Friday, January 30, 2009

Work Week

This has been a pretty busy week for me. In the grand scheme of things, it really wasn't that busy of a week but since I'm not used to having this amount of work to do or meetings to attend it seemed like a very busy week. It didn't help that I was pretty tired as well.

The best part of the week (exercise wise) was my Pilates class. It was my third class and I've already seen improvement. I was able to hold some positions longer than I did in my first class. Sadly, the wonderful woman that teaches the class is leaving :( She says that it is only for a month but I'm not so sure...I hope that she comes back in March. In the meanwhile, someone else is going to be teaching the Pilates course and I hope she is at least a half as good as the current woman. I really like Pilates and I want to stick with it.

Tomorrow morning I'm going for a has been a while since I ran so I hope I don't fall out! I did get some good cardio in today hula hooping; I wouldn't have thought that was as intense of a workout as it is. I'm going to have to buy one for the house!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No More Excuses

I feel like I have been full of excuses this week. I'm too tired, I have too much stuff to do, etc. I have been slacking on my workouts. I HAVE been tired but I might feel better if I actually do some exercising. Well, I plan on running and doing pilates tomorrow so that should make up for doing nothing today.....shouldn't it?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Spanish Chicken & Rice

My husband picked out this recipe. It's from the Good Housekeeping Magazine.

1/2 Tbsp olive oil
4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
salt and pepper
1 med green pepper, cut into 1/2-in pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed with press
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup long-grain brown rice
1/2 package frozen peas
1 cup salad olives or coarsely chopped pimento stuffed olives

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In 5-6 quart Dutch oven (or large pan), heat oil on medium-high until hot. Sprinkle chicken all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; cook about 6 minutes until lightly browned on each side. Transfer chicken pieces to small roasting pan.
2. Cover roasting pan with foil and bake chicken 30 minutes or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with tip of knife.
3. Meanwhile, in same Dutch oven, cook green peppers, garlic, and onion about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in paprika and cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with their juice, broth, water, and rice; heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in frozen peas and olives.
4. Grease 2 to 2/12 quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Spoon the rice mixture into baking dish. Carefully tuck thighs into hot rice mixture. Cover and bake 25 minutes or until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice to serve.

Nutritional Info:
About 440 calories, 29g protein, 62g carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Tamara's Tips:
- If you can find chicken thighs already skinned then do so because taking the skin off was a hassle.
- I forgot to add the peas and I don't like olives so I didn't add them either. I don't think it is a big deal either way.
- I used Rotel hot diced tomatoes to add some extra spice to the dish (careful, these are VERY spicy)
- I had to cook the dish an extra 15 minutes once it was in the oven the second time

Final Opinion of the Dish:
We decided on a 10 point rating system. This dish is gets an 8. The chicken was tender and tasty; it fell right off the bone. The rice was delicious and significantly spicy. It wasn't too labor intensive although I wouldn't prepare it on a work night.

If you try it then let me know what you think....

I Can't Feel My Toes

I called Paul and Susan this morning to see if they were still up for riding today since they did run 20 miles on Saturday. Of course they were, I was secretly hoping they would cancel so I could blame not exercising on them and feel less guilty. No such luck so I bundled up and headed over to their place so we could go for a ride.

We ended up doing about 14 miles. Any longer and I probably would have frozen to death. I'm ready for the spring so I don't have to deal with freezing cold hands and feet. We finished the ride almost 2 hours ago and I still haven't completely gotten feeling back in my toes. It's crazy because besides my hand and feet and my face (but only when going down hill) it really wasn't that bad. I think it helped that I decided to ask to borrow and additional jacket from Susan, otherwise I may have really been suffering.

As far as the ride went, I think it is getting easier. Getting up the hills wasn't as difficult this time which was a good feeling. I'll be happy when I can ride more often so then I can really get into it. I'm thinking about trying out one of the spinning classes at The Club so I can at least feel like I'm kind of riding more than once a week.

