Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 7: How did I do?

Random note: this is my 100th post! Wow!

Consume between 1200 and 1300 cals/day
Log 1000 fitness minutes for the month of April (achieved 4/20; currently 1,840)
Log 30 fitness minutes per day
Lose 1-2 pounds/week (Exactly 1 pound))
Run at least 3x/week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Stay under 2,300mg of sodium/day
Work out with Jillian at least 3x/week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

Drink at least 10 cups of water/day (Only 9 on Wednesday-Saturday)
Consume at least 50g of protein/day (Not Friday)


I changed my goal this week to "Jillian" instead of the Wii because my mom got me the 30 Day Shred for Easter. I wish I could do it every day and really "shred" in 30 days but it's way too hard for me to do it every day lol. Meeting my nutrition goals (aside from fruits and veggies and calories) was unknown the first few days because of my mom's Easter meal so that was sort of iffy. Also decided to try to drink 10 cups of water/day this week instead of 8. Just to spice things up and hope it effected my weight loss. I also took out the "go to the gym" goal this week because of the 30 Day Shred and trying to get used to running outside.

In terms of my goals: not bad. The days I didn't achieve the water goal, I DID drink 9. I think aiming for at least 9 is a goal I'll stick with for now; if I can drink more than that, great. My sodium was kind of high (2,000) today but I did stay under the 2300mg. I am really going to watch my sodium intake this week as it is my time of the month coming up.

Day 48

Breakfast (300 cals)
(3) Scrambled Eggs topped with shredded mozzarella cheese

Snack (28 cals)
(1) Marshmallow Peep

Lunch (419 cals)
Cottage cheese topped with raspberries
365 Organic Cheese Crackers

Snack (100 cals)
Raspberry Hamatash

Dinner @ Noodles (295 cals)
Regular Chinese Chop Salad

Dessert (128 cals)
(2) Mini Chocolate Eggs
(1) Mini Cadbury Creme Egg
(1) Marshmallow Peep

Total: 1,269 calories

Exercise (53 minutes)
1.05 mile walk to the bank (18 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus (15 minutes)
Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred Level 1 (20 minutes)

Comments: Ugh, I wanted to do the 4.44 mile walk around my neighborhood (just to see how ridiculously long that would take me!) that I mapped out but it was REALLY WINDY OUTSIDE. Like, windows rattling windy. That and it wasn't THAT warm - 50 with wind is pretty uncomfortable. I am absolutely sick of this piece of shit "spring" Milwaukee has been having. It is definitely negatively effecting my mood. I need 60s, no wind, and sunny. PLEASE. Yes, it was that nice yesterday but it was the very first day we've had anything close to that. Ugh. Despite the wind, I did walk to the bank though. The lunch I had at 1:30 was super huge and filling which kept me basically satisfied until dinner so that was nice too. The salad was also quite large, but by the time I was done Shredding and Wii Fitting, I was ready for my little chocolate rewards. :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

My run today!

I decided on my outdoor runs, I'd post about them here. The distance, time, and the workout songs that came up while I ran. I always hand select the first song but then my 90 song playlist shuffles.

Distance: 3.05 miles
Today's time: 39:37
Previous time: 41:54

What I ran to (in this order):
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Trace Adkins - Swing
The Who - It's In You
Traveling Wilburys - Wilbury Twist
Yellowcard - For You, And Your Denial
NSYNC - Space Cowboy
Dierks Bentley - How Am I Doin'
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass
NSYNC - Just Got Paid
Eminem - Just Lose It
Queen - Radio Gaga

Comments: I must run faster outside than I ever did on the treadmill, because with the 4.5 speed on the treadmill I ran 3 miles in 40 minutes flat. :) Not only that, but I took brief walking periods on this route (usually the steep hills, though I tried to jog up a couple of them; ouch) ... so I look forward to continually improving my time. I discovered that that OK Go song isn't a good running song for me. I thought it had a better beat than that. LOVE the Yellowcard song though and all the other ones that came up.

Day 47

Breakfast (261 cals)
Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble w/skim milk

Snack (108 cals)

Lunch (267 cals)

Snacks (208 cals)
Luna Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar
(1) Marshmallow Peep

Dinner (300 cals)
Amy's Burrito Especial

Dessert (100 cals)
Raspberry Hamatash

Total: 1,245 calories

Exercise (62 minutes)
3.05 mile run (40 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus (22 minutes)

Comments: I must run at a faster pace outside, because at my treadmill pace I ran 3 miles in 40 minutes flat, and I ran/walked 3.05 miles outside in less time. I only walk the really steep hills or for a very brief time. I'm definitely improving my time on this route, which is a good feeling. The scale hasn't moved since Monday (the last time I weighed), so I have to focus on other things to be happy about. Next Friday will be right in the middle of my time of the month, and the only thing to look forward to is the weight loss that will most likely come the week after that. I'm at 153.4, so close to the 140s, and I'm anxious to get there!! I haven't been in the 140s in years. Nutrition wise, kind of a bummer I didn't make my protein. That and I was almost over on carbs! Oops.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 46

Breakfast (222 cals)
Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble w/skim milk and topped with blueberries

Snack (109 cals)

Lunch (395 cals)
Salmon and cheese quesadilla
(2) Mini chocolate eggs
365 Organic Cheese Crackers

Snack (80 cals)
Granny Smith Apple

Dinner (340 cals)
(2) scrambled eggs topped with mozzarella cheese
Fruit salad (raspberries, kiwi)

Dessert (128 cals)
(1) Marshmallow Peep
Raspberry Hamatash

Total: 1,273 calories

Exercise (86 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus (16 minutes)
2.75 mile walk to and from campus (50 minutes)
Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 1 (20 minutes)

Comments: Had to go to my parents' house because they're out of town, so I not only brought my laundry with me, but I brought a tote full of food because I had to make my dinner over there. Not a big deal, however. Yesterday at Whole Foods I bought the organic cheese crackers - they're GOOD. I did not do so well in the afternoon hunger wise. I spent a lot of the time between lunch and the apple and the apple and dinner hungry. Oh well.

A random quiz for fun.


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I tear up a lot when I think about my grandpa. I don't know when the last time I cried though.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No. It's so plain. :(


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? No. Someday I hope.


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Definitely. And no that wasn't sarcastic!


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I'd skydive before I'd bungee jump. I know that doesn't make sense.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cascadian Farm Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Two pairs that I wear the most often don't have laces. :)

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Emotionally yes. I'm getting there physically!

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Nicollet Pothole from Sebastian Joe's. Too bad it's 5 hours away!


15. RED OR PINK? Pink


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Living? My brother. Deceased? My grandpa.

18. WHAT IS THE PAUL MCKENNA TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST? I have no idea what this is and I'm too lazy to google it.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'll be wearing my white Sketchers walking shoes today.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Breakfast- Kashi GoLean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble cereal with skim milk and topped with blueberries.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Real Milwaukee - the morning news show on Fox 6 I watch every morning!


