how you like it!

Snacks: [not eaten at once!]
-Fiber One Bar
-2 pieces of chocolate
-1/2 a pretzel
-banana c/carrots
-sugar snap peas
-1 slice of bread

That's all for now!  See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 11

Day 9: When Fitness Becomes a Burden

Hey All!

I hope everybody had a great Tuesday!  I am exhausted!

Today's entry is about fitness and motivation.  I have been reflecting on this topic for almost a week now.  Tonight I finally decided it was time to post it after my poor fiancee struggled to complete his run for his final training for Sunday.  It wasn't the only person that felt bad or frustrated about their fitness journey.  I have noticed a slight trend in hating on ourselves for our fitness.  I saw a few fitness boos and rants that the said person isn't enjoying their fitness or "wasn't good enough" to partake in activities.  

How much does it stink when you are running your fastest, only to see your fastest is somebody's easiest.  Or let's take it off of running; seeing others make it through a Zumba class as if they do it all the time while you are dying inside and out?  Or how a person can look absolutely perfect while doing strength training with mega heavy weights and you can barely lift a five?

Well my friends, all of those scenarios can hinder your health efforts by coping with this by not let that happen.

Put down the ice-cream and nobody will get hurt.

Let me tell you something...

You are never going to get better if you don't push yourself outside your limits.   That girl doing Zumba like no other has worked her butt off many days and nights building up her endurance to make it through!  The runners in the club I am in have ran, ran, ran often working on their pace with different types of runs and races...while I am still working on it.  How dare any of us get angry at another person's successes?

We should aspire to strive and work on inspiring others with our aspirations.

Just like eating healthy is a marathon not a sprint so is fitness?

Here is a good example of a "Negative Em" moment.  That moment when you think for a moment you should just throw in the towel!   You know the ones, where you try to convince yourself of something NOT TRUE?!

Last Thursday, I was on a short run through the Riverside Route in Janesville.  Two nice guys took turns staying back with me.  This was nice because I was surely afraid of the dark on a trail I have not been on before!  While running back, I explained to one of the guys that I really wanted to be able to eventually run with the rest of the group without dying!  He asked me how long I have been running for and his face dropped a few levels when I answered him.  His response: "I never ran as fast as you that early on in my running career."  That's when I realized that he's right, I am early in my running career.  I plan on doing many more races, many more runs.  I'm just a baby, starting out.  Naturally I will not be super fast over night!  Not every run will be fast, not every workout will be 100% is okay!  Right at that moment I was happy because I was running with some nice person, in the dark, in Janesville, with people that were equally as encouraging somewhere ahead of me at a good pace of 9:15 for a 5 mile stretch.  I lost 42 pounds, I have a healthy heart.  You is good!  And more importantly... I SHOWED UP TO WORK OUT!  I LAPPED EVERY SINGLE COUCH POTATO THAT IS SITTING WATCHING CRAP TV AND EATING CRAP CHIPS!!!

After that realization, I looked at everybody as aspiring.  I wanted to put in my time to strive to their level of fitness!  How? By just working towards it, at my own pace.  It will come.  I know it will.  A year ago, I ran a 12 minute mile.  I shaved 3 whole minutes off of my time.  I am excited for when I shave off another minute, which will happen.  It's part of my journey.

In result, that following Sunday I joined the group for a long run and ran my best run yet.  I was inspired by those who have gone before me.  [Literally!  Everybody was way ahead of me!]  After FB posting myself after an amazing 5 miles, the encouragements came in which only reinforced my love of running:)

I hope I am that person for you; I seriously do.  I want you to know that every person has their ups and downs.  It's okay!  I want to be your cheerleader!  I want to inspire you to reach your own fitness goals and aspirations!  I want you to feel like you are not the only one grunting through that workout!  I want to see what you cooked so maybe I could learn a new trick or two!

All because you are that person for me:)

So speaking of food...HERE is what I chomped down [proudly] today!

Breakfast: You guessed it...another grilled sandwich!

I was running late, so I made this puppy in a flash!  I also made 2 so I didn't have to spend more time in the kitchen making a lunch for myself!  I used turkey, spinach, italian cheese, mushrooms and pink lady apples!  It tasted like thanksgiving on a sandwich!  Next time I want to try cranberry sauce on it!  YUM!

Lunch: The [other] Pianni, with Yogurt and Green Sugar Peas

This thing was just as good the second time!

Dinner: Lemon Chicken c/Veggies!

This was amazing!  I tried a new stir-fry mix.  The veggies were lightly sautéed in rosemary and butter...OMG YUM!  I ate the veggies faster than the chicken!  I added a slice of bread because MyFitnessPal said I did not have anywhere near my needed carb intake [and I was yet to work out after!] The chicken...very juicy, with a kick of spice!  It's also my own creation! is the recipe!