I hope next Sunday is warmer....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Morning Run...or NOT

I was going to run this morning but I didn't. I just felt so tired and decided that some rest would benefit me more than a run would. I have to admit that I did feel slightly guilty about not running but I sure did enjoy that extra sleep! Plus, I'm going to ride my bike on Sunday so at least I will get some exercise in this weekend.

I need to pick out a race to do in the spring other than the triathlon to help motivate me to stay on track with my running. I find it a lot easier when I have something specific that I'm working towards. The run portion of the triathlon is only 3.1 miles which I feel like I could do in my sleep. I'm going to look for some races tonight or tomorrow and then work on developing a set running schedule to keep myself on track.

For right is back to resting.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sleep Diary #4

I'm soooo sleepy! I should be in the bed right now but I'm not and I don't really know why. Probably because my brother-in-law is over here and the TV is on. This weekend in ATL has messed up my sleep schedule completely. I did not get nearly enough sleep over the weekend and now I'm in the hole. It probably doesn't help that last night I didn't get into the bed until 11:30 because I was up watching the season premiere of Lost (which was GREAT). Once I got in the bed it took me almost an hour to fall asleep. Mainly because my husband started snoring every few minutes so then I'd have to kick him to make him stop. I've tried to just ignore his snoring, he doesn't do it often - only when he's really tired, but I can't. I am a very light sleeper most of the time so I need it to be very quiet while I'm trying to fall asleep. The worst sound to me is a ticking clock, I HATE IT! I once spent the night at a friend's house and they had a ticking clock in the bedroom so I took it off the wall and took out the battery. I just can't take stuff like that when I'm trying to sleep. Snoring is almost as bad which is why my husband gets jabbed or kicked whenever he starts snoring and he knows how I feel so he understands, LOL.

I don't have any big plans for the weekend so hopefully I can get some much needed rest!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time Control

I can't stand tardiness. If I had to pick one of my biggest pet peeves then that would probably be right up there on top. I don't like to be late and I don't like for others to be late. Time is precious and it is something you can't ever get back.

I think my feelings about time are what have led me to be such a big scheduler and planner. I like to plan out my day. I like to have a schedule that I follow in order to complete my plan for the day. I function alot better when I have a schedule. I really recognize this on days where I don't have a schedule. When I DO have a schedule I tend to eat right, get my exercise in, and accomplish the things I planned to do for the day. When I DON'T have a schedule then my days end up kind of like they did today......very unproductive. I made sure to get the things done that I really needed to do but for the most part I just played around. I didn't eat right and I didn't exercise.

I don't know what it is that makes me feel like I need to actually make a schedule to stay on track but I guess it is something that I just need to do. So I've made my schedule for tomorrow and I will eat right and I'll exercise.....pilates again!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Recap

Exercise wise this was a very unproductive weekend. I didn't do any real exercising. I will count dancing at the club as semi-exercising since I did work up a sweat. I didn't really do well on the eating side either. I missed meals and ate high calorie/high fat items for most of the meals I did have, LOL. I'm sure chicken and waffles at 3 in the morning counts as being extremely bad!

The good thing about this weekend is that it was a mental health break. I went to Atlanta with one of my close friends to visit one of our other close friends. It was wonderful! I love spending time with my girls and we always have a great time. We spent some time shopping and eating and clubbing. We also had the chance to watch some movies which was fun. My husband doesn't like when I make comments throughout the movie (which I like to do) so when I watch movies with my girl friends I get to talk with them throughout. The two movies we watched were Revolutionary Road (wonderful) and Gran Torino (average). I definitely will carve out some girl time every so often to help myself recharge and relax.