23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Freshly cut grass, flowers, and my cat.


25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE? Mountain hideaway. Though in amazingly perfect SoCal, you can have both.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Football and basketball

27. HAIR COLOR? Brown

28. EYE COLOR? Brown

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, and if I had bad eyesight I'd wear glasses. No way I'd put contacts in my eye.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? That's a hard one. Changes all the time. Right now I'm really digging Granny Smith apples.



33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Not sure.. haven't gotten dressed yet. Right now I'm wearing a gray sweatshirt.



36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Something with fruit. Fruit > chocolate

37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO? I prefer cardio, but I do both of course.



40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't have one

42. FAVORITE SOUND? Paisley's purr and bird calls.


44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? I live in the Midwest and I've been to both coasts. I don't know, I'd say Miami, maybe. Or Orange County, California.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I don't think so.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Evanston (Chicago), IL

47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW? Wauwatosa (Milwaukee), WI

48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE? Orangeish tan



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 45

Breakfast (331 cals)
Kashi Go Lean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble Cereal w/skim milk
Hard-boiled egg

Snacks (Eaten one at a time in this order) (470 cals)
(2) Lundsberg Honey Nut Rice Cakes
Kangaroo Sea Salt Pita Chips
Granny Smith Apple
Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber Chocolate Brownie Bar

Dinner (342 cals)
Cottage Cheese topped with blueberries
Multigrain toast with buttery spread

Dessert (128 cals)
Raspberry Hamantash
(1) Marshmallow Peep

Total: 1,271 calories

Exercise (59 minutes)
2.75 mile run on the treadmill (38 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus Weekly Challenge (21 minutes)

Comments: I thought I didn't like fat free cottage cheese, so I got the low fat kind. Nope, realized I just don't like organic cottage cheese. Sorry, Whole Foods. I'm going to Pick N Save for my Kemps. I don't know if it was because my time of the month is arriving shortly, the fact that Bally's air was thick and about 90 degrees, or a mixture of both, but I ran horribly today. The second I walked in there I wanted to walk right back out. Since when is a gym supposed to have more humidity than Florida? I was soaking with sweat before I even STARTED running. That + the crappy machines they have makes me not too happy my parents switched gyms. Nothing I can do about it though. Bought a lot of produce at Whole Foods though, which made me happy. Plus I love their multigrain bread - 100 calories a slice (the rye was slightly better calorie wise) and tasty. I also love their BAKERY SECTION, especially because they have mini cookies that look delicious and a variety of other desserts. Definitely need to fit desserts in whenever possible! One minute away from getting an hour of fitness minutes in. Oh well, lol.

Article: Green Nutrition for the Planet

According to an article in Science Daily, “an estimated 19 percent of total energy used in the United States is taken up in the production and supply of food.” In the US alone, food consumption is projected to increase by as much as 20 percent by the year 2020. Here are some nourishing tips that will support your part in creating a greener, cleaner environment for future generations.

Eat Local
According to the USDA a food is considered local if the distance that it was grown or produced is within 400 miles of your home. By choosing foods locally grown you choose to support a sustainable, dynamic food system where farmers benefit by receiving a fair price for their goods, local communities thrive and consumers are provided with healthy food and a better future.

Read the rest of the article here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 44

Breakfast (330 cals)
(2) scrambled eggs
English Muffin Toasting Bread

Snacks (Eaten one at a time, in this order) (431 cals)
(15) Grapes
(2) Quaker Chocolate Crunch Rice Cakes
Granny Smith Apple
Sunflower Seeds

Dinner (350 cals)
Leftover vegetable quiche

Dessert (140 cals)
Lemon bar

Total: 1,251 calories

Exercise (42 minutes)
Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred Level 1 (20 minutes)
Wii Fit Weekly Challenge (22 minutes)

Comments: Today was tough in terms of hunger. I brought a lot of snacks with, but I don't know. I struggled. Having so many calories at night with the lemon bar and quiche makes the rest of the day difficult, especially when I'm just sitting on campus bored. It was just a blah bad mood kind of day. The 30 Day Shred went well tonight. I didn't take any breaks during the part of the cardio that I did on Sunday, but the strength training was slightly more challenging today (probably because of the stiff/soreness from doing it the first time). I hate the workout when I'm doing it, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IT STARTS WITH PUSHUPS AND I CAN'T DO THOSE, but I love how I feel afterwards!! I wanted to go right into my Wii exercises but the Wii Board's batteries were dead. And because there was a show I wanted to watch at 9, I had to do the Wii for 22 minutes at like 9:45. Not good, considering how early I have to get up on Wednesdays. But I improved in all areas of the weekly challenge, so that's good!

Article: 10 Tips for an All-Star Lunch

Breakfast may be called the most important meal of the day, but a nutritious lunch is just as crucial. "A proper lunch will help carry you through the afternoon and a late day run," says Cara Marrs, a sports dietitian in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Yet, too many women rely on nutritionally suspect options at cafeterias, restaurants and in vending machines for their midday food fix.

"Making poor choices at lunch can send your energy levels spiraling downward and increase mid-afternoon cravings," notes Marrs. Getting in the brown bag groove is almost always a better idea than relying on a grab-and-go lunch. Taking the time to make a healthy lunch can boost your intake of vital nutrients, improve portion control and save a surprising amount of money.

Power Up Your Lunch
A lunch worth packing has to satisfy hunger while giving you a tasty energy boost. Here are the 10 golden rules for creating a power-packed meal.

Lunch Rule #1: Eat Enough, But Not Too Much
If you've ever gone to a steakhouse for a business lunch, you're familiar with the fact that an afternoon calorie tsunami can leave you feeling lethargic for the rest of the day.

On the flip side, too few calories will leave your body depleted of the fuel it needs to remain alert, and your tank will be empty for your evening workout. "Active women should aim for 400 to 500 calories at lunch," advises Marrs. So while a burger and fries is too much, a measly garden salad won't cut it either.

Read the rest of the article here.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 43

Breakfast (263 cals)
Fresh Market Apples with Cinnamon Multigrain Oatmeal
Hard-boiled Egg

Snack (180 cals)
Luna Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar

Lunch (195 cals)
Granny Smith Apple
(15) Green Grapes
Hard-boiled Egg

Dinner (510 cals)
Mom's leftover Vegetable Quiche
English Muffin Bread w/buttery spread

Dessert (140 cals)
Lemon Bar

Total: 1,288 calories

Cardio (83 minutes)
Wii Fit Weekly Challenge (21 minutes)
3.05 mile walk/run (42 minutes)
More Wii Fit Plus (20 minutes)

Comments: Perfect temperature for running, plus it was a sunny day. Only complaint was the wind. And how hilly my neighborhood is. Both factors make for a difficult run, but I'm going to strive to get better at it. It seems like a million years before I can run that entire route, considering where I'm at now. Which makes me realize I won't be able to run the 5K on the 21st. I just won't make that kind of progress in this short amount of time (I don't think). I can only progress as fast as my body will allow. Any is better than none, but still. It is certainly challenging to come up with foods to fit in my calorie range with such a hefty dinner (the leftovers), but I managed to do it. It will be a lot more challenging tomorrow since I'm on campus from 10:30 until 6:30 and I won't be able to eat very many calories to stay below 1,300 and have a 650 calorie dinner. I'll be eating a lot of grapes tomorrow I suspect, lol.

