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Quinoa Looks Like…

On my way to the gym I snacked on a Revive Globar.   It was everything I hoped for and more, as per usual.

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Nom Nom Nom.

I got to the gym with enough time to get both my strength AND my cardio in, which was a concern of mine earlier in the day.  My legs felt ok, so I decided to go with it.  I did:

  • Seated Leg Press: 160 lbs 2 sets of 15 reps; 180 lbs, 1 set of 15 reps
  • 45 Degree Leg Press: 200 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps; 230 lbs, 1 set 12 reps
  • Lying Leg Curl: 60 lbs, 2 sets, 10 reps; 70 lbs, 1 set of 6 reps
  • Seated Leg Extension: 50 lbs, 3 sets 12 reps
  • Standing Hip Raise: 20 lbs, 2 sets 15 reps, 35 lbs, 1 set of 15
  • Adductor: 90 lbs, 2 sets of 10 reps, 110 lbs, 1 set of 8
  • Seated Calf Raise: 60 lbs, 3 sets (of 15 ,12, and 10 respectively)

Then I did my typical ab routine, and 40 minutes on the elliptical.  I really focused on staying within my target heart rate today, as I have a tendancy to go above it.   I felt like I wasn’t working as hard as I normally do, and if I had more time I probably would have stayed longer.  I used 8 crossramp and 8 resistance today, and went about 3 miles.  My HRM stats are:

  • 77% of time in my target HR zone
  • 2 minutes below
  • 1 minute above
  • Avg HR 159, peak was 177, low was 144
  • 371 kcals burned

Yay! I felt great afterwards and was glad I decided to do my strength training.

As soon as I got to work I started getting hungry, so I broke into my snack.

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Yum! I actually never had dried cherries before.  They were really good, and I felt that the portion size was just right.  They were perfectly sweet.  As I’m writing this, I realize that I really do like having these handy snacks on hand that are already sized and you can just grab them and go.  I find myself rushing around most times to get to work and I often forget to pack a lunch, and I most often forget to pack a snack.  I also Hate doing dishes (with a capital H), so I tend to not pack snacks as I see it as just another dish or tupperware that I need to wash.  I think I’m going to invest in packages of my top 3 favorite snacks from the Swag Bag so that I can always have something healthy to grab.

Today is painfully slow.  I don’t want to complain, however, as I’d rather have it be slow than be busy.  I still haven’t finished my training plan yet.  I got side tracked after I posted this morning and I will definitely be posting it tonight.  I am a paper girl and need to have things posted.  I’m doing a calendar with my workout days on it.

Around 5:30 I went up for dinner.  I had originally planned on splitting this up into a dinner portion and a snack portion (day 3 of minimeals), but I was just too hungry.  I’m going to see if I last tonight without needing to grab a snack.  This was pretty nutrient-dense, so I’m hoping it will hold me over.

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This was my leftover quinoa and tomato mixture from last night, which I doctored up with black olives, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar.  As I was eating it, I decided that this is easily one of my top 5 meals that I’ve made at home recently.  It was SUPER easy, and makes me think I’m eating something bad when really it was SO healthy. It reminded me of Chef Boyardee or something.  I could have eaten a whole pot.

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Quinoa is so funny looking.

Then came my dessert.  This was supposed to be my snack, but whatevs.  I was hungry.

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Standard Fage 2% with raspberry tower.  Now I’m out of yogurt until we get back from Mexico!! What will I do?  And what will I eat until then?  It’s a conundrum.

Now I SWEAR I’m finishing up my training plan and my packing list, and I will post them both later on. 🙂

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Organic Milk Taste Test

Last night, in the midst of the funny madness in our house, we decided to conduct an experiment.  This was actually The Hubs’ idea, so he bought supplies the other day while he was grocery shopping.  We weren’t going to do it yesterday, but realized that we were leaving for Mexico on Saturday, so we need to finish these supplies by then.

He brought home Hood conventional 2% milk, and Stonyfield Organic 2% milk.  We figured that we would blind test these to see if we could tell a difference between the two milks, or if one tasted better than the other.  I am not a big milk drinker anyway, in fact I rarely drink it, but everyone once in a while I crave the creaminess.   I was happy he picked 2%.

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Obviously we know that the organic milk is in a carton and the conventional milk is in a plastic container, and we’re not sure if that had any effect on the outcome.  Also, this is a very rudimentary experiment which has no scientific bearing whatsoever, so we didn’t care.  We also stated before we even started the taste test that we weren’t sure what the results would mean; if the organic milk tasted better would we only buy that from now on, and vice-versa?  Many questions, my friends, many questions.

We decided to deal with the philosophical stuff after, and just get right down to it.  We used identical glasses, and we put a tiny piece of paper on the bottom of one.  This was only to differentiate for the pour-er, the drinker never saw which milk went into each glass.  The Hubs poured my milk and noted which glass he poured each kind, then I drank and guessed, and then we reversed.

