February 28, 2012

Cloud 9

I completed a doozie of a run last night that I can't wait to share with you all!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was all ready to do this workout last night but then came across a new workout on Pinterest literally one second before I was walking out the door. The one that caught my eye was the fourth one called sprint intervals. I figured I would bring both workouts, try the new one and if I wasn't feeling it, I could switch to the older one. Well, I completed the new one and it was really tough! I never thought I'd see the day where I would look forward to running at level 8.0 because that was my break. But last night that was the case.

I ran it two times through; the first time, I ran all the 8.0 and 9.0 sprints for a minute and the 10.0 sprints for 45 seconds. The second time through, however, I ran it as is. I had to take 15-second breaks after each of the sprints the second time around but I was more than happy with myself (toot toot) at the end of the workout.

I left the gym on cloud 9. I just felt really...healthy. I didn't realize how much I loved feeling healthy until I wasn't anymore. It's been one long ass road to get to this point, and I'm still not done, but last night I just felt really proud of myself for all the progress I've made so far. I usually think about how much more weight I need to lose to get to my goal but last night, I took a second to think about everything that I've accomplished up to this point. On my own. No one can take that away from me or take credit for that.


I know I'm not the skinniest, fastest, or best looking person on the planet, but I am improving on the person that I am and continuing to make strides towards a happier, fitter me. I don't know where I'll be a year from now but I hope it's as happy and as fit as I feel right now!

a real quote...because it can't all be jokes (see what I did there?)

February 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares

Helllllllo Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty great! I ate too much Saturday night but resisted the urge to order a pizza on Sunday so I patted myself on the back for that one. I actually craved fruit instead of greasy food after a night of drinking so that's a weird good thing I guess.

I have a tasty recipe to share: peanut butter banana oatmeal squares. I found it on Pinterest last week and couldn't wait to try it out. Boy am I glad I got on it because these things are fan-flippin-tastic! I had one right out of the oven and it literally melted in my mouth because the peanut butter was still warm. I've had a few at room temperature which are good too, but I think I like them warmed up the best.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares
makes roughly16 squares


1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large mashed banana
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter


1. Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and ground cinnamon.

2. Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.

3. Then add in the mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.

4. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Here is the nutrition info (note: this is approximate):

Serving size: 1 bar
Calories: 77
Total fat: 2.9g
Carbs: 11.2g
Fiber: 1.3g
Sugar: 4.5g
Protein: 2.5g

Not bad!

I crumbled one on top of OIAJ for breakfast Saturday which was so so so delicious.

I was too tired to drag myself to the gym this morning so I'll be doing this workout tonight after work (unless I find something better by tonight.) Make it a great day!

February 22, 2012

Jamie Eason's meatloaf muffins

Oh hello there. Thought I forgot you? Absolutely not, I've just been crazy busy and haven't had a chance to update the ole' bloggy. I'm glad to be back because I have some good stuff to share.

I had another fantastic weekend of staying on the diet track. I didn't even go out Saturday night! If you know me, that's saying a lot. Since I didn't spend money at the bar, I bought myself a pretty spring dress. Now I just need some place (preferably warm and beachy) to wear it!
I watched Ella Monday afternoon because I had the day off (USA USA) and Jamie and Tiff didn't. We went to the library and played on the chairs. Yup, it doesn't take much when you're 15 months!

I repeated a few workouts over the past few days but yesterday afternoon I saw this "speed it up" interval workout on Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life and tried it out last night.

It was a hum-dinger for sure! I had to take two 30-second breaks but I got through it like a boss. It made me sweat like a beast too so if you try it, make sure you have some sort of towel; that sweat stings when it's in your eyeballs!

I had some ground turkey to use (and a day off! Did I mention that already?) so I made these clean eating meatloaf muffins on Monday and have been eating them all week.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
Calories: 80
Fats: 2 grams
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 11 grams
* 2 lbs ground turkey (or chicken)
* 3 egg whites
* 1 cup quick cooking oats
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp dried thyme
* 2 tsp dry yellow mustard
* 2 tsp black pepper
* 2 tsp chipotle pepper spice
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tbsp garlic powder (2 cloves minced)
* 1 small onion (finely chopped)
* 2 celery stalks (finely chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Spray muffin pan with canola or olive oil.
3. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl.
4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball.
5. Bake for 40 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Serving Size:
Women: 2 muffins
Men: 4 muffins

I only had 1 lb. ground turkey so I halved the recipe. The muffins are quite spicy which I love! If you aren't a spicy person, I would use less chipotle pepper spice. I added some chopped red pepper too since I had it around. Definitely a winner for me!

