Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's Have a Little Chat

Hello there! Long time no blog right? Sorry I've been a little MIA for almost two weeks!

I've been a little depressed and because of that I didn't want to do anything. I won't go into my sob story so I'll just let you all know I've bounced back and jumping back into the groove, which includes the gym. Yes yes, that means I haven't gone to the gym for this last week. Go ahead, glare at me, I've been doing that in the mirror everyday this last week trying to guilt myself into going to the gym; obviously it didn't work.

Yesterday was my first day back at the gym after being gone for over a week and boy am I feeling it today. My mom and I started on the second week of C25K since we agreed to just skip trying to do it last week. This week's workouts are 1.5 minute run, 1 minute walk for 20 minutes. Simple enough right? Not when you've been lazing around and eating food like burgers and Oreos for a week. I'm definitely feeling the ache in my hips and legs today, but I'm in a much better mood because of it. I'm going to try to increase the incline each workout so it gets a little harder everytime; I'm not one for easy workouts.

In all honesty, as much as I jest about kicking myself for not going to the gym, I know my limits. I could barely work up the energy to get out of bed nevermind hauling my butt over to the gym to challenge myself. So just remember, sometimes you need a break and you shouldn't feel horrible for wanting to relax every once in a while.

I'm glad to be back and I'll be posting a monthly update in the next few days. Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti

I promised I'd post about this wonderful biscotti and here it is!

Chocolate Cherry-Almond Biscotti
by Ellie Krieger from The Food You Crave

Makes 12 cookies--serving size: 1 cookie

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, finely chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, oil, orange zest, and vanilla until well combined. In batches, add the flour mixture until the mixture forms a dough. Stir in the cherries, almonds, and chocolate.
    Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead several times. Shape into a log about 10 inches long and 3 inches wide. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
    With a serrated knife, cut the log across at a diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange on the baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the cookies over and bake until golden, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Keep the biscotti stored at room temperature in an airtight container, where they will keep for about a week.

Per serving:
Calories: 228
Total fat: 10g
    Mono: 6g
    Poly: 1g
    Sat: 2g
Protein: 5g
Carb: 31g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 35mg
Sodium: 178mg

Ta Da!

How were they?
They were absolutely delcious. Seriously, try making them. Biscotti sounds intimidating, but I promise it's super easy to make!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Halfway Check-In

Happy Monday everyone!

I figure it's about halfway through the month and I'd update everyone on how I'm doing with my goals.

  • Go to the gym 5 times a week, go to every Zumba class, (hopefully) get in touch with a trainer, and try kickboxing at my gym. I've been a little so-so on this one. I've tried to go to every Zumba class, but my teacher hasn't been there and we've had substitutes, but we don't mesh well. Unfortunately I found out my regular instructor was in a car crash so she won't be back for awhile so I'll just have to suck it up and deal with a different instructor. I still haven't heard from a trainer which isn't my fault so I get a pass! And kickboxing is a no-go for now, but I'll still try and make it to one!
  • Run a mile every morning before work. Ha! Not happening! I try and go every Saturday and Sunday, but the mornings just aren't working for me. I don't sleep well so getting up a whole hour earlier doesn't improve my mood. Since I'm now training for the Wharf to Wharf I'm going to change this to running a mile every evening after work instead.
  • Eat healthier. I've done pretty well with this except for the few times I've shoveled ice cream down my throat, but hey, it's an indulgence. I haven't eaten meat more than once a week and I'm trying really really hard to cut back on my sugary treat intake, but old habits die hard. To help myself out I baked chocolate cherry almond biscotti so I can get a sugar fix without overdoing it. I'll post about these babies later.
  • Blog more.  I've been doing my damndest on this one and I know I've blogged more than I used to so I'm still going strong on this one!
  • Put myself first. Hard and not succeeding very well. I'll keep working on it
  • Train for the Wharf to Wharf. This one I started yesterday! I'll write more about this in a bit.
So I'm not exactly perfect on my goals, but I'm getting there. These are some pretty major goals and require me to rearrange my life and way of thinking so it's a slower process than usual, but I'm in no way giving up on any of them! New year new me!

What I'm most excited to write about is my first day of training for the Wharf to Wharf. This week with my C25K training we have a really easy workout (at least for me it is). For 20 minutes you alternate between jogging 1 minute and walking 1.5 minutes. Simple and easy for the new runners, nice and relaxing for us more athletic types. My mom started the training too and I'm so very proud of her for finishing the workout strong with me. She's not a runner at all so to start this and finish is a big accomplishment. We've got this workout 2 more times this week and then we bring the workouts up another step. And April 1st we get to register for our big race! Whoo!

This weekend I didn't do a lot of prep for my food ahead since most of the food didn't require intensive prep. I made pita chips and pesto pasta salad, but I did make chocolate cherry almond biscotti. I forgot to take a picture of them, but I'll post about them this week with the recipe so you can try these delicious cookies!

I hope you all had a great weekend and have some fun plans for this upcoming week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A New Goal

When I wrote my resolutions a couple posts back I completely forgot one of my major goals this year. I'm (attempting) to run the Wharf to Wharf race! 6 miles of hilly terrain, my body feels exhausted just thinking about it. Years ago when I was a cheerleader we handed out water to the runners and I thought to myself "why the hell would anyone run 6 miles?" and now I'm one of those crazies signing up for it. A couple years back my mom and I signed up for it and walked because there was no way in hell you were getting me to run 6 miles in my first ever race. It was fun to walk the race, but my competitive self kept seeing people running by me and the whole time I thought "next time that'll be me." So here I am, a few years later, training for my first ever race (we'll call my walking a test run yes?)