I will get it together this week and get back on my exercise and eating schedule. I do so well that it is okay for me to relax sometimes and not worry about all those things. Bottom-line: I had a great weekend, how about you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fair-weather Friend

I don't like the cold and come to think of it I don't like the heat that much either. I guess you'd say I'm a pretty fair-weather friend when it comes to exercising outdoors. I commend those of my running friends that are going to brave the elements this weekend and still go for a run. I commend but I still think you are all CRAZY! I have an excuse not to run with them Saturday morning because I will be out of town. Not that I would have run had I been in town because I wouldn't have. Under 30 degrees is pushing it for me, under 20 is just plain not happening. And this is probably why I will never be an elite runner (well this and the fact that I just wasn't born to be an elite runner). I don't know what I'd do if I lived somewhere where it was REALLY cold.....I guess I probably wouldn't be a runner. When the weather is such that it makes it uncomfortable to run then it isn't enjoyable to me anymore and if I'm not enjoying myself then I really don't see the point in doing it. I'm not out here to win any competitions, I'm out here to stay healthy and to have fun. Almost getting frostbite is not fun and almost dying of a heat stroke is also not fun.

So have fun this weekend....I'll see you guys when it warms up a bit!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Salmon Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

I almost didn't make get a chance to make a new recipe this week. I have been busy working out and I just didn't really feel like cooking something that took any effort most nights. Since I decided to take the night off from exercising I had time to make something new. We decided on Salmon Burgers and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries.

Salmon Burger
1 lb skinless salmon fillet
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp reduced-fat mayo
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp peanut oil (or any other oil that can be heated to high temp)
4 whole wheat buns
4 tomato slices
1 1/2 cups baby greens

1. Remove and discard any bones from the salmon, then cut into 1-inch pieces. In a food processor, pulse salmon just until finely chopped (do not over process). Transfer salmon to a medium bowl. Add mustard, mayo, chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Form mixture into four 3 1/2-inch patties.
2. Brush peanut oil over bottom of a large nonstick skillet to coat evenly. Place skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 2-3 minutes, reducing heat if necessary. With spatula, gently turn burgers over and cook just until opaque in the center, about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer salmon burgers to buns, and top with tomato slices and greens.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

1. Adjust oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick wedges and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Using your hands, toss to coat potatoes evenly.
3. Arrange potatoes in single layers in 2 nonstick jelly-roll pans. Bake 25 minutes, or until browned and tender; turn potatoes over halfway through cooking time and rotate pans. Serve immediately.

Tamara's Tips:
* I used sesame oil to coat the pan instead of peanut oil because I already had it out.
* I added more than a pinch of cayenne pepper although next time I will add even more because it still wasn't spicy.
*Overall it was a pretty good meal. I don't think I'll make the salmon regularly just because I prefer my salmon broiled, however, I will make the sweet potato fries often.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pilates/WTF AMY!!!???

I'm supposed to be blogging about American Idol on my other blog (yeah I have another blog but that's a discussion for another post) BUT I just had to write this post about my Pilates experience tonight.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with Amy R. and she tells me that there is this really great pilates class at the gym we attend. She tells me that we should go to the class on Wednesday (today). I'm thinking, of course! I really enjoy hanging out with Amy and I have wanted to start incorporating some flexibility training into my training plan.

When Amy said pilates the following thought came to mind: pilate mats, some streching, a few poses but nothing too strenuous. I've never taking an OFFICIAL pilates class but I've taken lots of yoga classes and I've done numerous pilates videos. In my mind...I'm good!

The first hint was when the woman at the front desk asked me had I done pilates before while I was picking up my pass. I say...."yes, I've taken lots of pilates classes (LIE) just not here". The second hint was when I looked in the pilates room and saw some sort of contraption on the floor. The THIRD hint was when the instructor asked me had I used a reformer before. My response..."yes, I wouldn't say I'm an expert but I've used one before (LIE)." Shoot...I had waited all this time so I wasn't about to get put out of the class before it even started. I'm freaking out inside, wondering what I've gotten myself in to and hoping that I don't make a fool of myself and get embarrassed.

We start out on the know how to do this mat stuff! INTENSE! She worked our abs OUT but I held my own. It was pure torture but I made it through...whew. Now comes the part where we have to use the reformer. I see people making adjustments to their I start messing around with mine to make it seem like I know what I'm doing (I DON'T). I clearly lucked up and had it spaced out right. The instructor did have to come help me adjust the straps but she didn't seem like that was odd so I didn't feel too bad. Once we got on the machine I'm trying to peep over and look at the person beside me so that I can mimic her movements. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately because it made me not feel as bad) she didn't know what she was doing so the instructor had to correct her...I quickly switched to the correct position before she could see that I had been doing it wrong.