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Milk #1.

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Ahh, crazy face! Milk #2.

I didn’t get any pics of the hubs. Our findings were as follows:

Nina:

  • the milks tasted exactly the same as far as taste goes
  • there was a slight difference in texture, with the 2nd milk tasting a bit creamier to me
  • I didn’t have a preference of one to the other

The Hubs:

  • his 2nd milk tasted creamier and grittier
  • he said that if he had to choose, he would pick the 2nd one, but they were both good

My first milk was the organic one, and 2nd milk was conventional.  For The Hubs, his 2nd milk was organic, with the first being conventional.

What does this mean?  We are not sure. We I threw out the receipt right before we conducted our highly scientific and scholarly experiement, and we both agreed that it pretty much comes down to cost.  So there you have it, right from the HSH household.

Anyway, this morning I wanted another Chocolate Monster.

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Now I’m out of chocolate amazing grass!! I have 1 packet of chocolate Amazing Meal that I am saving for a special occasion.  I think I’m really going to buy some. The chocolate flavor is by far my favorite.  I’ve had the other flavors before.

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And now I’m putting the finishing touches on my training plan which I will reveal (mostly for moral support and because I want to make sure I’m doing it right) later on.  Off to the gym!  Today is supposed to be lower body, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel after my hefty lifting the other day and then running yesterday.  I’m definitely not running today though, I’m going to be on my trusty elliptical!!

Phew!! It has been a crazy day around here since my last post!  First up, I signed up for a 5k!! I can’t believe I did it.  Hopefully this will be just the push I need to get me working out more regularly.  The plan is that after I catch the “racing bug”, I will then race in a 10k, then a 10miler, then a half marathon.  These goals are spread out over the next year and a half to 2 years.  (that’s enough time, right?).

The race I chose is the 10th Annual Eastern Bank Flutie 5k.  I chose this specific one for a number of reasons, first and foremost the date.  I figured I would need about 8 weeks to train, so I was shooting for mid-October (this one is Oct 4, so I have just about 7; I should be good).  I also wanted a race that had a chip-time, and was a competitive race as opposed to one where you dress up as Superman, for example.  I’m also from Buffalo, and Flutie used to play for the Bills (I know he’s from Boston, but still), so I recognized the name.  Finally, the race is to benefit Autism research, a cause that is close to my heart since I minored in Special Education in college (I majored in El Ed).  I didn’t have the guts to do the job however, since I would come home crying every day after working with children with Autism.  I couldn’t handle it, so for some reason running this race will feel like I’m absolved of my sins or something.  Anyway, I’m psyched.  Tonight I’m going to put together my training plan and calendar, which I’ll post tomorrow.

After I left work I went directly to the gym to work on my upper body.  I lifted for about 30 minutes and I did the following:

  • Chest Press: 30lbs, 20 reps; 40 lbs, 15 reps
  • Shoulder Press: 40 lbs, 15 reps; 45 lbs, 10 reps
  • Deltoid Raise: 10 lb dumbbells, 3 sets, 15 reps each
  • Lateral Raise: 7.5 lb dumbbells, 15 reps; 10 lbs, 2 sets, 12 reps
  • Rear Deltoids: 5 lb dumbbells 2 sets, 20 reps, 7.5 lbs 12 reps
  • Lat Pulldown: 60 lbs, 20 reps
  • Back Extensions: 2 sets, 20 reps
  • Bicep Curl: 25 lbs, 20 reps then 15 reps
  • Tricep Extension: 25 lbs, 20 reps then 15 reps

Then I did my standard ab workout, stretched, and came home.  While I was waiting for the bus, I snacked on what will now be my go-to pre-workout snack.

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Obviously.

Then when I got home, I was so excited to start my training.  I actually feel pretty ridiculous saying that I’m “training for a 5k”, when it’s such a small race, but, Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks.

I strapped on my Ipod with nike+ compatibility, my stopwatch (for my couch to 5k running intervals), my HRM, and my ShoeWallet.  I did my 5 minute warmup, and my 20 minutes of intervals, and my 5 minute cool down.  At first, I was thinking that this week’s plan was too easy and that maybe I should skip to next week’s training, but I decided to just run harder during the running portion.  I don’t want to screw it up and do too much too soon.  I have a tendency to jog instead of actually run, so I focused on “bum-kicks” and “leg-extends” (phrases from my high school track coach) to ensure I was using proper form and getting a full stride.  I felt AMAZING.  I almost wanted to cry when I finished because I know I gave it my all and I pushed myself and I finished the workout (imagine how I’ll be when I finish the race, if i’m close to tears after the first workout, hhaha! happy tears at least, right?).

