Healthy and Sane

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I didn’t die

March 31st, 2009 · 14 Comments · 30 Day Shred, breakfast, oats, snacks

Today was awesome.  I worked until almost 8pm, but I didn’t care. I was in a great mood.  Actually I was totally in the zone doing my thing – it felt great to feel like I’m good at what I’m doing… kind of reminded me why I work where I work :) The other thing that made me super happy is the fact that I went for a run OUTSIDE during lunch and didn’t die!  Seriously, you guys know I’m seriously scared of running outside, but today was awesome! I was psyched for the run (planned a 4 mile route) and despite crazy winds and much lower temperatures than expected… I did it! Oh and I was wearing a tank top and capri pants so people looked at me like I was a crazy woman… but that that just made me run faster 😀 So yeah, I ran 4.15 miles in 36:19… by my calculations that makes it 8:45 minutes/mile. Awesome awesome awesome (I would have been happy with under 10 and ecstatic with 9, but 8:45 is just seriously amazing to me!).  Workout stats (include warm up + cooldown walks):

  • Duration: 0:45 (+stretching before and after the run)
  • Calories burnt: 440 calories (35% fat)
  • Ave HR: 157 (87%); Max HR: 220 (113%)

Heh, almost forgot… after work I did level 2 of Shred (I think I’m on day 23, but I skipped a few days here and there so I’m going to stick with level 2 for a few more days).

  • Duration: 0:25 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 179 (50%) – it’s getting easier! :)
  • Ave HR: 132 (68%); Max HR: 211 (109%)

Oh and just for kicks, I thought I’d include a very old post from my days of blogging on Sparkpeople about my first run outside (completed last summer)… such a blast from the past 😀

Today I had a 15 min abs class + a 45 min run planned for a workout. I am considering doing a 5K race in two weeks, and should really start running again (I mean I’ve been running but not as consistently as I should be to improve my time from last year’s race, which was 28:41). As I was walking to the abs class, I thought that I should plan a run outside sometime soon if the weather is nice. Running outside is SO different from running on a treadmill. There are so many external factors (weather, hills, etc.) and keeping a good pace is so much harder when the risk of flying off the treadmill isn’t there. Well, as I was waiting for the instructor for the class, I realized that today was a really nice day out. I thought after the class I should just run outside and then come back to the gym and shower before returning to work. I didn’t plan out my route, and didn’t have a watch, which was a bit annoying (I had a clock on my ipod but that’s not the same) but it worked out. It was soooooooo HOT outside and I was dying after about 20 minutes. I kept on trying to visualize how good it would feel to finish without stopping (after all, I’ve run up to 80 minutes without stopping on the treadmill) but after a really large hill I had to stop and walk for about 1.5 minutes. Then I realized I was walking down hill and that actually it would be a pretty easy run and picked up again. I made two laps around one of the parks so after the same hill, I walked again. With addition of heat, that hill was a KILLER! I made it though!!!! Final tally was a 40 minute run + 10 min walk (about 3 min warm up, two 1.5 min stops, plus 4 min cooldown). I mapped my run and it was 4.44 miles together. Not bad! Does running in the heat burn more calories? I don’t know, but I was exhausted (and proud!).


I decided to start waking up earlier in order to eat breakfast at home (I know I’ve said it before but we’ll try this again). Yesterday’s oats in the afternoon (only a small instant oats packet) filled me up for way too many hours, so I thought this kind of staying power is something I could definitely use in the morning.  I’m not a big fan of microwaved oats anymore, so that requires waking up early. Today I didn’t mind it, because my oats were fantastic! This bowl is inspired by Tina‘s almond joy oats (sorry, I couldn’t find the link to her oats… she made them like last October when I first discovered her blog). I made mine today with extra oats (1/2 cup dry) cooked with 1/2 c soy milk, 1/2 c water + 1/2 banana… then topped it with almond slices (oops – burnt them twice on the stove), choc chips, shredded coconut and “frosting” (oikos + agave nectar).

almond joy oats

Yum! Btw, I think oats + chocolate + yogurt = heaven!!

almond joy oats closeup

[389 calories]


1/3 Zoe's chocolate peanut butter granola bar

[100 calories]

Ok, so when I had the first half of this bar, I hated it! I thought it tasted completely weird – kind of salty (and almost spicy)… just very very strange. I reached for the other half today because I don’t like throwing food away, especially food that would be decent run fuel. Well, today I thought it was pretty good. Maybe because I had VERY low expectations, but seriously… it wasn’t bad at all. I have another one of these babies, so maybe I’ll provide a true review once I decide what I really think of it :)

1/2 Ezekiel english muffin + laughing cow cheese + chickpea cutlet with carrot sticks and grape tomatoes on side