Article: 8 Ultimate Superfoods

You sip a mug of green tea with breakfast every morning, snack on oranges and almonds at work, and eat a skinless chicken breast, brown rice, and steamed broccoli for dinner most nights. So, how do you fare nutritionally? Amazingly well—you're a model eater. But before you fire up the rice cooker again, know that your repertoire of tried-and-true foods may be compromising your health and your waistline. "Not eating a wide selection of foods deprives you of certain nutrients," says Molly Kimball, R.D., a nutritionist at the Ochsner Clinic's Elmwood Fitness Center in New Orleans.

And eventually you'll likely grow weary of your menu mainstays, which will make that order of chili-cheese fries even harder to resist. To cover all your nutritional bases—and invigorate your taste buds—swap some of your old favorites for these eight power foods. This new list of superfoods will have you feeling—and looking—better in no time.

Read the entire article here.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 42: Happy Easter! He is risen!

Breakfast (193 cals)
Fresh Market Apples with Cinnamon Multigrain Oatmeal

Snacks (Eaten one at a time in this order) (230 cals)
Hard-boiled egg
Cadbury Mini Creme Egg
Mini chocolate egg

Easter Meal (650 cals)
Vegetable Quiche
Toasted English Muffin Bread
Fruit Salad
Lemon Bar

Desserts (240 cals)
Another lemon bar
2 chocolate eggs
1 Cadbury Mini Creme Egg

Total: 1,224 calories

Cardio (97 minutes)
2.1 mile walk (45 minutes)
1.66 mile walk (32 minutes)
Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred Level 1 (20 minutes)

Comments: My mom got me all fitness things for Easter, which was nice. But I'm extremely depressed that after less than ten pounds, my fat ass body is "pleateauing". I got the 300 Under 300 cookbook from Hungry Girl, with lots of great recipes to try (I'm going to start with the "trios", or 3 ingredient meals and work my way up), a pedometer (which might not work; it was way off on the first walk but wasn't the second), a Camelbak water bottle, and Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred WITH the mat and weights. Tried level 1 tonight and I love it... despite how crazy hard it is.

Article: Metabolism and Weight Loss

Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy and expends calories. It involves a series of biochemical processes through which your body converts food into fuel for the cells in your body. So it stands to reason that if you speed up your metabolism, weight loss will be easier, right? The reality is not that simple.

The biggest factor in whether someone gains or loses weight is not metabolism. Your weight loss primarily hinges on your body's daily energy balance — how many calories you are taking in every day vs. how many you are expending.

"What determines whether you're gaining or losing weight is whether you're eating more calories than you're burning," says Michael Rosenbaum, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and clinical medicine at Columbia University Medical College in New York. "Burning more calories through exercise will allow you to eat more or lose more weight."

Exercise and diet boost your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate at which your body burns calories every day just through the process of staying alive. By boosting your metabolism, you increase the amount of calories you burn during rest or normal activity, which aids in your weight loss. Resting metabolic rate also plays a large role in keeping lost weight off. But ultimately exercise and diet are what determine how much you weigh.

Read the full article here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 6: How did I do?

GOALS MET (4/9):
Consume between 1200 and 1300 cals/day
Stay within 500-2,300mg of sodium/day
Log 1000 fitness minutes for the month of April (achieved 4/20; currently 1,357)
Run at least 3x/week (Sun, Wed, Fri)

Consume at least 50g of protein/day (Not Tues)
Drink at least 8 cups of water/day (Not Tues)
Go to the gym at least 3x/week (Sun and Wed)
Work out with Wii at least 3x/week (Mon and Sat)
Lose 1-2 pounds/week (Gained .04. Feels like shit.)


I did shitty. Absolutely shitty. I removed fiber as a goal, it's way too hard. But I added "run 3x/week" because I might not go to the gym 3x a week but I am going to run at least 3x a week but at least one of those days is going to be outside (weather permitting).

Day 41

Breakfast (193 cals)
Fresh Market Apples with Cinnamon Multigrain Oatmeal

Snack (180 cals)
Luna Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar

Lunch (417 cals)
Salmon and mozzarella sandwich on toasted rye
Frigo Cheese Heads Light Swirl String Cheese
(8) Grapes
Granny Smith Apple

Dinner @ Noodles & Company (460 cals)
(Small) Bangkok Curry
Side of flatbread

Total: 1,249 calories

Exercise (150 minutes)
Walk to and from Milwaukee County Zoo (3 miles)
Walk around Milwaukee County Zoo (3 miles)

Comments: The scale is continuing to go up and it is making me want to curl into the fetal position and cry. I am doing nothing wrong. In fact I'm busting my ass to lose weight and the scale just goes up nor do my clothes fit any better. It's incredibly aggravating and makes me realize that I'm probably destined to be 154 pounds and fat the rest of my life. My body is naturally plateauing at this weight, it's obvious, so it wants to be fat. It's an incredibly depressing thing, but it's beyond my control.

Thoughts from a wheelchair: the Special Education project that changed my life.

This is the blog I posted on my Sparkpage, and I wanted to share it with the rest of you. It needs no explanation, and most of you knew I was going to do this project anyway.

Ignored. Rejected. Small. Embarrassed. Helpless. Second class.

These are just a few of the emotions I felt as I did my project for my Special Education class. The assignment was to either A) observe a special ed classroom for a minimum of 10 hours and report on what you see or B) find a way to "be handicapped" for a day to see how you feel and how others treat you. I opted for B. I feel like doing project A may have been the easy way out. I wanted to put myself in the place of someone who is wheelchair bound to see the challenges they really faced.

I called up my church earlier this week and they gave me permission to borrow one of their wheelchairs for Thursday afternoon. My dad and I went to a mall in a neighboring town and I wheeled around the mall for a couple of hours.

I will say that my arms are still slightly bruised from pushing the chair for even two hours. My muscles aren't sore, but my lower arms definitely have bruises. My shoulders were sore, too.

The wheelchair wasn't hard to control, which I was slightly surprised about. I figured it would be so hard that I couldn't do it very well and my dad would have to push me. Within a few minutes I could wheel around and turn with enough ease to pass as someone who was actually wheelchair bound. The first thing I realized was how weird it felt to be so low - to be way beneath everyone else's line of sight. Not only that, but it was strange to not be able to see the top shelves in stores. That was part of the "helplessness" I felt.