So glad it's already Wednesday! Peace out lovers!

February 17, 2012

Peanut pretzel bark

Before I get to the most amazing snack in the history of snacks, I want to re-cap a really speedy interval workout!

Speedy Interval Run

I saw this on Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life a few weeks ago and it intimidated me. I mean, running at a 10.0 pace....twice? Bonkers. But I saw it again in her post yesterday and I figured, what the hell. If it sucks, I can always slow down. I am so glad I attempted it because, not to toot my own horn, but I rocked it. Toot toot mo fos. Although I didn't have any incline on the running portion, I was still able to complete this bad boy with flying colors. Endorphin overload.

Not only was my workout on point today, but I made the most amazing snack ever to pass my lips. It isn't exactly healthy but it is exactly delish. Brittany calls her version salted chocolate pretzel bars but I changed the name to peanut pretzel bark because that describes my version better.

Peanut Pretzel Bark
adapted from Itty Bits of Balance

1 16 oz package chocolate candy coating
2 cups smashed salted pretzels
1 cup dry roasted peanuts (I used lightly salted)
wax paper
sea salt (optional)

Melt chocolate according to package directions. Mix smashed pretzel pieces and peanuts in a large bowl. Mix in melted chocolate until fully coated. Press into a cooking sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle sea salt over chocolate mixture (if preferred.) Place cookie sheet in fridge for about an hour. Once the bark is cooled and firm, break into pieces.
chocolate candy coating
peanuts and smashed pretzels (in my heart bowl!)

nom nom nom

I have so many ideas for this bad boy. Dark chocolate, white chocolate mixed with food coloring for a holiday, colored m&m's for a holiday...the possibilities are endless.

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!

February 16, 2012

Feeling good

The title basically says it all: I am just feeling really good these days!

Because I haven't posted a pic of Ella lately...
 As you can tell by some of my recent posts, I've been down about my appearance and weight loss over the past few months. I really needed to re-group and remember how good it feels to be healthy. I went a little bonkers with the food over the holidays and let that carry in to January. When I made the decision to stop working out at That Gym, I could've been really upset about it and just stopped working out altogether (which has happened like a gazillion times before) but I decided that being healthy and looking fit were too important to me to stop. I made a plan before I even left Demi's gym so I could continue to work out every morning. I knew that if I stopped for just a few days, I would probably never start again.

I also got my diet back on track. I have been loosely following 4D for the past two weeks but really, I'm just making healthier choices because I like the way it makes me feel. I have more energy and I feel like my workouts are better because I'm not fueled by chips and salsa (every day) but instead protein and veggies. Of course, I do have a goal on the horizon, which never hurts to keep me on track, but I'm just really happy with the progress I've made since the end of January. 2 weeks ain't no small potatoes people!

My campaign at work is also going well right now (fingers crossed, knock on wood) and things seem to be falling in to place professionally. I just want to ride this happiness wave for as far as it will take me because I'm tired of being discouraged! It's super annoying!

On a yummier note, I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow and will be buying supplies to make these bad boys.

I. Cannot. Wait.

February 15, 2012

New snack

Remember how my no-bake energy bites turned in to granola because it wasn't forming in to balls? Well, I made another batch this weekend and realized that I left out a very key ball-forming ingredient: 1/3c honey. Derr. The second batch included honey and yes, it was much easier making balls. However, I still like it as granola and basically have been eating it as such anyway.

I bring that up because I have a brand new snack that I just cannot get enough of right now. I'm mixing about a 1/2 cup of plain Chobani Greek yogurt with 2 energy bites (or the equivalent of the granola) and 1/4 cup peanut butter multi-grain Cheerios for my afternoon treat. Lemme tell ya, it is freaking amazing. I generally hate the taste of plain Greek yogurt but I've been finding new ways to eat it. One reason is because it comes in a bigger container and I can get more bang for my buck going that route instead of buying (literally) 10 flavored Cho's at a time. Secondly, I'm cooking more with the plain and since it basically takes on the taste of whatever you mix/eat it with, it's super fun (and pretty easy) to come up with new uses.