The rest of the class went pretty well....very difficult...really deep, intense stretching and ab workout. I joked with Amy that I was going to get her but I really appreciate her telling me about this class. It was an intimidating class but once I got past the nervousness of messing up I really enjoyed myself. I got an amazing workout and I will definitely feel this tomorrow. I might not be able to breath and I'd appreciate if no one makes me laugh because it is definitely going to hurt to do so. I plan on making this a regular part of my routine! If I keep this up I'll have Abs of Steel in no time...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Lately I have been working out twice a day several days a week and I feel GREAT! I've decided that either I will keep it up and become a machine or I will crash and burn, LOL. My muscles are constantly aching but it is a good feeling. I am strengthening my body and becoming healthier. Plus, swimming doesn't take THAT much out of me since I'm not swimming that long during the day. I would like to get in some longer swims, maybe I can do that on the weekend.

I was going to write something longer but American Idol is on so I can't concentrate.......

Monday, January 12, 2009

20 Minute Work-Out My @$$

I said I was going to start doing strength training at least two times a week. Today I went to Women's Health online and found a "20 minute" total body workout that seemed easy to do.

Well that mess was NOT easy and it took alot longer than 20 minutes and I didn't even make it through all of the sets of all of the exercises! By the end of the workout my legs and arms were shaking. I am going to try to stick with it though and continue to do this workout plan at least twice a week for the next month. I'm considering switching up my workout every four weeks so that my muscles don't get used to doing the same thing. If I keep this up I'm going to be ripped by the summer, whoo hooo.

Tomorrow I plan on swimming and running.....I just hope I can lift my arms up and walk tomorrow after that workout.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm ON IT!

This has been a great past few days when it comes to exercise. I went swimming 3 times, running 3 times and biking once. I'm pretty sore today and a little tired but other than that I feel great! I'm excited about the fact that I've been pretty consistent with my working out. I do need to improve slightly on the eating side....I had a reckless snacking episode Friday night. I have the meals planned out for the week and we've gotten all of the groceries so I should be able to do much better this week.

Saturday was a morning run with the group. We did 6 miles and I felt pretty good. I haven't started a real plan for my training but I"m definitely going to focus on speed instead of distance. Until I complete the triathlon I'm not going to make my long runs too long because that won't really be necessary. I'll just stick with trying to become a faster runner.

Today I went for my second bike ride! It was great....not as cold as last week which made it so much more enjoyable. I can't wait until the Springtime when it will be very nice. We did about 21.5 miles today and it wasn't too bad. I'm pretty sure Susan and Paul were taking it easy on me. I don't even know how they were riding today after running 18 miles yesterday! Some of the hills were crucial and my thighs are feeling it right now. I didn't think that biking really worked your abs but mine are sore so it must. I'm looking forward to more and more rides and will be happy when it stops getting dark so soon then I will be able to start riding after work.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Blog Alert: Thee Score

If you know me then you know that I'm not that into most sports. Yes, I'm athletic and I love to run and now bike and swim but I don't keep up with the games and scores of professional sports such as basketball and football.

I have been thinking that since I work in a male dominated industry it may be useful to keep up with a goings on of the main sports so that I can join in on the conversations of the menfolk, LOL. This brings me to the topic of my post......

My good friend B. Daht, an extremely funny and talented on-air personality for 102 Jamz radio station(102.1 FM), has recently started a blog. The main theme of the blog is sports infused with his unique sense of humor. If you're into sports or just looking for a good laugh then I encourage you to check out his blog, Thee Score. ENJOY!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Running in the Dark

Yesterday Amy asked me if I wanted to go running with her today at 6. I agreed for various reasons although I forgot to take into consideration that it would be dark at 6. I showed up prepared for the cold and we took off for our run. Kay was there as well so that made it better. I was thinking that we would just run down Lawndale on the sidewalk where there were STREETLIGHTS but nooooo. We ran through the park which has no lights and is surrounded by woods!