Another thing I noticed right away is how practically everyone ignores you. Our society is very self centered - but when I went to Petsmart immediately after my project I noticed that I got way more eye contact when I was walking vs. being in the wheelchair. In fact, in the chair I got maybe a half dozen people to actually meet my gaze the entire afternoon. If anyone looked at me, it was from a distance, and when I wheeled up to them they did whatever they could to look anywhere but down at me. I thought I was overreacting, but my dad noticed it, too.

Maybe it was because my dad was with me, or at least near me, but hardly any store employees ever approached me to see if I needed help. Or even the typical "hi" that employees usually give anyone when they walk in. In two stores - The Buckle and the Disney Store - an employee said hi to my dad and I, asked how "we" were doing, but only looked at my dad. A young girl in Bath & Body Works did tell me that if I needed "an extra hand" to let her know and she'd be happy to help. But she was the only one.

While I was in that store, I was going to ask someone for help reaching something. But you know what? I was actually too embarrassed. Not because of the project. But because in my position, I felt embarrassed to ask for help reaching something. I felt embarrassed that I didn't have the means to reach it myself. And it got me thinking that I bet a lot of wheelchair bound people feel that same way. It made me so sad.

A lot of people whizzed right past me or right in front of me, making ME get out of THEIR way. Obviously it takes a lot more energy and precision to drive myself around someone than it is for them to simply step out of my way. But I had tons of different people of all ages cut me off in stores or in the main mall area. Like I didn't exist.

I went in the Sears department store and I'm not sure if there was an elevator. I'm sure there was an escalator so I'm sure there WAS one, but it wasn't obvious. There was only one elevator in the entire main mall area (but there were at least 4 different sets of escalators). It was so tiring to realize how far I'd have to go if I wanted to transfer floors. It's something you don't think about when you're just walking around a mall - an escalator is usually fairly close to where ever you are. Not so much with elevators.

Speaking of elevators, this mall's elevators were SO TINY that I could barely fit in it. It was really difficult to turn myself around so I was facing the doors again. It took me many rides in that elevator before I could do it without my dad helping me. There was only one handicapped accessible bathroom, and you had to go down the incredibly long hallway on the second floor, only to find out you had to take an elevator down to the first floor. Once I got down there, I did try to go to the bathroom in the wheelchair. Getting in the stall was easy, but it was a pain having to reach out and shut the door. I spun myself around tons of times and simply could not figure out how to get on the toilet from the chair. So I admit - I did give up. But I tried for a good 5 minutes. Once I was done, I wheeled out to the sink realizing it was almost impossible for me to reach. Handicapped accessible my foot.

Toward the beginning of my project, my dad went to the food court to get coffee. I waited off to the side. An older lady asked me if I was waiting in line. I said, "No, I'm just waiting for my dad." And she said, in a rather rude voice, "Well, it's HARD to tell!" Wow.

I didn't get any other rude comments, but the ignorance and the fact that basically everyone was ignoring me was worse than words. I got a total of two apologetic comments when people got in my way. Both of them were black women (just an interesting observation). One woman in Bath & Body Works waited while I wheeled in front of her, and I thanked her. I just felt to 99% of people there like I didn't exist. Or that I was below them (in more ways than one).

Going to Petsmart without the wheelchair afterwards made me realize just how rejected I felt IN the wheelchair. Everyone in the store was so nice to me, I got lots of smiles, etc. It was just eye opening. I was the same person in the chair as I was standing up, but I was treated so differently.

The next time I see someone in a wheelchair, I'll at least appreciate some of how they feel and how they're treated. I'll at least realize how challenging it is for them to do some things. I wonder if I was like the masses when I'd see someone in a wheelchair before. Obviously I would never ignore someone on purpose, but did I unintentionally?

I know one thing for sure. I'm going to smile at everyone in a wheelchair I see for the rest of my life.

I'm so glad I did this project.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 40

Breakfast (193 cals)
Fresh Market Apples with Cinnamon Multigrain Oatmeal

Snack (180 cals)
Luna Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar

Lunch (344 cals)
Fruit salad (banana, apple, grapes)
Kangaroo Sea Salt Pita Chips

Snack (180 cals)
Sunflower Seeds

Dinner (356 cals)
(2) Scrambled eggs with Sargento Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
Beefsteak Soft Rye toast with Roundy's Reduced Fat Peanut Spread

Total: 1,259 calories

Cardio (95 minutes)

3.05 mile walk/run around my neighborhood (45 minutes)
2.75 mile walk with parents around local mall (50 minutes)

Comments: Today was a horrendous day. Last night I was feeling really down, only to wake up and see that I gained weight this week despite my incredibly hard work (and it NOT BEING MY PERIOD). I went out and did my first attempt at running outside (which was just as damn hard as people said) and am glad I put fitness minutes in despite it not doing a bit of difference. I'm going to try the same route and walk/jog it tomorrow, too - if it's not storming. But the icky Wisconsin weather is certainly beyond my control.

Article: Carbs To Love

The low-carb craze that threatened to wipe bakeries off the map and force fruit farmers into bankruptcy is finally over. Once again we can sip smoothies and enjoy a plate of pasta without the fear of carb-loathers arguing in favor of bacon-wrapped, bun-less double cheeseburgers.

You weren't fooled, though. You've always known carbs are your muscles' best fuel and without enough, your 5k race would be more like a three-mile death march. But not all carbs are created equal. Some will give you a boost of energy while others can wipe you out. What's best? Read on to learn how to make carbs work for you.

Body's Best Fuel
Of the three major nutrients your body uses for energy--carbohydrates, fat and protein --carbs are the most easily accessible form of fuel. During digestion, carbs are broken down into glucose (the most basic sugar molecule), quickly absorbed into the bloodstream (protein and fat molecules take longer to convert to blood sugar) and picked up by your body's other cells to metabolize into energy. Glucose that isn't used immediately is turned into glycogen and stored in the muscles for the short-term, or converted to body fat for the longer-term.

Carbs are commonly categorized as "simple" or "complex". Made of a single sugar molecule or two linked together, simple carbohydrates include lactose (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and sucrose (table sugar). Complex carbohydrates such as starch and fiber in grains and other plants are long strings of sugar molecules.

Years ago, some people claimed simple carbs were bad and complex carbs were good. But in reality, it's far more complicated. Whether or not a carbohydrate food has much health value has more to do with the nutrients it contains and the amount of processing it has undergone, than with the length of its sugar chain.

Read the rest of the article here.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 39

Breakfast (308 cals)
Fresh Market Apples with Cinnamon Multigrain Oatmeal
(1/2) Thomas Everything Bagel Thin

Snacks (Eaten one at a time in this order) (329 cals)
Lundsberg Honey Nut Rice Cakes
Luna Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar

Dinner from Jimmy John's (385 cals)
#6 Vegetarian without mayo

Dessert (120 cals)
(2) Quaker Chocolate Crunch Rice Cakes

Total: 1,242 calories

Exercise (105 minutes)
Wheelchair project (arm workout)

Comments: For the "wheelchair project", I pushed myself around in a wheelchair for two hours (but did have brief periods where I wasn't actually moving, so I estimated an hour and 45 minutes of movement) to see people's reaction. It was for a class. Man, did I feel like my arms got buff! I also experienced a lot of other emotions, which I'll write about for my project. I loved that I could have TWO rice cakes AND my Jimmy John's sub for dinner when I got home. Tomorrow is a weigh-in day ... nervous and excited, as usual. I also have a "complimentary" 30 minute session with a personal trainer tomorrow. Don't really know what to expect there.