Then, the worst thing EVER happened!  My ipod got all wonky and wouldn’t let me stop the workout, so I pressed “menu” for like, 5 seconds and my workout vanished!! It’s not saved anywhere!  The entire point of me using the ipod with the nike+ footpod is because I wanted to track my distance and avg time.  Thankfully this is the exact route I ran last week, and I can wager a guess that I ran just about 2 miles (once I started the intervals, not including the warmup 5 minutes).

Then when I got home I drank my favorite post-running drink.  Water doesn’t do it for me after a run, I need something that “tastes” like something.

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I never had this flavor before, and for some reason it tasted like pumpkin to me (?).  For realz.  But I love me some pumpkin, so it was all good.  While I was drinking this I started cleaning out the fridge for our vacation.  Look what I did!

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I spilled tofu-water (gross!) in the fridge when I was taking it out and it dropped onto 2 bags of vegan chocolate chips.  I rinsed the bags off and dried them, and the first bag opened and spilled everywhere!! Yikes.  We had a good laugh about it.  The Hubs, meanwhile, was being a meat-atarion.

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He was grinding sirloin steaks to make himself some burgers tonight.  Hehehe.  (ew).

Then, because I am the worsty, look what I did (again!!)

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Thaaaat’s right.  I didn’t learn my lesson the first time when I was drying off the 2nd bag.  So we had an even bigger laugh.

Finally it was dinner time.  I had quinoa and tomato soup with extra sharp cheddar on top, and green beans tossed with seasoned bread crumbs and EVOO.

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I swear there was quinoa in there.

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See?  It’s there!

The Hubs’ meal went from this:

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to this:

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He’s a very good cook. 🙂

Alright peeps.  I’m off to shower, work on my training plan, and make my packing list for vacation! See you in the morning!

A New Goal

It’s pretty boring at work, haha.  I guess I should be thankful for a stress-free couple of days, however.  It’s actually nice because I’m off on Friday, and then we leave for Mexico on Saturday, so having an easy breezy week makes it feel like vacation is starting a little early!

I broke into my snack around 11:30am.  I was twins with Caitlin and Tina.  Wait, that makes us triplets.

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I could have eaten 6 packs of these babies, but that’s why I love prepackaged serving sizes!!

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I love dried fruit; it tastes like candy to me! Yum!

Then I ate lunch around 2:45.  I was very excited to eat my brown bag lunch; I had been thinking about this all day. I’m still working on my “mini meals”, so the portion sizes are smaller, but I am eating like, 5 times a day.

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I had a whole wheat pita with Tzatziki and roasted red pepper hummus.  Oh so good.  The only thing missing was a falafel ball.  Oh well.

For my “dessert” I had greek yogurt with berries.  Some people are yogurt/granola peeps, and I am a yogurt and berries person.  I am just obsessed and could eat this every day of my life.

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My favorite!!! And in an individual serving size!! Wahooo!

I topped it with blackberries, raspberries, and unsweetened dried coconut.

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MMM mmm good.

So, now for my new goal.  In between my snack and my lunch, I had a lovely chat with Ms. Caitlin.  We got to talking about our health habits, and she asked me if I had any races in mind, as I had said that I wanted to be a runner and that I should just sign up for a race in order to get my booty in gear.  I said that running was so hard for me, and that I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping.  She directed me to the Galloway Method.   I had heard about this already, and after I looked at the training plan for a 5k (15 weeks!), I decided to go with the Couch to 5K plan (which I also already knew about).  This program is only 9 weeks, and I hope to get my 5k in before the snow starts to fall!  The programs are similar and utilize a run/walk method of conditioning.  I’m just going to do it.  Like I said to Caitlin, I don’t care if it takes me 45 minutes to finish it, all I want to do is finish.  I”m really excited!!

So my plan for today is that I will go to the gym after work and get my strength training in (upper body/shoulder focus today), and rather than do my cardio there on the elliptical (or the treadmill, for which I have an immense hatred), I will hit the pavement.  God help us all!

Now, which race to choose?

Late Late Late!

I guess I was tired…I overslept this morning.  I had set my alarm for 6:30am and instead of snoozing it for 9 minutes, I must have turned it off. I woke up naturally at 9:20am.  How wonderful, except that I needed to be at work at 10, and hadn’t gotten ready or packed my gym bag (or gone to the gym), or packed my lunch.  I was harried this morning!

I got myself ready and made breakfast.  Which was on-the-go as usual.

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I had my Green Monster.  My mix today was:

  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp wheat germ
  • 1 whole banana
  • and this:

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I was very psyched to try the Chocolate kind, I had never had it before.  After I took a sip of my smoothie, my first thougth was that I expected it to be more chocolate-y.  After a few more sips though I decided the cocoa flavor was actually perfect.  It almost gave the finish of sucking on a piece of chocolate.  I also wonder if my vanilla soy milk negated the cocoa-factor.  Next time I will purchase chocolate almond milk for just this purpose (I don’t like chocolate soy milk).

