Healthy and Sane

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If you don’t really want to know, don’t ask me

January 31st, 2009 · 10 Comments · breakfast, chicken, dessert, Ellie Krieger, pizza, salad, snacks

I’m about to get ready to go to the Starbucks tea tasting for bloggers – I’m pretty excited!  This is my first event for bloggers as a blogger (I went out to dinner with Kath and Tina once) and I’m really looking forward to meeting all the ladies I’ve gotten to know over the internet as well as meet new bloggers (and maybe friends?).  I’m a little nervous too, because sometimes I get shy in situations like that.  We’ll see… I’ll report back with all the juicy details 😉

So even though I just said I get a little shy in certain situations, that does not mean that I’m going to lie if someone asks me a direct question.  All of my friends and family know that I’m brutally honest, all the time.  I think it’s a Russian thing.  “My people” typically don’t sugar coat things.  I’ve definitely Americanized, so I do try to be nice about it, but still… don’t ask me something if you don’t want to know my real opinion about the topic, because I will tell you my real opinion.  This was tested twice yesterday…

First, I went to the gym and took a bootcamp class (more on the rest of my workout later).  You see there is this instructor there that I just couldn’t decide if I like.  Ok, I know I don’t love him, but sometimes his classes are actually pretty decent and on Fridays sometimes I like to do what someone else tells me to do instead of constantly pushing myself.  It’s Friday, you know.  So the last few times I took this guy’s class, it actually wasn’t half bad, so yesterday I was pretty excited to incorporate it into my workout (time really flies during classes – that’s the best thing about them!).  And… it was just ok.  This guy thinks he’s God.  He’s 52 and ok, for 52 he’s in a great shape, but I’m 26.  He sweats like we’re in a sauna, and we’re not… and I’m a huge sweater, believe me, so his weird sweating is surprising to me.  Maybe it’s the age thing (I really don’t mean to offend anyone here – that’s just seriously my theory).  His class used to be a whole bunch of weights (really straight forward stuff) with a little bit of jumping in between (jumping jacks, stepping on a step, etc) but now that he changed the name to “bootcamp” he feels he can be more creative.  Well by creative, I mean yesterday he used weights for like 5 minutes tops… and this for me was supposed to be a “weight training day.”  The workout was ok, but I came for a weights class!  Anyways, so at the end of the class, he’s all proud of himself and says: “What do you guys think?  This was pretty good and different, right?”  Some people said, yeah it was really good… thanks.  I said nothing.  You see, I don’t volunteer negative comments (ok sometimes I do) but then he seriously looks at me and says: “This one doesn’t have a tongue.”  All right, all bets are off my friend!  I can’t hold back after this kind of comment!  But you know what, I was still nice and I said: “Not enough weights.”

Instructor: “What?”

Elina: “I said there wasn’t enough weights in this routine … (now getting a little shy) for me”

Instructor (getting defensive): “Why do you need weights?  Aren’t you tired?”

Elina: “I’m a little tired, but really today was supposed to be my weights day so I wanted more weights.”

Instructor (getting really annoyed – I wish you could hear his annoyed voice): “Well that’s your personal problem… err, preference.  I like to mix things up…” blah blah blah seriously I really don’t remember what he said after that.

I was SO pissed off!  I mean, that’s my personal problem preference?!  It’s about expectations people.  If I came for a cardio class, I would have probably been pretty happy with the class (I could work harder on a treadmill or elliptical but in the spirit of mixing things up it was ok) but I came for a weights class.  Oh, he also mentioned something about using your own body weight, but you see… there wasn’t much of that either.  Yes some push-ups and jumps but there is only so high or deep you can jump – with weights you can increase them and your workout is intensified.  Of course after jumping on the elliptical after that, the whole conversation was going through my head and I kept on thinking of things I should have said.  Seriously, if you think you know it all, don’t ask for advise.  If you don’t really want feedback or constructive criticism – don’t ask… at least don’t ask me.  Man, now I’m pissed again just thinking about it.

The second time my bluntness was tested was at a spa.  I went to get a much needed facial and decided to try a new spa.  I used to go to this one place that gives the best facials, but the owner was so mean to me the last time I was there that I left her no tip and swore I’ll never give her business another dime of my money.  Since then I’ve been searching for a good place with not much luck… and my face is suffering.  I decided to test out my favorite massage spot, for a facial this time.  I went to G2O on Newbury – these people are massage geniuses but my facial was a little scary.  Before I get into that, let me give you a few pictures of the waiting area, because you’re probably about to fall asleep and need some visuals 😉

G2O facials waiting area

G2O snack/drink table

My favorite stuff there!  I was actually able to stay away this time (that’s a first!):

G2O trailmix with little serving bowls

G2O fruit platter

There was even a cute “cafeteria” to enjoy your snacks/ beverages at:

G2O waiting/eating area

So cute and modern and clean… I love it!