I am someone who has seen EVERY Nightmare on Elm Street, EVERY Halloween, EVERY Friday the 13th, not to mention all of the other scary movies I have seen. You know the ones where the woman is being chased through the woods and she trips over a branch and then gets massacred by some psycho?? Yeah, well that's what was going through my mind for the majority of the run. Luckily we had some great conversation which kept my mind off of my terror for the most part. I'm pretty sure my heart was racing for most of the run, LOL.

Although it was scary, it was wonderful! I had a great time and afterwards I felt amazingly energized. I STILL feel energized which is crazy considering I also went swimming earlier today. I think I will be able to handle a couple of two-a-days a week. I'm so serious about this and I know that I will be ready for the triathlon when it gets here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Swimming Blind

I decided not to wear my contacts today because my eye was bothering me. That probably was because I hadn't taken them out in about two weeks. I know, I know, I could get an eye infection, eye ulcer, blah blah blah. I really need to look into getting Lasik....this whole taking the contacts in and out thing just doesn't suit me. I need to schedule an eye appointment pretty soon anyways so I'll talk to my eye doctor when I do.

ANYWAY, my not wearing my contacts resulted in me having to swim practically blind. For anyone who wears contacts or knows anything about prescription strength, mine is a -6.50 which I'm pretty sure is almost legally blind. Paul assured me that this would be good practice for Belews Creek because I wouldn't be able to see in the lake. I was concerned about running into the side of the pool but I managed to make it through the swim without doing so! I did however snag my watch on the lane divider which was NOT a good feeling. That was during the time that I was sharing a lane with Paul and the force of him swimming near me pushed me into the divider, LOL.

I did 750 meters in 20 minutes which is great for me! Well I'm assuming it is great, I hadn't actually ever timed myself before. It seemed like a good time considering I just REALLY started swimming a couple of months ago. I'm excited about my progress in the pool and I know that I can be soooo much better, I probably just need some coaching.

Also, I signed up for the Belews Creek Triathlon so that makes it official. I must get in shape and get ready for this triathlon. I'm going to start putting together a real plan soon....maybe this weekend. I have to gather some information because I was looking at some beginner plans online but I feel like I'm more advanced than that so I need to explore some other options. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, January 5, 2009


My friend Amy sometimes refers to the treadmill as the "Dreadmill", although she was chastised for doing so I think it is hilarious and accurately captures my general feeling about running on the treadmill. Last night the weatherman had me convinced that it was going to be cold and rainy today so I planned to run on the treadmill and therefore packed accordingly. Of course I was upset when I realized that it was going to be neither cold nor rainy. Curse you inaccurate weather forecast!!!

I went to the gym and prepared to run on the treadmill and you know what? It actually wasn't that bad! First of all, the treadmills they have at The Club are great. They are very high tech and even have fans that you can turn on to help cool you off while you run. It would be nice if they were adjustable fans since they are clearly designed for someone much taller than me resulting in the majority of the air to blow over my head. I'm not complaining too much though because it was definitely better than no air at all. They also had this cool display that showed you running along a track. Well it was actually just a circle of lights that lit up as you ran along but it was fun to watch (clearly I'm easily amused). Plus it showed you how many laps you had run. I ran 16 laps which is 4 miles. I did somewhat struggle towards the end, I was running a 10 min/mile pace which isn't fast but it is faster than I have been running lately. One of my training goals this year is to increase my speed so I need to get to where I can do 10 min/miles easily instead of wanting to quit around mile 2.5.

It also helped that I put together a great playlist on my ipod before I went. Great music always makes a run on the treadmill go by faster. I'm still working on my "perfect" workout playlist. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Sleep Diary #3

It has been a while since I've written a post on my sleeping habits. I actually made it into the bed before 10p.m. Dena informed me that the people should be asleep by ten or it messes up their natural rhythm (I'm not sure that's exactly what she told me but something along those lines). I think I may have even fallen asleep before 10 BUT I was rudely ripped from my slumber by the sound of my husband's phone ringing! I figured that was a bad omen predicting how the rest of my night would go and I was correct. I woke up about 5 times between the time I got in the bed and the time I finally got out of the bed around 6 in the morning.