[394 calories]

sugar snap peas + almonds

[71 calories]

Total calories for the day: 986 – Not sure what’s going on with my stomach, but the snack above totally kicked my ass. It’s been sitting like a huge rock in my stomach. I ate it over 4 hours ago, and sweated through Shred in between, and I still can’t stomach the idea of food. Too much fiber again? I’ve never eaten such low amounts of food… but I’m not going to force food down. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll make up for it! 😉


I have so many questions now that I’m trying to run outside. Should I get a garmin? What model?  I hear they don’t fit well on girls’ wrists. I see them a lot on the blogs… are you suffering through a moving garmin or is this an uncommon problem? I feel like a garmin would really help improve my speed if I can monitor it and push myself accordingly. Anything else I should purchase for runs outside?

Barney Butter is having a sample campaign for newbies.  This is your chance to try my crack of choice for free (!) if you haven’t already :) You like me even more now, huh? 😉

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Creamy mushroom heaven + special beverage

March 30th, 2009 · 23 Comments · Uncategorized, yogurt

I’m in a happy food coma right now. It was a long day but it is nearly ending on a wonderful note. I just love home cooked meals, especially the healthy ones! :) I’m so thankful for the blog world – it really broadened my food horizons.  I used to cook pretty healthy meals at home, but they were never exciting.  They got the job done.  Tonight’s dinner was everything I love about food – and I made it! Thank you, Kelly, for the recipe! So let’s get to this “mystery” amazing meal…


I’m trying to have at least 1 (hopefully 2) vegetarian meals a week. Since my husband (as most males I think) wants meat with every meal, I try to make the vegetarian dishes extra special.  He was hesitant when I told him I was making chickpea patties, but after 1 bite of this goodness… we were both in a chickpea/mushroom heaven!

chickpea cake with creamy paprika mushroom sauce

[338 calories]

I followed this recipe for the chickpea cutlets with creamy paprkia mushrooms.  The funny thing is when I got ready to make this, I realized that I’ve already used this recipe for my black bean cakes (replacing black beans for chickpeas). This got me even more excited because I absolutely loooved the black bean burgers.  This recipe is absolutely fantastic on its own, but when the cakes are covered in a crazy indulgent creamy mushroom sauce… this can’t be beat!

Let’s talk substitutions – I used 1/2T of EVOO in the cutlets, and then used 1tsp of EVOO per each side of frying –> total 3.5 teaspoons.  This is significantly lower than what the recipe calls for, but I didn’t miss it one bit. For the mushrooms, I also used a little more shrooms and a little less than 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  With the crazy amount of sour cream, you couldn’t really taste the butter anyway. I’d probably just use cooking spray next time and cut some of the sour cream… although it was amazingly creamy and of course the low fat sour cream was very much responsible for it :) Ok, I’m done talking… you really should make this!


1/2 c oikos, 1 medium banana, pb puffins, Erin Baker's pb granola, choc chips, almonds, mixed dried berries

yogurt parfait closeup

[374 calories]

pre-workout snack: Ellie Krieger's energy bar + tea

[140 calories]

leftover pork tenderloin with peach sauce, sweet potato tortilla chips + med apple

[~400 calories]

Btw, these babies are FoodShouldTasteGood sweet potato tortilla chips.  I’ve been dying to try them and was super excited when I finally found them at WF on Sunday. However I have to say, despite being quite delicious, they do not taste like sweet potatoes at all (the thing I was looking forward to the most) – just like yummy tortilla chips but that’s it.

Sweet potato tortilla chips

Nature's Path maple nut instant oats + packet of Barney Butter

[290 calories]

I ate this heftier snack because I kept on thinking about food at work and decided to eat something more substantial than my originally planned snack. Well this bowl filled me up for like 5.5 hours (would probably be even more than that but I really had to make dinner)! It sat like a rock in my stomach :( I think I need to start eating oats for breakfast so that I don’t think about food all day. My 1/3 c serving usually gets me through just like any other breakfast. Anything more than that and I’m kind of forcing it down… however it REALLY fills me up so that could be a good thing.  Hmm, something to mull over for sure!