Lemon Chicken:
4 Chicken Breasts
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 Lemon
Lemon Juice

Cut up lemon into slices.  Sprinkle a generous amount of lemon pepper onto the breasts.  Pour about 1 tablespoon of lemon onto the breasts as even as possible. Lay one slice on each chicken breast.   Finally take a sprinkle of basil to place on the chicken.  Cover with tin foil. Allow to sit in the fridge between 20mins and up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.   Cook with tin foil on for about 30-35 minutes.  Serve hot!

I hope you enjoyed my blog entry!  See you tomorrow folks!


Monday, March 10

Day 8: Try New Foods!

Hey All!

I hope you all enjoyed the weather!  I sure did!

Tonight I want to talk about trying new foods.   A good friend of mine called me asking for advice on what to eat for a good source of potassium (other than bananas.)  This got me thinking; hm; to lose weight we have to change our dietary habits.  However, where do we start!

I know! I know!  The grocery store!

You may have been in the grocery store 1,000 times, but have you ever looked for things in your grocery store?  I can tell you I get the blinders on and neglect to look at all of the food in the store!

I challenge you to try something with me!

Please, buy one fruit and one vegetable you have either A) never had before or B) have not had in over three years!

Why 3 you say?  Well studies show that your tastes and tastebuds change every three years.  So you may have hated that pineapple when you were a teen, but you might love it now!  [BTW-This actually happened with me and pineapples too!]

Here are the foods I tried that would fit into this challenge!

New Foods:
-Brussels Spouts
-White beans
-Kidney Beans
-Sweet potatoes

Try Again Foods:

The list could go on, but you get the idea!

Do I like all of these?  Actually yes, I do like these foods.  Not all of them are my super favorite, but I am glad I tried them again!   Onions were the biggest scapegoats of them all.  I used to LOATHE onions, but now I will eat them raw! [Kyle thinks I'm strange for doing such a thing!]

Give it a shot!  You never know what you will find.  Tonight I found this lovely gem...

Haha!  I found one other item in the store, but I will wait towards the end of the entry to share with you what that exactly was!

Here's my food intake for the day!

Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Sandwich Bites

That's right...I ate this again!  It will be eggs all this week!  This time I added cherry tomatoes!  YUM!

Snack 1: Frosted Mini-Wheats

Lunch: Leftovers...with Yogurt, a Pretzel and 16 Animal Crackers (Not pictured.)

Snack: (Combined with my runner's snack!) A full banana and some carrots!

Dinner: Adult Home-made Grilled Penni c/Clementines and Sour Cream and Onion Chips

Other than the fact I burned it, this was an amazing meal!  I had some cheese and a little bit of turkey to get my dose of protein in.  I also stuffed it with adult foods such as mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.  Next time I want to get avocado or apples to go inside of it!

Snack: Tea APPLE PEAR!

This is the BEST!   First of all, I did not think this was a real thing!  When I walked by it at the grocery store, I nearly did a double take!  This fruit cannot be described in words besides saying it is a cross between a pear and an apple!  They are kind of pricey (4 for $5.00) so I only got one.  I will have to purchase them when they are in season or just once in a while!

So what new foods did YOU try today!?!?!  Let me know!  Please share! And as always, thanks for reading!


Day 7: Eat to Run or Run to Eat?

Hey All!

I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  I sure had a crazy one!

This past weekend I sure got some major miles in with running!   See below!

In order to be able to run all of that you have to fuel your body with good clean foods!  If I ate how I ate over a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to do it.

How do you fuel your body?

For every workout you do, you should eat about 1-2 hours beforehand, a light lean snack!  [No not cookies, no not soda!  Good lean snacks that will help you, not hinder you!] This will help jump start your metabolism to start working so you can push it that extra mile!  

I recommend going off the list down below to start and play around with [HEALTHY] foods that agree with your body.  Some people don't need as much while others need more.  If you are trying to build muscle, you need some sort of protein or healthy fats in this pre-workout snack.   In fact, carbs, while good release energy too quickly and will actually hinder, not help your workout.  You'll burn out too quickly and be running on empty.  Sounds great but in reality you will end up not building muscle and pooping out.  BUT, if you have the choice between eating good carbs and candy, go with the carbs!  Better healthy than not!

A Few Other Pre-Snacks I've Seen:
-hard boiled egg
-1 slice of toast c/peanut butter and walnuts
-handfull of almonds with celery
-trail mix
-peanut butter and 1/2 an apple
-small smoothie c/protein powder

and of coarse...WATER!  Drink your water before, during and after a work out!