Even the times where I was asleep, it wasn't peaceful sleep! I had some of the craziest dreams last night which I won't share because you might think I have a problem. When I looked in the mirror this morning I had suitcases underneath my eyes, ugh. Surprisingly I don't FEEL tired so that is good. I am really going to try hard to get in the bed before 10 so that I can be rested for the next day. Plus, if I'm going to do some serious training (which I am) then I need to make sure I have the energy to put my full effort into it. Hopefully once I get back into the swing of things (meaning, getting up at 6 instead of 11) then I'll sleep better.

On another note: we had lunch today at work and they served PIZZA! I mean, wtf, are they trying to make people fat around here???? I'm sure a bunch of people just blew their resolution to eat healthier in 2009 because 3 slices of pepperoni pizza is NOT healthy. I knew that we were having pizza for lunch so I made sure to bring my lunch. It was hard to see and smell the pizza, I do LOVE pizza, and not eat it but I didn't! I actually had the willpower to pass on the pizza which is saying alot for me. I was not about to start off the year by eating pizza for lunch. I'm not saying that I will not eat any pizza in 2009 but I will save pizza for when I REALLY want pizza, not just because that's what they brought into the office for lunch. We are having another lunch on Thursday - it better not be pizza again!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Jammin' Jambalaya

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be posting at least one recipe a week. These are recipes that I have found in various magazines, cookbooks or online. I will focus mainly on healthy recipes but I'm sure some not so healthy ones may sneak in from time to time.

This week I made "Jammin' Jambalaya", I got this recipe from my Women's Health magazine. It turned out pretty well although next time I may try to find a different type of chicken sausage. I didn't use the type that I will list in the recipe because it had pork casing and my husband doesn't eat pork. Note: make sure you add the tomatoes because I failed to do this and I kept thinking "something doesn't seem right about this" and then I realized that I had forgotten to add the tomatoes! Luckily, the jambalaya still had an hour left to cook so it wasn't that big of a deal. My husband really liked it, I thought it was okay but not the greatest thing I've ever had. However, I'm not a big fan of jambalaya in the first place so I'm probably not a great judge.

1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 medium-size sweet red peppers
1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 c long grain brown rice
1 12 oz package andouille turkey sausage (I used a natural chicken sausage but won't again)
1 tsp hot sauce (I used about 1 tbsp, I like my food spicy!)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced (or 2 tsp dried)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 c water
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and devined

1. Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, rice and sausage in the crockpot in that order.
2. Add hot sauce, thyme, salt, pepper, and water.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. (I cooked mine for 8 hours)
4. One hour before it is finished cooking, add in parsley and shrimp. Stir until well combined adding more water if needed.

*I added some red pepper flakes as well to make it even more spicy (it still wasn't TOO spicy)
*I had to add additional water around hour 5, although this may have been due to the fact that I forgot to add the tomatoes so you may not need to do this if you actually follow the instructions, LOL.

If you try it....let me know what you think.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Healthy Eating Plan

I don't really consider this a part of my 2009 goals because this is a plan that I came up with this summer when I decided to get serious about running and getting in shape. However, implementation is a big part of my theme for 2009 so my goal is to actually implement and stick with my healthy eating plan. I usually do very well for a few weeks and then a go on a reckless snacking rampage and fall of the healthy eating cliff.

Here are the broad aspects of the plan.

1. Plan Meals: This means sitting down one day of the week (I'm thinking Fri would be the best day) and planning my meals for the next week. The most important meal to plan for me is dinner.