Total calories for the day: 1571


I was unable to Shred tonight… we had our coach cleaned – long story short I spilled a bunch of red wine and sat on a whole lot of chocolate, so it was an emergency!! It took way longer than expected so no Shredding :( It’s ok, I kind of considered taking a break anyway.  I’m seriously scared of overtraining now that I’m running every day.  Speaking of running, I stuck to my schedule today and did my 3 mile run (+ 0.5 mile walk) and lots of stretching. It wasn’t easy today. Slightly painful in fact. I’m really hoping I’m not getting shin splits. I took a good amount of time after and stretched. Workout stats:

  • Duration: 0:33 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 302 (35% fat)
  • Ave HR: 151 (78%); Max HR: 171 (88%)

Work was busy so I didn’t strength train after, figuring I’d shred at night, but since that didn’t happen… I’ll call it my light workout day :)


A special recipe from my husband… he decided to enjoy a little after dinner beverage by using one of our POM bottles and a few bar staples…

pomrita ingredients

Adam’s excellent pomegranate margarita (he emailed me the recipe and this was the title :) )

2 oz tequila
1 oz triple sec
2 oz pom pomegranate juice
juice of one lime (about 1 oz)

.5 oz orange liqueur like patron citronge or cointreau (optional)

Adam’s note*: I like to add the patron citronge to give it a bit more bite :)

A very happy husband here…

Adam + drink

And his “excellent margarita” 😆

Adam's pomrita

All right, time to get ready for tomorrow!  See you then 😀

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I’m going to become a runner

March 29th, 2009 · 18 Comments · 20 minute meals, 30 Day Shred, Boston, breakfast, chicken, dessert, Eating out, Ellie Krieger, pork, salad, sandwich, snacks, yogurt

Another weekend has come to an end.  I seriously need to start scheduling relaxation time because otherwise I get no downtime on the weekends… and then the next week begins! I wanted to share with you my new “obsession.” I’ve decided that I want to become a real runner! I’ve been running on the treadmill a few times a week for a few years now, and I think I’ve built up a good endurance level there, but I’m still scared to death of running outside.  That’s not good! Anyways, in my new year’s resolution post I mentioned that I wanted to stop being scared of running outside and even wanted to run a 10K sometime during 2009.  So yeah, nothing new here.  However, after watching Spirit of the Marathon a few days ago, I decided that I really want to run a marathon.  Now I’m not crazy, so I’m not planning on running one next week, next month, or most likely even this year, but I have decided to make running not just a part of my cardio routine, but rather a more central part of my life.  I really want to be a real runner and training for an eventual marathon will surely make me one 😉

I’ve been totally obsessed with the thought of this since watching the movie on Thursday (on the train to NY).  I’m very excited and scared at the same time.  My friend Katie is running a 10K race in 5 weeks, so I think I’m going to join her! This is a bit rushed. The plan was to start running outside when the weather gets better, then schedule a 5K and eventually do a 10K.  But I know that I can finish a 10K (I’ve run up to 9 miles on the treadmill) so I think I should just dive right in and go for it. I even set up a little training schedule for myself, and will be running about 5 times a week (instead of the 2-3 I’ve been doing). You can check it out here if you’d like :) I also want to join some running groups. That will come when the weather gets a little nicer 😀

Oh, but I’m still not sure how to incorporate strength training into the routine.  My training in the past has been more boot camp like (so lots of cardio spurts in between lifting).  I don’t know if that will put too much pressure on my running legs.  Should I switch to pure lifting?  I feel like this is a whole new world I’m not familiar with.  Do you runners do hardcore bootcamp classes on top of your running? I’m totally confused 😀 For the last 2 days, I’ve just done the Shred dvd. I’ll figure it out as I go I guess. Any comments on the subject are MUCH appreciated!

I followed my schedule for the last 2 days. On Saturday, I did Shred level 2 and then 55 minutes of cross trainings (25 minute run, 15 min stationary bike, 15 min elliptical).  Workout stats:

  • Duration: 1:20 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 746 (40% fat)
  • Ave HR: 153 (79%); Max HR: 169 (87%)

And today, I started with a 0.15 mile walk on the treadmill to warm up, then ran for 5 miles at 6.2-7.0 mph, and walked at 4.3 mph until 55 minutes were up (I was watching Sopranos and wanted to finish the episode). Then I came back home and did level 2 of Shred. I took it easy on the cardio intervals as my legs were feeling quite weak after the run.  Workout stats:

  • Duration: 1:20 (+stretching)
  • Calories burnt: 688 (50% fat) – interesting that the run burnt less than cross training…
  • Ave HR: 146 (75%); Max HR:166 (86%)



I didn’t count calories but I tried to make healthy choices.  I feel like I did pretty well despite having many meals out!