But then came my facial.  Right away I knew the girl was inexperienced, just from the way she touched my face.  Of course I told her at the beginning to do as many extractions as possible to really clear out my skin, and I regretted it about 10 minutes into the facial.  In fact, when she started squeezing I think I had a mini panic attack.  I was afraid she was going to scar my face for life… I was writing letters in my head, threatening to sue them for hiring someone so inexperienced.  And then I got really hot, I mean really really hot, like I’m about to pass out.  I asked her to turn the heat down, turn off my heating pad, take my warm hand mitts off my hands and tried to relax.  At the end it was ok, but I definitely freaked out.  I decided to ask at the desk exactly how long the girl has been working there.  The receptionist said: “She’s been with the institution for a year, but isn’t she so good?”  Err, no!  I practically had a heart attack, lying there on the table.  I thought facials were supposed to be relaxing!!!  Ok, this time I said nothing but I did make a disapproving face.  The girl immediately realized I wasn’t pleased, and then I did say: “I thought she wasn’t experienced enough.”  She suggested to ask for someone with more experience next time, and I will.  I really love this spa and I’m giving them another try for facials (I will definitely be back for massages which by the way have a different waiting area which has dim lights and is cute and modern in its own way – I love spas!!).  Ok enough of story telling.  Sorry, I guess I was really in a blabbering mood.

Since this is way too long at this point, I’m just posting pics of food.  Have  a wonderful Saturday!!

BB/fruit spread banana and blueberry open faced sammies

Kashi golean chocolate almond crunchy bar

kashi bar inside

leftover baked ziti

lunch dessert: 100 calorie dark chocolate bar

gala apple

Ellie Krieger's energy bar

Dinner "first course" - baby spinach, grape tomatoes, cranberries, pecans, goat cheese + 1T Annie's woodstock dressing

salad closeup

dinner "main course: tortilla buffalo chicken pizza

pizza closeup

Dessert much later… multiply this by 2:

kashi dark chocolate oatmeal cookie

Total calories for the day: ~2000 (the cookies put me over the edge, but they were worth it… ok I could have lived without the second one, I really didn’t realize how much I already ate by then and the cookies are SOOO GOOD :) )


I took an abs class, an aforementioned bootcamp class, did 12.5 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the stationary bike.  I burnt 680 calories.  Oh yeah, I also walked home from the facial so that’s another 1+ miles I can add to my exercise bank for the week.  See you later!

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Pretty hair + sweaty workout

January 30th, 2009 · 8 Comments · chicken, dessert, pasta, Sexy six pack challenge, yogurt

 Heh, that title was kind of funny.  I couldn’t think of a good one.  But actually, that’s what totally made me happy yesterday.  I finally made it to the gym (for the first time in 4 days!!) and made sure to have a great extra long workout.  I missed the gym so much.  I really do go through serious withdrawals and don’t feel like myself at all, if I skip a few days.  Sometimes I feel like I drag myself there because that’s what “I have to do” but seriously if I don’t go, I miss it.  I’m weird like that.  After the gym, I straightened my hair which was looking kind of greasy and not so hot lately.  So take a great workout + nice shiny straight hair, and you get a happy Elina for the rest of the day.  I was in a great mood.  And… I’m totally back to being excited about my healthy living again.  It took a few days to get back into it – part of it was because I couldn’t work out (too much work) and the other part was that my stomach was still kind of freaking out from the Sunday + Monday binges so after a few days of cleaner eating and a sweaty workout, I’m “healed.”  😆  Much better!

Since my workout was totally the highlight of my day, I’ll start with that….


I started with a 15 minutes abs class at the gym.  It was nothing crazy just lots of crunches and stuff.  Then I took a 40 minute spin class, followed by a 3.3 mile walk/run on the treadmill (originally I was just going to walk, but then after a few minutes I got bored, so I slowly increased my speed and ran for a solid 3 miles… cooling down again with a short walk).  I used the “fat burn” function on the treadmill and it let me set a target heart rate (I originally picked 150, then moved it up to 160) which adjusted the incline to constantly maintain my HR.  It was fun because there were random hills along the way and I was in control of adjusting the speed if I thought I could take it.  I ran at 6.2-6.6 mph (a little slower than usual because I was already tired from spinning).  To finish my workout, I jumped on the elliptical and did another 20 minutes there while watching the Food Network.  I love multi-tasking like that :)  Workout stats (exclude a 5 min stretch):

  • Duration: 1:48
  • Calories burnt: 960 (35% fat) – Yeah!! 😀
  • Ave HR: 150 (included the abs class which kept my HR at a low rate); Max HR: 226 (that doesn’t seem right!  during spinning my high was usually at 168, not sure about the run but 226 is def wrong).