Now I’m at work and I’m very excited for my lunch!! I brought a totally healthy and fun meal today; I can’t wait to show you!!

Question:  Does it bother you when people in your workplace who share an office with you (but you have your own desk, and they have theirs) move say, a filing cabinet from under your desk to a different location without telling you?  For the sole purpose of watching ESPN because your computer has it and theirs? Cause it fricken bothers me.  /rant over/

Gym Then Happy Hour

As promised, I had a yummy Globar before I went to the gym.

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Also as promised, this bar hit the spot.  I’m pretty sure I’m obsessed.  It’s an addition and it must be helped.  They’re all I think about!! I HAVE A PROBLEM! (but, it’s a champagne problem, so I can’t complain).

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It was chocolately, peanut buttery, and just scrumptious.  I have no words.

The gym was MAGNIFICENT. I had a great workout.  I worked on my lower body and did the following:

  • Leg Extensions: 3 sets, 55lbs for 2 sets then 70lbs for the last one, 15 reps each
  • Hamstring Curls: 3 sets, 60lbs for 20 reps, then 15 reps, then 75 lbs for 15 reps
  • Seated Leg Press: 3 sets, 235 lbs for 2 sets, then 290 lbs for the last one, 15 reps each
  • 45 degree leg press: 3 sets, 200 lbs, 15 reps each
  • Glutes: 3 sets, 65 lbs, 12 reps each
  • Hip Adductor: 3 sets; 110 lbs for 6 reps, 90 lbs for 12 reps, 110 for 6 reps
  • Horizontal calf raise: 3 sets, 145 lbs for 2 sets, 165 lbs for the last one, 15 reps each

I hadn’t done strength training in a while, and I was worried that all the previous work I had done would be reversed.  I was pleasantly surprised when all the weights that I was using seemed easier than normal for me.  Perhaps my body was craving an intense workout?

Then I did my standard ab routine, and 35 minutes on the elliptical.  It was awesome.  I did intervals with a 10 cross ramp and incline.  I was a sweaty beast when I left, but it didn’t feel that hot to me once I got outside so that was a plus.

After the gym I met my friend Jeanine out for happy hour.  We had a few beers ($2.75 Rolling Rock, what a deal!) and split 2 appetizers for dinner.  I didn’t take pictures because my camera battery died :(.

Now I’m going to watch Anthony Bourdain No Reservations (it’s our favorite TV show of the moment) and then veg out.  I am hitting the gym early in the morning!

My day so far is going splendidly!! I wrote some emails that I’ve been meaning to for a few days, got myself organized here at work, set myself up for tomorrow, etc.  It’s been a great day!

I worked on doing “mini meals” today. I find that I often eat more than I should in one sitting if I eat the traditional 3 meals a day, so I’m trying to do smaller meals but more often.  I have also not yet learned to listen to my body (still gotta read Intuitive Eating…I have had it for 5 months!), so I’m not sure sometimes if I’m hungry or if I just eat because it’s lunch or dinner time.

Actually, this brings me to a question that I’m hoping someone can help me with. This might be stupid, so bear with me.  I am trying to lose weight, but my activity level has increased significantly since I joined the gym and have been going regularly (for the most part).  I know that weight loss is based on calories in vs. calories out, so without counting calories (which I absolutely refuse to do due to my disordered eating past), what is the best way to know if I’m eating enough or too many calories?

Anyway, on to my mini meals.  I had an unpictured slice of whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter on it around 10am.  I felt my tummy grumbling, so I knew I wouldn’t last until lunchtime.  At 1pm I broke out my lunch, even though I didn’t feel like I needed to eat right then.  My non-hunger could be due in part to the fact that I’ve been drinking water non-stop all day (I’ve probably had 32oz already), and the fact that I had the snack. However, I plan to get to the gym around 3:30, and I know that I need to eat something well before that.  So I did.

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I used up the last of my Fage yogurt from our previous grocery shop.  There was about 1 and 1/3 cup left in the container, and rather than dirty a dish, I put my toppings right into it a la Kath.  I enjoyed blackberries and raspberries, which are easily my 2 faves of all the berries out there.  I also topped it with a teaspoon of dried unsweetened coconut.

I also had 2 snack thingies (?) of Cabot Cheddar.

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Obviously you can see that these are reduced fat.  YUCK.  I really dislike reduced fat cheese as I feel that it has a waxy flavor and doesn’t melt quite as well.  I bought these accidentaly, I meant to buy the regular version and didn’t realize I bought these until I got home.   I have to finish the bag though.  Oh well, I suppose it could be worse.

I plan to eat a light snack (GLOBAR) before the gym this afternoon.  I think I’m going to focus on lower body today, but I’m not sure. I’ll do what my Activetrax tells me to!