Article: 6 Cancer-Fighting Superfoods

Having trouble eating your five to nine servings of fruit and veggies a day? This may motivate you: certain foods can actually prevent cancer. If we all got our daily dose, there could be 200,000 fewer deaths from cancer every year. Fortunately, you aren't limited to a lifetime of broccoli. These six fruits and veggies offer just as much powerful protection for your breasts and the rest of your body—and they'll help fight diet boredom too.

Cancer Fighting Food #1: Artichokes
A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that artichokes had the highest antioxidant capacity of 40 vegetables and herbs tested. "Like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, artichokes are rich in flavonoids, which help slow the growth of breast and other types of cancer cells in lab studies," says Dong Moon Shin, M.D., a professor and Frances Kelly Blomeyer chair in cancer research at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta. Check out this amazing skinny stuffed artichoke recipe to help get your fill.

Mini Recipe
Tomato-braised artichokes
Boil four artichokes for 30 minutes; drain. In the same pot, brown two chopped celery stalks, one chopped onion, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 cup red wine, a 28-oz. can of chopped tomatoes, and four cloves minced garlic. Place artichokes in tomato mixture; spoon mixture over then. Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes or until artichokes are tender.

Read the rest of the list and article here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 38

Breakfast (315 cals)
Scrambled Eggs
Cascadian Farm Organic Fruitful O's

Snack (45 cals)


Lunch (273 cals)
Peanut Butter on Beefsteak Soft Rye

Snacks (Eaten one at a time, in this order) (290 cals)
Kashi Baked Apple Cereal Bar
Luna Protein Bar

Dinner (332 cals)
Lean Cuisine Fiesta Grilled Chicken
Hershey's Miniatures (1 piece)

Total: 1,254 calories

None today

Cardio (45:17)
3.35 miles; ran 3.25 without walking!

Other Exercise (15 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus

Comments: My mood overall was negative today. I hate how negativity makes me feel internally. It stemmed from a lot of things: I woke up feeling groggy. It's 33 and rainy outside - again. That cold weather has both depressed me and prevented me from taking long walks outside for an entire week. The lack of those walks makes me feel incredibly fat. I woke up feeling guilty because I didn't get my 8 cups of water in nor did I have the energy to do any Wii Fit before bed. I had a headache due to either grogginess or the weather. I was nervous about how my performance was going to be on the treadmill because of my lack of energy all day. Because the weather prevented me from taking that walk, I spent my 3 hour break in between classes bored and hungry. I have discovered that on my "bad" days, I end up having tons of energy and kicking ASS at the gym! I can't believe I ran at a steady 13:19/mi pace for 3.25 miles! My former streak had been 27 minutes and 2ish miles - this time I went 3.25 miles in 41 minutes and some change. Wow. I hope I can push myself that hard most days so I just improve the 3.14 time and get better and better. :) Maybe I will be ready for that 5K next month after all.

Recipe of the Day: Ginger Bran Muffins

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Servings: 6

Per Serving
136 calories
6 g total fat (1 g sat)
36 mg cholesterol
19 g carbohydrate
4 g protein
3 g fiber
258 mg sodium

3/4 cup bran cereal (not flakes)
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp raisins or other chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda

Pour boiling water over the bran cereal in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix and let stand 5 minutes. Add the oil, sugar, egg, buttermilk, grated ginger and raisins to the bran and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda. Stir into the bran mixture and mix well. The batter can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for about a week.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a muffin tin if you are making all 6 muffins or place a foil muffin cup in a custard cup if you are baking just one muffin. Don't stir the batter if it has been keeping in the refrigerator. Fill the muffin tin or muffin cups 2/3 full of batter. Bake the muffins for 12-14 minutes or until the top springs lightly back to the touch.

Article: Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

So-called superfoods are nutritional powerhouses that help build bones, prevent chronic diseases, improve your eyesight, and even keep your mind sharp. But did you know new evidence suggests these foods can also help you get—and stay—slim?

Read on for the top superfoods for weight loss, and how to pack them into your daily diet!

Read the article here.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 37

Breakfast (175 cals)
Cascadian Farm Fruitful O's

Snacks (eaten one at a time throughout the day, in this order) (669 calories)
Kashi Cereal Bar - Apple Spice
Peanut butter on rye
Hard-boiled egg

Dinner (415 cals)
Kemps 1% Cottage Cheese
Bagel Thin w/ butter
Quaker Chocolate Crunch Rice Cake

Total: 1,259

Comments: Had to give myself a rest day. I had a really long day on campus, the bus was an hour and a half late (and I was standing outside in the freezing cold not wearing enough layers that entire time), and by the time I got home and ate dinner it was 9:30. I get up at 7 on Wednesdays and I just didn't feel like doing the Wii Fit for 30 minutes. I feel like a slacker, but this is the first day of the month I haven't done anything. Tomorrow is a gym day, so I'll make sure I do whatever it takes to reach 120 fitness minutes tomorrow to make up for it.

Article: 4 Ways To Conquer Your Running Fears

Before the 2010 USA 20K Championships, Stephanie Rothstein was excited. And worried. After two years of sickness and injury, the 26-year-old from Flagstaff, Arizona, was concerned about her ability to maintain a fast pace.

So she did a workout of five progressively faster one-mile repeats starting at 5:30 pace to remind herself that she could be competitive. "When I ran the last mile of the workout in 5:07, I knew that if someone threw down a fast mile in the race, I'd be okay," says Rothstein, who finished second in 1:08:26.

"A lot of confidence is built by overcoming fears," says Peter Gilmore, a 2:12-marathoner and online coach ( "These sessions show that you're physically capable, so mentally you become more self-assured on race day." Typically, competitors use confidence-building workouts every week in the four to six weeks before an event, but you can also use them throughout your training to boost belief in your abilities.

When you head out to banish fears, pay attention to how you feel. If it's not your day, bag it. "A bad day just means you're human," says Stan Beecham, Psy.D., a sports psychologist who works with elite runners.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 36

Breakfast (175 cals)

Snack (110 cals)

Snack (109 cals)

Snack (180 cals)

Snack (170 cals)

Dinner (399 cals)

Total: 1,253 calories

Exercise (30 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus

Comments: Definitely injured my leg somehow. Probably one of the Hip Adduction/Abduction machines. Felt it on Friday and definitely yesterday when I was running. It has gotten better today, but I'm still resting it tomorrow until I can hopefully run Wednesday. It was easier to get my exercise in when I needed to rest my arm. :/ It was the first time using my insulated lunchbag w/ ice back and divided container on campus. I'm in love with both. My sandwiches fit perfectly in the one compartment and in the two dividers I put grapes and pita chips. Also fit two bars and a banana in the bag as well. That plus the new water purifier I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond on Thursday night was a great investment.