 I also used my Ab Slide right before going to bed.  I did 20 straight rolls, 10 on each side, and another 10 straight rolls (50 in total).  That’s 10 better than the last one.  I think I could have done more, but I was ready for bed.  I’ll push myself for a few extra ones today or tomorrow.


I wish I took progress pictures of this meal because it looked so pretty along the way, with the spinach and the cheese… mmm.  Anyways, today’s best meal of the day was my dinner (although leftovers for lunch were awesome too but I already featured the scallops).  We had some ricotta in the fridge and since it spoils so quickly after opening the container, I wanted to make baked ziti.  So baked ziti I made.  I added grilled chicken for some extra protein and some baby spinach for extra veggies (+ I really love spinach with pasta dishes).  Here is the whole thing when it came out of the oven.  Doesn’t it look good?  Cheese will make just about anything look mouth-watering, I think.

baked ziti with chicken and spinach

And my serving (1/4 of the pan).  Yum!

baked ziti with chicken + baby spinach - my portion


yogurt w/ 1/2 banana, clementine, pb puffins, chocolate granola, dried cranberries, roasted peanuts + flax

2 ak mak crackers, 2T sabra roasted garlic hummus, baby carrots


office cake


kashi dark chocolate oatmeal cookie

+ a glass of Pinot Noir I enjoyed with some co-workers after work :)

Total calories for the day: ~1775 (includes a rough estimate for the cake bites).  It’s over my usual limit, but I’m cool with it since I burnt so many calories at the gym today.  See, I’m healthy AND sane 😉

Oh yeah, and check out Kelly’s weekly giveaway at here.  That book sounds like something I’d enjoy… maybe you will too (if you win) :)

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Another tie

January 28th, 2009 · 14 Comments · breakfast, Cooking Light, salad, Sexy six pack challenge, snacks

It’s another tie for the best meal of the day.  I knew work was going to be busy again, so I got up a little extra early to make a special little breakfast.  For dinner, I made a delicious dish that was unsurprisingly amazing.  So I can’t chose between the 2.  Don’t make me, ok? :)


breakfast closeup

What you see is 1 slice of Arnold’s double fiber whole wheat bread, toasted, spread with ricotta cheese, 2 prunes, pecans and a tsp of maple syrup.  To die for!  I had some amazing fresh blueberries on the side.  These have seriously been the best blueberries I’ve ever had (they were on sale 2 for 1, but we’re still almost out :( )

toast with ricotta, prunes, pecans and maple syrup + blueberries


panko/butter "crusted" scallops

I love love love scallops, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever made them!  Why you ask?  Well for some reason my husband thought he wasn’t crazy for scallops even though he usually loves them at restaurants.  Maybe he secretly didn’t trust my scallop making skills 😆   Well, I proved him wrong tonight.  I used this recipe from Cooking Light as the base, but didn’t actually make the bay-scented butter (just used Smart Balance butter instead – a little less than the recipe asked for).  I also These were SO good!  Btw, I don’t know if Cooking Light was planning on serving this to birds but 1 serving is definitely not enough for a person. 😉  I made probably about 7-servings worth according to them, and I ate about 30% of it.  Of course I could eat even more but this way I get to have leftovers! 😀

On the side, I had some trusty parmesan brussels sprouts (this is the only way I make brussels sprouts because they are amazingly delicious and take less than 10 minutes as opposed to baking which takes more like 30-40 minutes) + 1/2 cup of brown rice.  Great dinner!

scallops, brussels sprouts + brown rice


KIND bar

salad: baby lettuce, grape toms, cucs, carrot, 2 sl. turkey, 2T hummus with 1T Annie's goddess dressing + 1/2 srvg wheat thins

salad closeup

TJ's 100 calorie dark chocolate bar


TJ's light string cheese

There was also another unphotographed cookie that jumped in my mouth before I knew what happened.  It’s ok, I was a good girl all day! 😀

Total calories for the day: right around 1650

By the way, I finished my project at work today!  It was another busy day, but I did it – it’s done!!  I was/am so happy about it.  My boss was very appreciative, so I feel great!  Yay!

Re: gym, I still haven’t gone and now dinner is sitting like a rock in my stomach (thank god I didn’t go back for more!) so I don’t know what’s going to happen with that.  I know I definitely will use my ab slide before bed.  Gotta get those sexy six pack abs!!

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