TJ's european style nonfat yogurt, 1/2 a banana, 2 dried figs, organic granola, TJ's nutty american trek mix

It was beautiful in Boston so we went to Harvard Square to walk around.  My husband wanted pizza from Oggi (their pizza is fantastic!) but I went with a poached pear saladpoached pear stuffed with goat cheese, baby spinach, candied walnuts & cabernet savignon vinaigrette.  I added grilled chicken to it for some extra protein. The chicken was nice and the pear with goat cheese was great, but I didn’t much care for the dressing so I left most of the spinach undressed (and I find that spinach needs a strong dressing since otherwise it just tastes like grass) and the candied walnuts were basically nonexistent.  I think I found 2 walnut crumbs in there. Yeah, I’m not going to lie… I was definitely jealous of Adam’s delicious looking pizza (ok I had 2 bites :) )

Oggi poached pear salad with grilled chicken

And the best part of Harvard Square is BerryLine – the best frozen yogurt place EVER! 😆 You know me guys, if there isn’t chocolate in it, I’m not typically impressed, but I swear they put crack in it.  It tastes SO creamy and fattening but has no fat! I went with the coconut flavor today. And their toppings are super fresh.  I always get the mango + pecan combo.  Next time I’ll branch out 😉 Oh and I got a pint to go so you’ll be seeing it a few more times this week :)

BerryLine small coconut frozen yogurt with fresh mango and pecans

snack: bosc pear

buffalo chicken/laughing cow sandwich on ezekiel sprouted grain bread

Me met up with our friends Kyle and Tiffany for some Saturday night drinks at Boston Beer Works in Kenmore Square.  They brew the beers right on premises and the place is very cool.  The blueberry beer (with real blueberries!) is awesome.  My other favorite is the watermelon beer (comes with a huge fresh watermelon wedge) but they only brew it in the summer.  I started with the blueberry beer

Boston Beer Works blueberry beer - with real blueberries!

And then got a sampler of the Bambino, blueberry, Patriots pilsner and Belgian amber (4oz each).

Boston Beer Works sampler

I hated the Patriot pilsner (actually most of us at the table thought it was strange tasting), the Bambino was nice and light so I enjoyed it and the Belgian amber was sold to me as being kind of close to a wheat beer which it wasn’t – definitely very much like an amber beer (it was nice but I wasn’t it the mood for it, so I probably only had 1/2).  The blueberry was my favorite of the bunch 😀

Oh and do you see those cheese fries in the background?  Tiffany ordered them but we all ended up kind of picking at them throughout the night.  They were SO good!  I tried to behave but my hand reached for the plate a few times.  Oh well :)

We had so much fun! I love Saturday nights 😀


I started the morning with an unconventional breakfast for me – a smoothie. I saw Ellie Krieger make this peach pie smoothie on a show a little while ago and thought I’d give it a try one day.  I had all the ingredients on hand, we were kind of in a rush (perfect – smoothies are super portable!) so I gave this baby a go.

EK peach pie smoothie

Half way through, I knew this wasn’t going to fill me up, so I made a toast with Barney Butter.  I can’t live without the stuff.  Seriously, I’m addicted.  I actually went to Whole Foods today and wrote a note to them asking them to start carrying it.  I’m not joking! :)

ezekiel sprouted grain bread + 1 Barney Butter packet

Oh and the smoothie was quite nice, but it didn’t fill me up.  I was hungry after this breakfast earlier than usual and that’s even with the BB toast!

[Breakfast calories: 426]

What do we do every single Sunday? Go to open houses.  Another bust today :( I did grab this cookie at one of them.  It was from a bakery and I had a feeling it was going to be amazing… and it was! Thank god I had it after we left that condo, because I would have totally grabbed another one if I knew just how amazing these would be.

cookie from an open house

salad with spinach, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, buffalo grilled chicken + light ranch dressing

salad closeup - so colorful!

The salad was awesome but I knew I had to finish lunch on a sweet note.  The So Delicious coconut mini sandwich was killer (in a good way 😉 )! I think I’m becoming coconut obsessed! This was creamy and super satisfying… and for only 100 calories!

So Delicious mini coconut ice cream sandwich - Yum!

[lunch calories, including dessert: 354]

3 dried apricots + 1/2 oz honey roasted mixed nuts

[110 calories]

The rest of the frozen peaches came alive in this pork chops with bourbon-peach sauce recipe from Cooking Light. I used pork tenderloin instead of pork chops for a leaner entree.  Pork tenderloin is one of our favorites meats!  It’s just so tender and lean.  And for those of you who don’t like pork (I typically don’t!) – it does not taste porky at all! Give it a try, if you haven’t already. Oh and this recipe is great.  Pork + fruit is a match made in heaven.  I’ve made it before and loved it, and this time it didn’t disappoint :) I had a tiny bit of whole wheat couscous on the side…

pork tenderloin with borboun peach sauce + ww couscous

More BerryLine! I had 4 oz with blackberries and pecans.  I just couldn’t stay away…

BerryLine 4oz coconut frozen yogurt + blackberries and pecans

[~470 calories, including dessert]

I also had 3 Girl Scout peanut butter patties (unpictured – 225 calories) and sample a chicken dish at Trader Joe’s.

And that should do it! I sure had a lot of food this weekend!

Let me know your thoughts on running + strength training please! :)

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