Article: Stay Loose: Stretches For Runners

When I read this article I recognized every one of these stretches: it was what we used to do at the start of Cross Country practice. But since I got back into running, I don't stretch before or after my runs. That is most likely why I pulled a muscle in my leg. As soon as it feels better, I am going to do these stretches before and after I run in hopes that it prevents further injury. I can't be pulling leg muscles too often when I'm desperately trying to ready myself for a 5K.

"There's an endless number of runners who seem perfectly able to squeeze in many hours of running every week but who just don't seem to have the time to stretch for five or ten minutes before and after. Find the time.

Sure, it's not as fun as hitting the road, and the benefits may not be as immediately obvious. But a good and consistent stretching program can save you a lot of trouble and keep you running when you might otherwise become injured. Along with training gently and choosing the right shoes, stretching is the most important thing you can do to protect your body from the rigors of the road. You'll also find that the benefits of stretching include reduced muscle soreness after running and even better athletic performance."

Read the entire article here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 35

Breakfast (315 cals)

Snack (180 cals)

Lunch (326 cals)

Snack (150 cals)

Dinner (280 cals)

Total: 1,252 calories

Cardio (43:46 minutes)
5K on treadmill

Comments: Happy I ran the 5K distance today. It's been awhile since I had the energy to do that ... stupid period. I'm encouraged that on Wednesday I'll have the energy to run that far as well. Look at my 100% visual aids for my meal tracking. Haha I won't do this every day probably, but it's a lot more visually appealing than my lists. Went to Whole Foods tonight for my produce - I will be shopping there almost exclusively now despite the price. It really is what I'm looking for in terms of natural/organic foods and amazing produce. But going there means I drive by the hospital my grandpa was in right before he died and about a block away from the Senior Living Community he lived in that I visited him in many many times. The lump in my throat probably won't ever go away when I drive in that neighborhood. :(

Article: How to Fuel for Weight Loss

As with any solid weight loss journey, fueling your body with healthy nutrient-rich foods is key. This isn't always an easy transition, however the good news is you will feel the difference through energy levels and mood even with the smallest of changes. I'm an advocate for easing into things as changing too much too soon, can lead to frustration, deprivation and sabotage. Here are a few simple tricks you can incorporate into your eating routine. Keep is simple and real and develop a recipe that makes sense for you and your family.

Downsize your plate sizes. It is a little well-known fact that the size of our serving wear has increased in the last three decades, and with it, so too have our portions. Choose a small plate for meals to avoid over-sized portions. Ladies, it's just like carrying a big purse. The more room you have, the more likely you are to stuff it! When dining out, split your meals with a friend or spouse, or ask for half of it in a to-go box before it is served.

Eat at the table. Avoid eating meals while driving, watching TV or even reading. You'll avoid overeating due to distraction, and break the bond between TV and food.

Spice it up and slow it down. Adding a little spice to your foods raises your metabolism and can slow down the pace of eating. Focus on your food and learn to slow the pace of eating by chewing more slowly and thoroughly, and putting down your silverware after each bite. The more slowly you eat, the more time your body has to realize it is satisfied and full. Plus, thoroughly chewed food digests more quickly in your stomach.

Fill up with fiber. Include foods that are high in fiber to fill you up and stabilize blood sugar levels. This will help you to avoid cravings.

Be timely. Plan your meals for the day and assure you have something to eat as you progress. Doing so will increase your energy, help you avoid missed meals, and prevent binging later in the day. Pack up your meals and have healthy snacks by your side at all times.

Eat in, rather than out. Cooking at home gives you complete control of the quality of food, fat content and portion sizes. Not to mention it is much less expensive. Treat yourself to a dinner out every once in a while, but keep cooking at the home front.

Support your local farmers market. Look for your local farmer's market for fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. It's a great way to support your community and assure the quality and safety of your produce.

Eat foods and drinks with a short list of ingredients. Highly processed foods are quick and easy to prepare, but lack in the nutrient department and can lead to hypertension due to high sodium levels. Keep it real and reach for--or prepare--foods that are in essence "natural" and that have a list of five ingredients or less. Being mindful of what goes in your body is a great way to feeling better within a matter of days.


Recipe of the Day: Quesadilla Yee-Ha!

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Per recipe
Calories: 308
Fat: 4g
Sodium: 1,290mg
Carbs: 33g
Fiber: 11.5g
Sugars: 9g
Protein: 42g

For Quesadilla:
1 La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Low-Carb/Low-Fat Tortilla (sometimes labeled Smart & Delicious Low Carb High Fiber), Original/Soft Taco size (NOT Large)
1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

For Salad:
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 oz. cooked boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. canned sweet corn kernels, drained
1 tbsp. canned black beans, rinsed
1 tsp. fajita seasoning mix, dry
Optional: fresh cilantro

For Dressing:
3 tbsp. fat-free balsamic vinaigrette
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)

Begin by mixing together the fajita seasoning mix and 2 tsp. water. Toss the chicken in this mixture, and set aside. To make the quesadilla, place tortilla in a pan sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Sprinkle cheese evenly over one half of the tortilla, and then bring the pan to medium heat. Once cheese begins to melt, use a spatula to fold the plain half of the tortilla over the cheese-topped half, and then press down with the spatula to seal. Flip quesadilla and continue to cook and press until the entire quesadilla is hot and toasty. Set aside. Build your salad by layering the lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and black beans. Top with the chicken (heating it first, if you like). Cut the quesadilla into triangles, and place them around your salad. Then combine all of the dressing ingredients with 1 tsp. water, mix well, and serve on the side. If you like, garnish salad with cilantro.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Week 5: How did I do?

GOALS MET (6/9):
Go to the gym at least 3x/week (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday)
Lose 1-2 pounds/week (Lost 3.6 this week!!)
Work out with Wii at least 3x/week (Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
Consume at least 50g of protein/day
Consume between 1200 and 1300 cals/day
Stay within 500-2,300mg of sodium/day

Drink at least 8 cups of water/day (Only drank 7 on Sunday)
Consume at least 25g of fiber/day (Only Wednesday and Thursday)

Log 1000 fitness minutes for the month of April (logged 903 already this month)

Day 34

Breakfast (273 cals)
Cascadian Farm Organic Fruitful O's with skim milk

Lunch (362 cals)
Kemps 1% Lowfat Cottage Cheese
Red grapes
Golden Delicious Apple
Kangaroo Sea Salt Pita Chips

Snack (180 cals)

Dinner (406 cals)

Dessert (42 cals)
Hershey's Miniatures (1 piece)

Total: 1,263 calories

Cardio (93 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus (2 22 min. yoga/strength routines plus 49 minutes of games)

Comments: Loved seeing 154.0 on the scale this morning - that's 10.4 pounds lost in one month! I definitely worked a lot harder the past two weeks, and it shows. I'm actually proud of myself. If I lose ten more pounds by mid-May, I'll be at 144! I haven't been in the 140s in God knows how long. I actually don't think I've been in the 150s in quite some time. The overall progress is slow, but I'm doing it the right way. I have to remind myself of that. It took many years to get this out of shape and overweight, and it the weight won't come off overnight. Over a month into this process and I still find myself having to remind myself of that.