I also made ranch dressing using about a 1 1/4 cups plain Cho and a packet of dry ranch dressing mix. It tastes just like the real stuff but it's 0% fat! Cha-ching!

I did the "lazy girl" workout tonight (which really needs a new name because it is one of the most challenging treadmill intervals I've done.) I've only done it once and I had to take two 30-second catchyobreath breaks. Since I successfully completed yesterday's workout without any stoppage, I really wanted to do this one without stopping. However, I did have to pop off for one 30-second break and one 10-second break. Hey, at least I didn't fly off the back of the 'mill...which would've hurt both my face and my ego.


Now Imma shower and snooze. Peace out salty friends!

February 14, 2012

Eating after your workout

I did this treadmill exercise this morning and was able to do the whole thing without taking any breaks! That's progress people! It made me feel really good that I was able to get through it more easily than the last couple times. Yay!

funny animal pictures make me laugh
Back in the day, when I was a crazy exercise machine, I never ate after my workouts. I figured it would un-do all the hard work I just completed. However, now that I'm older and wiser and have done my research, I realize that it's very important to eat something after you work out. Even if it's protein powder mixed with water (which is what I drink immediately after my workouts in the mornings), you are helping to restore and rebuild the muscles you just worked. It also helps increase your metabolism so you can burn even more calories while at rest throughout the day. Who knew, right?

This article is one of many I've read about just how important it is to eat immediately after a workout. The author calls it "remodeling" and gives an example of building a house. You hire a guy (or girl) to tear down your current house, a guy to clean up the mess, and another guy to build the new house. Your workout tears down the house and your immune system cleans up the mess. But, if you don't eat post-workout, you aren't providing the third guy with the bricks and all your left with is an unfinished lot.

He suggests a liquid meal that consists of carbs and protein but avoids fat. The consumption of fat may slow the digestion of the carbs and protein, therefore not letting them "re-build" your muscles to their maximum ability. Liquid gets absorbed faster therefore working faster to repair those distressed muscles.

The author covers the topic more in-depth than I ever could, but basically, to get the most out of your workout, you must eat immediately post-workout to reap the most benefit. Since I kind of have a "deadline" for myself (not really, but I don't have a better word), I'm really focusing on doing the most I can over the next few months to look my best for Katie's wedding. So any little bit helps!

Of course I couldn't write a post on February 14 without wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! Even though it's a fake holiday (if it were real, we wouldn't have to work today...just sayin') there are many people in my life that I love dearly who should know it. That includes all my faithful readers! So whether you have a valentine or not, know that YOU are loved! :)

so hot.

February 13, 2012

Humbling Friday

I had such a good weekend! What made it so good? I didn't eat like an animal! I actually stuck to my usual diet, only straying (but not much) for dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I also got in a nice, long workout on Saturday which made me feel so much better about going out both Friday and Saturday nights. I'm hoping I can remember this feeling and stick with it so I won't feel like such a fatty on Mondays.

too much pizza
I missed a post on Friday because I was busy visiting schools who are collecting money for my campaign, Pennies for Patients. I do kick-off assemblies where I get to teach students at participating schools about blood cancers and tell them how important it is for them to bring in their spare change. At one of my assemblies, I got to chat with an 11 year old who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL, the most common form of childhood leukemia) when he was just 8 years old. He is in the "maintenance phase" of treatment, meaning he's in remission but must still travel from Chauncey to Columbus (1.5 hours) once every three months for treatment for the next two years. If everything looks good after that, he'll switch to less frequent visits. He was such a cool dude and was so positive; I left the school feeling very blessed that I never had to go through that and said a little prayer thanking God for keeping Thomas, Evan, Avery, Andrew, and Ella healthy. I can't even imagine what it's like to hear that your child (or niece/nephew) has cancer at the young age of 8, let alone younger than that. Meeting young cancer survivors, as I often do in my profession, is very humbling.

Anyway, since I didn't post on Friday, I didn't get to tell you about the newest treadmill interval I did: the 5k treadmill challenge.