2. Consistent Grocery Shopping: I despise grocery shopping. I won't go into the reasons (that may be a future post) but I need to make sure I visit the grocery store at least once a week to make sure I have the food for the meals I've planned. Not having anything to cook usually results in us having fast food for dinner which is NOT healthy eating

3. Eat Out Less: I have very little will-power when it comes to eating out. I find it extremely hard to order something healthy when there is a delicious burger or Alfredo pasta dish staring at me on the menu. I need to conserve money anyway so eating out less will benefit my wallet and waist! I would like to limit my eating out to once a week for lunch and once a week for dinner.

4. Drink More Water: Sometimes I'm really good at this and other times I just sit around thirsty. I will make a better effort to drink water throughout the day. I won't set a specific number of cups I should drink a day because it will vary greatly depending on the amount of exercise I am doing that particular day.

5. Eliminate Mindless Snacking: I love snacks; chips, cookies, candy, etc. I could snack all day if there were snacks available and no one to stop me. I need to get a handle on this by planning my snack session and only having healthy snacks (fruits, veggies, 100 calorie snack packs) available.

Those are the basics of my Healthy Eating Plan. Healthy eating is a lifestyle so I'm not trying to make a rigid set of rules because that would just be setting myself up for failure. I debated keeping track of calories but it isn't like I'm trying to lose a bunch of weight so I felt that wouldn't really be necessary. I just know that if I DO eat one (or two) of the doughnuts I'm sure someone will bring into the office then I need to workout a little longer/harder that day.

I plan on trying one new recipe a week and I will be posting it on the site so that you can try it if you like, feedback is appreciated.

So what do you think? Do any of you have things that you are incorporating into your lifestyle to help improve your eating habits?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1st Day of the Year = 1st Bike Ride!


I hope everyone had a great time last night. I had more fun than I thought I would and I didn't even drink, LOL. I knew I had to get up and get on a bike today so I didn't want to risk being hung-over.

I woke up this morning very excited about the ride and I rushed around the house to get everything in order. I checked the weather and saw that it was about 35 degrees with some sort of ridiculous low temp when you factor in the wind chill. I was a little nervous about the cold but I layered up to help ensure that I wouldn't be too cold. I did a pretty good job because I really wasn't that cold throughout the ride. My toes were the only part of my body that was really cold the whole time. I had on toe covers but that didn't really help. Other than that I was comfortable. I wore biking shorts with a pair of long tights over them. Up top I had on a short sleeve technical shirt, long sleeve technical shirt and a windbreaker. I wore a helmet liner that covered my ears and I could pull it up over my mouth and nose although I didn't because it was awkward.

Paul and Susan met me at the park around noon. They had already rode 11 miles since they rode from there house to meet me. We went over a few ground rules in the parking lot and then they suggested I take a few laps around the parking lot to get comfortable clipping in and out. Great idea! Wellllll.....I fell the first two times I tried to clip in. Yep, just toppled right over! But at least I didn't hit my head or scratch myself (or my bike) up. After those first two failed attempts I focused and got it right. Did a couple of laps around the parking lot and then I was ready to go.

We did about 16 miles, had I remembered to start my watch then I would know exactly how long we had gone. Oh well, I'll try to remember next time. It was a great first ride. I felt great and I made it through without getting hit by any cars or falling in the street. It got kinda of tough on the hills towards the end but I didn't struggle too much. My legs and arms will be sore tomorrow but it is a good kind of sore. I know that I'm really going to love biking. Paul said if I enjoyed it in the cold then I'll love it when it gets warmer.

There are some things I need to work on. I had difficulty drinking from my water bottle while riding and reaching the Gu in my back pocket. I'm going to need to get a container for my Gu so that I don't have to bother with those packets. I also have to get used to the cars. Every time one would pass closely it would make my heart jump. Most of the drivers where respectful but a few got a little too close for my comfort. It was also kinda scary when the car would linger behind us, I'm sure they were concerned by the fact that I was wobbling down the road, LOL.

THANK YOU Susan and Paul for taking me for a wonderful first ride. I look forward to many rides in the future. Oh, and I know I mentioned this before but they are SOOOOOOO CUTE!! I'm going to have to get my husband involved in some sort of physical activity we can do together.