Me at 154 lbs.

You really can't notice a difference yet, but I can feel it. My muscles are getting quite defined in my legs, and my upper thighs are definitely tighter/thinner. There is barely any rubbing between my upper thighs in this picture compared to the first one. My upper thighs/hip region seems slightly slimmer too.

Where the progress has been a little too slow for my taste is my running. I was making amazing progress, and then I got my period which took me out of commission for about a week. Now I feel like I'm starting over again. I really want to build my endurance faster than the speed I'm going. So that's slightly frustrating.

It's only a month's progress, but I lost 10.4 pounds in this first month. If I exercise every day and continue to eat within my calorie range, I hope I lose 9-10 pounds every month. That way by the fall, I'll be at my goal weight, or close to it.

Recipe of the Day: Chinese Chicken Salad Wrap

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Per Recipe
286 calories
5.5g fat
986mg sodium
45g carbs
8g fiber
14g sugars
22g protein

1 high-fiber flatbread (or medium-large tortilla) with 110 calories or less (like Flatout Light)
1/2 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
2 oz. cooked and chopped skinless lean chicken breast
1/4 cup canned sliced water chestnuts, drained and cut into thin strips
1/4 cup mandarin orange segments packed in juice, drained and chopped
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
2 1/2 tbsp. Newman's Own Lighten Up! Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing (or another low-fat sesame ginger dressing)

Place flatbread (or tortilla) on a microwave-safe plate and microwave until just warm, about 10 seconds. Lay flatbread in front of you with the longer sides on the left and right. Spread mayo along the bottom third of the flatbread and evenly layer that section with lettuce, chicken, water chestnuts, orange segments, and scallions. Drizzle with dressing. Carefully and tightly roll up the flatbread over the filling from bottom to top. Secure with toothpicks, if needed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 33

Breakfast (177 cals)
Cascadian Farm Organic Fruitful O's with skim milk

Snack (180 cals)
Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick Protein Bar

Lunch (335 cals)
Cottage cheese
Red grapes
Kangaroo Sea Salt Pita Chips

Snack (81 cals)
Golden Delicious Apple

Dinner (398 cals)
Scrambled Eggs
Rye toast with peanut butter

Dessert/Snack (84 cals)
Hershey's Miniatures (2 pieces)

Total: 1,255 calories

Aerobic (15 minutes)

Hip Adduction and Hip Abduction, Bicep Curl, Crunch, and Leg Extension Machines

Cardio (81 minutes)

2.58 miles on treadmill (35 minutes)
Wii Fit Plus (46 minutes)

Comments: Went to my parents' new gym, Ballys, today. I have mixed feelings about it. The Y's machines are way better, but Ballys' treadmills don't automatically turn off at 30 minutes like the Y's do. So I assume it's a wash in that regard. If we end up staying there (long story), I do have a complimentary 30 minute session with a personal trainer next Friday. That should be interesting. Especially when he guessed my weight to be 125-130. 25-30 pounds lighter than I am! (And one of my goal weights.) When I started at 164.4 and I asked my mom what she thought I weighed, she guessed 20 pounds less than I was. I guess it's nice that I LOOK a lot thinner than I am... I don't believe it though lol. It was my first time having the pita chips, and they're delightful. A serving size is only 11 chips though, and they aren't very nutritious (110 calories per serving), but it's nice to having something a little salty with cottage cheese and fruit.

Recipe of the Day: Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Servings: 6

Per Serving
Calories: 214.5
Total Fat: 6.0 g
Cholesterol: 50.8 mg
Sodium: 544.2 mg
Total Carbs: 19.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 20.9 g

1/4 + 1/8 cup honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 pork loin chops, boneless, trimmed of excess fat, 4 oz each

In a shallow dish, whisk together honey, soy sauce and garlic. Coat chops in mixture. Reserve left over honey mixture for basting. Place chops on greased grill over med high heat, close lid and cook. basting 2 times.

Article: Foods That Decrease Your PMS Symptoms

PMS is never fun. Between the bloating, the cramping, the cravings and the mood swings, it's not exactly the best week of the month for any girl. While a pain reliever can be good for stopping cramps and avoiding caffeine and sugar can help reduce the severity of your PMS (or worse PMDD!) symptoms, did you know that there are actually foods you can eat to help with this dreaded time of the month? They may not entirely take PMS out of your vocabulary, but recent studies show they're definitely worth trying!

Foods that are Good for Fighting PMS

1. Fat is your friend. A recent study in the journal Reproductive Health found that women given a pill containing a mix of essential fatty acids significantly reduced their PMS symptoms. Another study published in Nutrition Research in 2000 found that women who supplemented their diet with omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils also found relief. Bottom line? Don't be shy of healthy fats (avocados, salmon, nuts, olive oil) and consider supplementing with fish oil.

2. B It Up. A diet rich in B vitamins—think meat, beans, spinach, fortified cereal and whole grains—can also help. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate these foods had about a quarter risk lower of PMS than those who did not. Word to the wise: Supplementation of B vitamins didn't make much of a difference in symptoms, so it's just another reason to eat a healthy diet!

3. The calcium and vitamin D connection. Vitamin D seems to be good for everything these days, including PMS. A 2005 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D may lower the risk of developing PMS in the first place. To get the benefit, researchers recommend getting four servings of skim or low-fat milk, fortified orange juice or low-fat dairy foods such as yogurt each day, which adds up to about 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 International Units of vitamin D a day.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 32

Breakfast (231 cals)
Cascadian Farm Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Granola with Skim Milk

Snack (221 cals)
Golden Delicious Apple
Lundsberg Honey Nut Rice Cakes

Lunch (263 cals)
Kemps 1% Lowfat Cottage Cheese
Red grapes
Baby carrots and Athenos Hummus

Snack (180 cals)
Sunflower Seeds

Dinner (300 cals)
Scrambled Eggs
Rye toast with Roundy's Reduced Fat Peanut Spread

Dessert (60 cals)
Jello Mousse Temptations Caramel Breme

Total: 1,255 calories

None today

Cardio (39 minutes)
2.06 mile walk around hilly neighborhood with dad

Comments: Hunger was under control today. Loved the caramel creme Jello Temptation. It was windy and 40 on that walk... brrr! Weigh in and first time to the new gym tomorrow. Had a pretty late dinner so I'm going to bed full for the first time in a long time!