Challenge is right; this one was quite tough. I've never ran faster than 8.0 for 1 minute on the treadmill and this one had me running 8.5, 8.7 and 9.0 for a certain distance, not time (like all the other ones.) It was about 3.5 minutes of running before taking a break to walk for .1 mile. The workout went by in a flash so I walked a little bit afterward, but it is a great workout for anyone looking to pick it up a notch!

Julie posted the questions James Lipton asks every actor at the end of their interview on Inside the Actor's Studio. Every time I watch that show, I wonder how I would answer them. Welp, it looks like today's the day!

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
My answers:

  1. "F***" (I know it's not appropriate but it is my favorite word...)
  2. "Disappointed"
  3. Tattoos
  4. Rudeness
  5. The sound of my dad's voice
  6. The sound of someone I love crying
  7. F***
  8. Playing the tambourine/banjo/drums in a band
  9. Tax accountant
  10. "I'm proud of you."
I'm interested to see how other people would answer these questions as well so let it rip if you'd like.

February 9, 2012

Most viewed posts

You wanna know the most awkward/unattractive thing to look at when you're running? Yourself. The treadmills in my new gym are directly in front of a wall of mirrors (and by directly, I mean the front of the treadmill basically touches the mirror.) It's really uncomfortable. I try to look at my legs because they don't jiggle as much as the rest of me. There are about 4 TVs above the treadmills so I'm going to try to always be on a treadmill near a TV so I have something to look at other than my red, salty face. Ew. Seriously? So gross.

I gave a preview of last night's workout in yesterday's post but I ended up changing it up to look like this:

Time                          Speed
0-5 minutes               4.0
5-8 minutes               6.5
8-9 minutes               7.0
9-10 minutes             4.0
10-13 minutes           7.0
13-14 minutes           8.0
14-15 minutes           4.0
15-18 minutes           7.0  
18-19 minutes           6.5
19-20 minutes           4.0
20-23 minutes           6.5
23-24 minutes           7.0
24-25 minutes           4.0
25-28 minutes           7.0
28-29 minutes           8.0
29-30 minutes           4.0
30-33 minutes           7.0
33-34 minutes           6.5
34-35 minutes           4.0

I ran an additional 5 minutes at 6.5 just because I had the time. I came home and did the abs I shared but skipped the wall sits and jumping jacks. My floors are awfully creaky and I get really self-conscious that my neighbors are going to think I'm doing some freaky stuff in here when I'm really just jumping around (jump, jump, jump around.)

So here's a fun fact: I looked back through my past posts to see which ones have been viewed the most. Below are my top 5 most-viewed posts to date:

5. The New Digs with 95 views (apparently people wanna know where I hang my hat)

4. In a Glass Case of Emotion with 100 views

3. Update on the Dadster with 103 views (he's a very popular guy)

2. New Ink with 165 views

and the number one most-viewed post, with 186 views, is....

You can stand under my umbr-Ella Ella Ella (hey hey hey hey hey hey)

She's my fave too! What a coincidence! :)

Have a great Thursday, ya'll!

February 8, 2012

Green monster

Remember how I told you about green monsters? I haven't had one in awhile so it was a welcomed treat this morning.

Vanilla Green Monster
serves 1

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 handful spinach
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Last night, I tried this workout from Pinterest:

 I only did it one time through because I needed to focus all my attention on Glee, but that one set definitely got me sweating!

I had to leave my house this morning at 7:30am for an 8am meeting so I wasn't able to get to my new gym before work today. I'm going to run the following interval workout tonight (2x) and finish with the following ab routine. Hopefully it all goes swimmingly!


February 7, 2012

New gym

I was feeling sickly yesterday so I skipped a post. My bad. I'm feeling better today but I just have zero energy. I feel so tired all the time. I don't know what the deal is because I get 8-10 hours of sleep a night so maybe I need to start taking vitamins? I take a multi-vitamin but apparently that's not helping so I guess some experimentation is in order to get more pep in my step!

Friday was my last workout with Demi at That Gym :( I simply can't afford it right now. I'm super bummed; I loved her workouts and I loved the people at That Gym. They made my workouts go by so much faster. But I have to cut back on my expenses and this one, since it's optional unlike, you know, heat, is the first to go. Hopefully I'll be back with her in a few months but right now, I'm on my own.