Notice all of these foods are CLEAN!  No bad processed stuff!  These snacks can also be used for a post-work snack if your workout requires one.

But wait...aren't you supposed to eat LESS and workout MORE!?!?

Yes, BUT--if you are doing it right; making good healthy choices and timing everything--you won't be eating any extra snacks!  Clean eating is all about eating small portions of good unprocessed foods and eating those portions throughout the day.  I rarely go 2 hours without eating or drinking!

AND--if you are like me, training for an event, say a 1/2 marathon, the rules differ even more!  You will have to eat during your workout, but that's another story:)  

So what did I eat on March 9th?  I gotta admit, there was a slight emotional eating for dinner due to my stress.  Ugh.  Other than that, I had a pretty good day.  The 5 mile run jumpstarted my metabolism so I was up and running all day!

Breakfast:  Banana and Peanut Butter Goodness [was also a pre-workout snack combination]

This time I tried eating them with sandwich pockets.  I like them because they are easier to manage than toast, but the pack on more calories [about 30.]  Also, they are higher in sodium, so I try not to eat them daily!  However, this was also combined with pre-snack as I was to go on a 5M run after consuming this yummy-ness! 

Lunch: Leftover Pizza w/Yogurt

It was good:)

Dinner: Emotional Eating Train: More Banana and PB Goodness, a few chips and a chicken finger.

I guess that wasn't TOO bad...I just don't like eating for the sake of stuffing my face.  I was just tired. Man, did work stink this entire weekend.

1.  Protein Bar c/2 chicken bobs [servered as my post snack]

2.  Carrots and the Nature Valley

3.  Another 10 chips and 10 wheaties

That's all I got for now!  I will post food for March 10th tonight!


Saturday, March 8

Day 6: Counting Calories or Eating "Right?"

Hey Everybody!

Happy Saturday!  Boy am I tired!

So today I decided to enter in all of my food intake on a calorie counter.  I used a calorie counter before and found it very helpful!  However, are they necessary?

I think not.


I think accountability is what keeps you on track until the habit becomes habitual.

Some people I know are lifer's with calorie counters and it has helped them so much! It's beneficial because they are able to monitor what they eat at all times.  They can track things such as vitamins and minerals which are commonly thrown to the side during healthy eating in training.  I have used the infamous app; My Fitness Pal to help me with this and it's been successful.  I've seen others do Weight Watchers, or LiveStrong or even just keep a food journal.   All of those strategies are great to start keeping track of what you eat and what goes into your body!

I also know people who are on the other side that HATE calorie counting.  They have called it "slave driven," "unrealistic," "not true lifestyle changing."  Their argument is that since eating healthy is in their "habitual behaviors" they do not need to count calories.  They listen to their bodies and just eat when it is time and stop when it is time.

Where do I fall on this?

In both!

I don't strictly count calories; only when I feel like I need to.  [You'll see what I exactly do in just a second.] My end goal would just be able to be, well, free from everything!  It would be nice for me to be able to turn off when I'm full and to turn on when I'm hungry, but that's not me.  My fiancé is great at this.  He could have one tiny bite sitting in front of him and he will not eat it if he is full.  I on the other hand, calculated a certain amount of calories for the meal so will lick up the plate;)  We still get along;)  He would never survive doing a calorie counter while I find the benefits of it.  He's lost over 60 pounds and I've lost over 40; we inspire each other!

To each to their own I say!

Just a food for thought;

In order to be successful at anything you have to have accountability!  Who are you going to answer to for making the choices that you are making? What is going to keep you honest and accountable for your actions?

Cheating will result in poor habits and you will pay dearly for it with your health.

A few things that have kept me honest:
-Tracking my calorie intake with Weight Watcher Points System
-Paying for a membership
-Budgeting how much money I spend on food
-Having a trainer ask me every week what I've been eating
-Blogging about my food on this site.
-Calorie Counters like MyFitnessPal
-Friends who have lost weight who I look to for inspiration
-Friends who do not make good health choices [reminds me of what could happen if I don't make good choices]
-My family and their own health issues [especially my dad's side of the family who is all obese!]

And most recently...

-My own graphic organizer, which keeps me watching not for calories, but for habits and reasons I eat food.  I pay attention to what times I eat and what goes in my mouth during those times.  I've been able to track when is my hardest part of the day and when I am the most successful.  I also track when I am emotionally eating and eating for hunger.   I write my goal at the top of the page each day as a reminder of what I am working for! [Ah goals, remember to have them!]