Now going from not running a whole lot to 6 miles is pretty insane and I definitely don't intend to run all 6, but I want to run at least half. I've heard a lot of buzz about this program called C25K which is short for Couch to 5K. In case nobody wants to do the conversion 5K is 3 miles, exactly half of my race. Anyway, C25K gets you going from practically no running at all to 3 miles within 2 months. Every week you do 3 workouts that gradually get harder and harder until you eventually can run 3 miles, no guarantees you'll go fast, that'll come later. I've heard a lot of people say how well it worked for them so I figure, why not give it a shot? Starting Sunday I'm starting the C25K with my mom and let's just hope I survive this!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone!
Hope you all had an amazing weekend. Mine felt like it went on forever even though it was only 2 days. Love that!

I went out Friday night with my best friend for dinner and pottery painting which was relaxing yet very fun. We went to Betty's Burgers downtown which doesn't necessairly follow my healthy eating guidlines, but it was one night yes? I was too busy chowing down my veggie burger with bacon and cheese (had to compromise somewhere!) to get a picture of it, but trust me, it was delicious!

Saturday I spent the day exercising and prepping food; perfect day in my mind. I went for a nice, long walk in the sun and hauled my mom to Zumba with me. Unfortunately our teacher wasn't there so we had a different Zumba teacher which meant all of her students showed up. I felt like a sardine packed in a can and didn't feel quite so happy dancing around with people about a foot from me all around.
I also spent a good while chopping up and steaming butternut squash for my homemade mac and cheese for the next day. Squash in mac and cheese? What? Yup that's what I said!
My biggest challenge for the day was making whole wheat pancakes and getting my stepdad to eat them. If there is anything remotely healthy about it, he won't eat it so Saturday morning was fun trying to convince him to try my whole wheat pancakes. After a lot of persuasion I got him to try them and alas he actually liked them! Whoo points for Brittany!

My delicious homemade pancakes.

On Sunday my mom and I went to the gym and got a good amount of cardio and weight training in. I mean the kind where your arms are sore the next day because you actually did something. It feels wonderful (I sound like a nut right?) I'll post more about the workout after I brag about the delicious food I made.

After my workouts I'm usually really hungry so instead of snacking on something I make myself a Green Monster. Mine are made of spinach (don't turn your nose up yet!), bananas, vanilla protein powder, and milk. I promise you these suckers don't taste like spinach! They're actually very sweet and taste like bananas so don't knock it til you try it! If you decide to make one for yourself, freeze the bananas; it makes it insanely smooth and cold. Promise you'll try one?

I also prepped my week's snack which is walnut and dried cherry bars. So absolutely delicious and very hard to only eat one they're so freaking good. I held myself off to two (gotta test them twice right?). The walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 and the dried cherries add a burst of sweetness without adding a bunch of processed sugars. If you'd like the recipe you can find it here.

For dinner I made homemade mac and cheese. Before you get all up in arms about making homemade mac and cheese while eating healthy, what if I told you one huge serving of this was only 390 calories? Yeah that's right, 390! How is that possible? Well, instead of using mounds and mounds of cheese to give it all that creaminess, you substitute some of the cheese for butternut squash. I promise it's still cheesy and still delicious, but I'm sneaking it veggies whenever I can. I also got my stepdad to eat this and like it! I'm on a roll this weekend! If you're thinking that you won't get a small portion size to keep your calories down, look at that picture. That's ONE serving. No excuses when it comes to healthy eating. So try it and you won't regret it. Recipe is found here.

Workout: (little side note: # means pounds)
5 miles total (1 walking, 3 on the bike, 1 on elliptical)
Leg extensions: 2x10 with 55#    Leg curls: 2x10 w/ 55#
Bicep curls: 2x10 w/ 25#
Tricep extensions: 2x10 w/ 25#
Shoulder press: 2x10 w/ 20#
Pec flys: 2x10 w/ 20#

No wonder my shoulders are sore! But I feel great exercising and eating healthy all weekend!

Have an amazing week!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year's Everyone!!
2012 is finally here and I couldn't be more excited for a new year and a fresh start. My last post was all about my resolutions and what I plan to change this new year and I'm already making the changes needed to do so. For example, eating healthier and doing my mile run/walk, though the less sugar one got overlooked New Year's Eve night. It was still 2011 so it didn't count right?

Anyway on to my celebration! I spent the night watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and Burlesque with my mom while drinking pink champagne and eating pink cupcakes. Girly enough right? I had a blast spending time with my mom and best friend and I wouldn't want to start the new year any other way. Also let's ignore the fact that I had three a few cupcakes, but again, it was still 2011!

The next morning I set out to follow my new lifestyle change so I prepped my delicious healthy snacks, breakfast, and lunch food so it will be super easy to put food together in the mornings. Smart yes?
I made apple-pecan muffins for breakfasts and pita chips with sea salt for a crunchy snack.

I also prepped all of my veggies (red bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots) for my hummus pita sandwiches for lunch (I'll post about that later) and made my homemade granola for breakfast.
Who doesn't want to eat healthy with all those delicious fresh veggies!

I also went for my mile walk (gotta work up to that run) and got lost went for an adventure. I thought this path went back to my house, but apparently it just goes along this cliff that circled me all the way back to where I had started. Fortunately I had an amazing view the whole time and didn't mind the extra time added on. It was nice and warm out and just beautiful. Who wouldn't want to go for a mile walk/run when this is your view?

At the end of each month I'll post about how well I'm keeping up with my lifestyle change and if I fall behind, feel free to beat me over the head and get me back on track.

Hope you all had a great and safe New Year's!