In order to stay on track, I joined the gym that is literally 5 doors down from my apartment so I can still walk there and get a workout in before work. I went this morning and ran on the treadmill then came home and did about 10 minutes of abs. They don't have a great space for ab work so I'm going to have to use trial and error on that one. I also need to figure out which days I'm going to lift and put a plan in place (how you like dem "p"s.) I still belong to Premier (thanks Daddio) and plan on participating in some of their exercise classes but this new gym is way smaller than Premier and is absolutely no frills. I honestly don't mind it since all I really need are free weights and a treadmill for the mornings. There were a total of 2 other people in the whole place today too which is also the complete opposite of Premier where people illegally hold treadmills for their puffy coated friends. It's nice to have a place so close if I'm bored and just want to walk or do the elliptical without having to drive 20 minutes (uphill each way, in the snow, with no coat...get it? I'm complaining like an elderly person.)

The workout:

30 minute interval workout

30 crunches (first set: high school sit-ups, second set: toe touches, third set: heel touches)
10 push-ups
1 minute plank
Repeat 3 times.

Skipping a beat, I read the blog Life of Blyss on the regular and was startled to read her most recent post from yesterday. Alyssa, the author, is about a year younger than me and she is usually absolutely hilarious; her blog has me laughing out loud. However, yesterday's post was a more serious one where she announced that she has skin cancer. She asked that we share this video which I encourage you to watch in its entirety.
Prayers for Alyssa!

February 3, 2012

The (lame) Injury

I'm injured.

Well, no, not really but my toe was hurting bad last night. I titled this picture "The Injury" like the episode with the same name in the first season of The Office. Fortunately, I didn't burn my foot on a George Foreman grill while making bacon in bed. In fact, I don't really know what I did. All I can tell you is that it hurt like a mother. It felt better this morning so I still worked out with Demi but it was throbbing last night. No bueno.

Good thing I had some peanut butter breakfast pudding for dinner to make it feel better. This recipe has been all over Pinterest like white on rice so naturally, I had to see what all the fuss was about. It's really good and pretty simple; however I think I'd rather have OIAJ...just sayin'.

Peanut Butter Breakfast (or dinner) Pudding

1/2 c oatmeal
1 c milk
1/4 tsp salt (I omitted)
1/2 of a ripe banana
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
sweetener (if preferred)

Cook the oats, salt, and milk (either on the stove or in the microwave). Meanwhile, blend the pb and banana. Then add your vanilla, sweetener, and 1/2 of the cooked oats to the blender and re-blend. Stir or blend in the rest of the oats.

I used 1 tbsp of pb and topped the oatmeal/pudding with the other half of the banana and some no-bake energy bites granola. Like I said, it was very good, but pretty much tasted the same as the peanut butter oats I usually make.

Tonight, I plan on doing a little of this:

Who's with me?!

February 2, 2012

No bake energy bites

OK, so I totally ran on the treadmill last night. I feel like I'm committing a running crime when I run indoors on days as gorgeous as yesterday, in February no less. However, I just can't get enough of these treadmill intervals. I feel like I accomplish so much more from my workout when I'm doing them. I did my altered version of this workout and it was grrrreat.

I'm back in kitchen guys! Pinterest made me do it. I made these no-bake energy bites. The ingredients are supposed to be mixed together and sit in the fridge for an hour before being rolled in to balls. Well...I left it in the fridge overnight and tried to roll the balls Wednesday morning but they were hella crumbly. I rolled maybe 6 balls before I said screw it and just put it all in the fridge. It's still clumpy so I can still get a big bite at a time and it's kind of like granola now so I can put it in my yogurt or oatmeal, which will be really tasty. It's very delicious...just not very pretty. I used crunchy peanut butter, which I didn't even realize I bought until I opened the jar. I think creamy might make it stick together better.

ball form

non-ball form

What's better than Multi-grain Cheerios you ask?

Heaven in cereal form

Peanut Butter Multi-grain Cheerios! I've been seeing them on like every blog I read and snatched some up for myself immediately. Talk about a party in my mouth! Alyssa at Life of Blyss posted about what to look for in healthy cereals and unfortunately these babies don't pass the test, but I won't tell if you don't.

I can't wait to make peanut butter cereal bites with these! A weekend project, perhaps?