Here is a picture of my graphic organizer! It's up here for anybody that wants to steal it, use it, abuse it or love it!  If you want the actual document [I don't know how to set up downloads on here yet], just send me a comment and I will get you hooked up!  I'll send it you via word document so you can alter the headings if you'd like!

What works for you?  Feel free to share! I'd love to hear how you keep yourself healthy!

As for meals, here is what I ate today!

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs c/Banana

While this was good, it was way too many calories for me.  I screwed up by putting too much cheese into the mix.  I should have used a smaller portion, which would have made this less salty too!  Next time I'm also going to add tomatoes to the mix.  This little meal was almost 600 calories! [This includes the orange juice that I had.]  I felt bad about this one, then again this is my heaviest meal of the day and I knew I was going to be active at work and after work so it will be okay:)

Lunch: Leftover Pizza c/Yogurt

It was originally two pieces of pizza.  I seriously love the pizza! Perfectly yummy!

Dinner: Grape Chicken w/Lentil Salad

This. Was. Amazing!

Super pain to make, but it was worth it!  I got to use my brand new rice cooker to make the lentils, which was awesome!  I wish I could share with you the recipe, but it is not my creation.  I would feel that I am cheating the author for sharing the recipe on a page that can be seen by everyone.  If you are interested in how to get the recipe send me a message or write in the comments and I will hook you up! I can assure you that this recipe takes time and a lot of dishes, but it is worth it!  My favorite part were the grapes because their flavor changed and it rocked my world!

1.  Slice of turkey
2.  Pre-Workout Snack: carrots and a banana

Super good, but I didn't eat all of my carrots, whoops!

3. 1oz of chips and a chicken wing. [Don't ask, it was in the fridge! I needed protein!]

That's all for now!


Day 4/5: How Much is Enough?

Hey All!

This entry will be much shorter;)

Yesterday at school a co-worker of mine mentioned that she no longer eats apples because they are full of "carbs."

I was pretty shocked, because well, I had an apple in my lunch.  I eat tons of apples.  Despite their lower vitamin and mineral count they have their benefits.  [But discussing the nutritional value of apples is not the point.]  Sassy me made a mumbling comment about how it was amazing that while my co-worker does not eat apples, I was the one who has gotten pinned "with an eating disorder" despite the fact I have chowed down lots of apples this month!

My principal, being the wise man he is, over heard me and said gently "we all need different levels of calorie intake" and then continued to devour his lunch.  I sighed...he's right!

I run, so I need a TON of calories to enhance my running!  I typically get 1600 a day--a number that is debated to not be enough for me sometimes.  I know a few of my fitness pals have an intake lower than 1,000 and I know people who have an intake over 2,000 calories and still lose weight!  It's all what you do for your lifestyle that will justify how many calories you intake.

How do you find out?  You should use a calorie calculator that you can find here.  Keep in mind this is how you would maintain the weight that you have!  If you want to lose weight, then you will have to follow a different formula [one that I will post in a future post].

Anyways, let's get to what I ate on March 6th and March 7th.

March 6th:
Breakfast: Enchilada!

Yes, I realize that this isn't necessary "breakfast" food, but remember what I said about unhealthy sweets?  Eat them in the AM!  Well, Kyle's mom on occasion brings me food and I take advantage of it!  Thursdays are my "lazy days," and it shows!  Don't worry, it's full of beans and light on the chicken and cheese--about 300 calories an enchilada!

Lunch: [Another] Enchilada with yogurt, strawberries and raisons.

I don't typically eat the same thing twice in a was the first leftover I grabbed in the fridge.  Everything else was nice and yummy:)

Dinner: Orange glazed pork with apple salad

Not my favorite type of pork; but I'm glad I tried it.  I loved the apple salad!  Here is my apple salad recipe:

Apple Salad:
2 cups of spinach/spring mix
1/2 of an apple, chopped into fine pieces
1/4 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
apple vinegar
tarragon vinegar

Cut up all veggies/fruit.  Heat up a fry pan and sauté the walnuts for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add to spinach.  Pour in your desired amount of apple vinegar and tarragon vinegar and mix together.  Serve.

1 Fiber Bar (9AM) c/1 muffin
1 cup of carrots (1:25PM)
1 mini muffin and two crackers (yes, that's a snack for me!) (3:30PM)

March 7th:

Leftover apple salad and sweet potato c/ a side of yogurt and raisons:)

Clean pizza!

In a future date, I will give you my recipe for making this awesome pizza!

-Wheaties (8:00-10:00AM; I was grazing!)
-Carrots (1:25PM)
-Strawberries (3:00PM)
-Popcorn, shrimp and some m&m's (whoops!) (9:00PM)

That's all I got for now!  Have a great night!