Recipe of the Day: Apple Crisp

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Servings: 9

Per Serving
Calories: 131.5
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 33.9 mg
Total Carbs: 24.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 1.5 g

3 medium baking apples, cored, sliced thin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp flour

1 cup quick oats
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp heart-healthy margarine

Mix first four ingredients and place into 9-inch (square or round) baking dish. In small bowl, mix Topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the apples. Bake at 325 degrees until apples are soft and topping is golden brown (about 30 minutes).

Article: Get Fit Without Leaving the House

Imagine a gym you can commute to in seconds. It’s open 24-hours, so you can come and go as you please—on your time. It’s comfortable, and you feel completely at ease when you work out there. Oh, and membership is free. You may be daydreaming, but the perfect gym is a dream that can come true…in your own home.

There is no reason that you can’t make a home gym part of your reality. A home gym adds convenience and privacy to your workouts. When you exercise at home, you save time, money, and the rush hour headaches (on the road and in line for the elliptical). Although you might be cautious due to budget and space limitations in your house, building a home gym isn’t as impractical as you might think. After all, gym memberships can occupy a large portion of your budget at several hundred dollars per year.

Read the full article here.

via SparkPeople

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 31

Breakfast (205 cals)
Thomas Everything Bagel Thin
Roundy's Reduced Fat Peanut Spread

Snack (140 cals)
Lundsberg Honey Nut Rice Cakes

Snack (70)
Hard-boiled egg

Snack (180 cals)
Sunflower Seeds

Snack (180 cals)
Luna Chocolate Dipped Coconut Bar

Snack (180 cals)
Luna Smores Bar

Dinner (311 cals)
Kemps 1% Lowfat Cottage Cheese
Scrambled Eggs

Total: 1,272 calories

Aerobic (15 minutes)
Upper and inner thigh machines, rowing machine, shoulder machine and arm machine

Cardio (87 minutes)
2.27 mile brisk walk in campus neighborhood (46 minutes)
2.66 mile walk/run on treadmill (37 minutes)
1/2 mile cooldown on a bike (4 minutes)

Comments: Today started out kind of rough. My class ended at 10:45 and by 11:15 all I could think about was food. In my defense, I was in the union surrounded by junk food I used to eat daily. On top of that, in the main concourse they were giving away free ice cream sundaes. Sigh. So instead of sitting there and torturing myself, I went on, mapped a route that was 2.27 miles, and went for a walk around the neighborhood. As I said, it took me 46 minutes. I still had a lot of time to kill, but I felt good that I went out and exercised. Then of course I went to the gym. Eh. I feel like my time of the month either isn't completely gone yet or set me a couple steps back in terms of my running progress. I managed 2.66 miles, but I ran/walked in intervals, and I can't even run a mile straight anymore. Sigh. Really hoping I get my energy back soon ... I was working so hard. :(

Recipe of the Day: Cocoa Meringue Shells

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Servings: 24

Per Serving
Calories: 55.0
Total Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 28.1 mg
Total Carbs: 12.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g
Protein: 3.0 g

12 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c dark cocoa powder (This does make them very richly cocoa flavored. If you prefer a lighter cocoa taste, reduce the cocoa to 1/3 c.)
1 piping bag
1 star tip

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Wipe out a mixing bowl and beaters with vinegar to ensure there is no grease on them. Place the egg whites in the cleaned bowl, beat at high speed until stiff. This process with take almost 8 minutes. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add the sugar. Remove the beaters and fold in the cocoa powder using a rubber spatula. Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe circles onto the lined trays. Pipe one 8 inch circle, then outline the outer top of the circle to create a basket effect. Bake in the middle and lower section of the oven for one hour. Turn off oven, and DO NOT open the door. Allow the meringues to sit in the warmed oven for an additional hour. Remove from oven to cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Article: What to Eat This Spring

In the US, we enjoy practically unlimited access to any food any time of the year. Although it's nice to have watermelon in February and asparagus in August, many people don't even know that foods have a season, let alone what foods are in season at any given time of year.

But in the food world, local is the new exotic. Farmer’s markets are popping up in every neighborhood as consumers are realizing the benefits of eating food that was grown within miles of their mouths. Local food boasts a host of benefits, including better flavor, higher nutritional value, and less environmental burden. It's healthier for you because you get the higher nutrient levels from just-picked produce. It's healthier for the environment because local food uses less fossil fuel for transport. It tastes better because it really is fresh (not shipped-from-across-the-country-yet-still-bearing-a-label-that-says-fresh). And it’s also interesting, as each season brings a new crop of foods that you haven't had for an entire year. Before you've had a chance to tire of its bounty, the season changes to bring new, flavorful foods.

If you want to eat healthy, home-cooked meals without all the fuss, try a seasonal pantry makeover! To do it, stock up on locally-grown foods—a fun trip to your local farmer's market will yield the majority of the ingredients you need—and simply create meals based on what's in season in your region.

Read the full article here.

via SparkPeople

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 30

Today is my one month anniversary of my lifestyle change. Yay me! No turning back now!

Breakfast (249 cals)
Scrambled Eggs

Snack (70 cals)
Hard-boiled egg

Lunch (320 cals)
Peanut butter on rye

Snack (160 cals)
David Roasted & Salted Pumpkin Seeds

Snack (120 cals)
Quaker Chocolate Crunch Rice Cakes

Dinner (295 cals)
Kemps 1% Lowfat Cottage Cheese
Canned pears

Snack (70 cals)
Lundsberg Honey Nut Rice Cake

Total: 1,284 calories

Aerobic (15 minutes)
3 sets of 8 push-ups
3 sets of 13 Standing Adductions
3 sets of 8 crunches

Cardio (34:45 minutes)
1.75 mile walk around neighborhood with dad

Comments: Went home early from campus today; wasn't feeling good. I assume it is a combination of two things: one, the severe allergies and/or sinuses that I get every spring (I've never figured out if it's allergies or sinuses) and two, my body still adjusting to my active lifestyle and healthy eating and the possible lack of nutrients. So I'm going to get sinus/allergy medicine as well as multivitamins. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow, it's a gym day!

Recipe of the Day: Sesame Chicken

Disclaimer: These recipes are not my creation! They come from various places. I just wanted to save them for my personal collection, and share them here.

Servings: 4

Per Serving
Calories: 287.2
Total Fat: 16.0 g
Cholesterol: 65.7 mg
Sodium: 751.3 mg
Total Carbs: 7.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 28.6 g

1 pound (16 ounces) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks.
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp rapadura, which is also known as whole cane sugar (or use sucanat or brown sugar)
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup white, untoasted sesame seeds
liberal pinches of black pepper, ground ginger and ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.

Add chicken, mix together well so the chicken is thoroughly coated in the marinade, cover and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours or so.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange chicken on a cookie sheet, and pour liquid on top of it.

Bake in oven for 5 minutes, flip chicken pieces with a spatula, and bake for another 5 minutes, or until done.

Serve with brown rice (not included in the Nutritional Info, because everybody likes different amounts of rice, or some might even not want rice at all.)

Makes 4 4-oz servings.