Monday, August 31, 2009

No More Excuses

Ok- now is FOCUS time. I am halfway through bootcamp, starting Week 7 and I know that I need to really step up and finish out camp strong if I want to meet my goals.
My birthday (week) is officially over now and I'm ready to work out really hard this week & clean up my eating and drinking. Because the thing I've realized- it is depressing to be off the wagon. Yes it's fun to enjoy a few days of not writing down everything I'm putting in my mouth & enjoying some great food, but it's really an even better feeling to step on the scale and see the number go down or to have your clothes feel loose.
So- my goal for the week is to stay under 1400 calories every single day (no excuses) and go to bootcamp 4x (instead of the usual 3). And now that it's in writing- I am accountable and I will let you all know next Monday if I meet my goal.
My trainer at Boot Camp talks a lot about "bad habits" and how important it is for you to break out of those patterns- for example if you always snack while you're making dinner becuase you're starving, or skipping breakfast, or eating in the car... I think my "bad habit" is making excuses for fun events in my life. It's almost like I think I can't enjoy an event (wedding, party, dinner out) without being able to eat & drink whatever I want. That's the mindset I need to break out of. Rather than aviod fun events I need to plan ahead and have a strategy to help me remind myself WHY events or occasions are fun (hint.. it's about the people & the activity, not the refreshments).
Tonight Chris is BBQing chicken- so we should be able to make some great salads & dinners this week. I'm also headed to Trader Joes after work so I should have some fun food & snack ideas to share tomorrow. Have a great one!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Birthday Week is Totally a Valid Excuse :)

Yikes... I've gone all week without a blog! Well it has been my Birthday Week, so I'm going to use that as my excuse. I've got a few updates & a great low-cal snack reccomendation.
1. I had a no-calorie counting bday dinner last night. It was the BEST thing ever. Chris took me to Tractor Room where they are known for gigantic portions and food that I can best describe as upscale home cooking. We started with a cheese plate- that had great cheese, bread, honeycomb (random but incredible) oh it was so good with a nice glass of wine. Then we shared a bibb salad with BACON & BLUE CHEESE in it with a great roasted tomato vinagarette. Oh and it came with an entire skillet of fresh baked corn bread with honey glazed top and butter. I only had a few bites but it was to die for. For our entree we split a filet which even splitting we weren't able to finish! Red meat was pretty much the best thing ever- I had really been having cravings. As a side dish we ordered "Acorn Squash with Bacon Maple Butter" which we both agreed was probably the BEST thing either of us had ever eaten in our lives. No exaggeration! And of course the night was topped off by what our server told us was an extra large piece of dark chocolate cheesecake (just what I needed obviously!). Sharing everything was a great call and I think I satisfied a lot of cravings- so now back to healthy eating! A bday only comes once a year :)
2. Yesterday was my 6 week fitness assessment at Boot Camp & I had some great results! I cut 21 seconds off my mile time, from 8:41 to 8:20, doubled the amount of (boy) pushups I could do from 6 to 12, my wall sit time went from 1:17 to 3:04 minutes! I improved in all of the categories and it gave me a great sense of accomplishment and proof that my body is gettin stonger. Very exciting and fun on my birthday! Next Wednesday I actually get weighed & measured & body fat tested so hopefully that goes good as well!
3. My reccomendation for the week, I made this as a pre-workout snack for Julia yesterday and she loved it.
1/2 whole wheat pita toasted
1/2 serving of laughing cow lite spreadable cheese wedge
All for 100 calories! You just create a little sandwich and the cheese melts a little inside the toasted pita. The lettuce adds some volume and gives it a good crunch. You could also add a tomato slice or some turkey. It was a good pre-workout snack and took less than 5 min to pull together.
That's all I've got for now- I'm going to go have a healthy lunch with my sister to compensate a little for my dinner last night :) So worth it though!

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Boyfriend Took Away My Corn Dog Bite Last Night...

And I love him for it. :) Seriously though, it got me thinking about how important it is to have a strong support system of people in your life who are aware of your goals & truly want to see you succeed. Last night we were at a concert (actually I think it was more of a "show" we are such hipsters it's redic) and I'd had a few vodka sodas and suddenly the buffet line of corn dog bites & taquitos looked AMAZING. I piled a plate full without even thinking about it and luckily I had Chris there to take it away. I totally gave him a dirty look and he said "you'll thank me in the morning" and he's right, I did.
It can be hard to be supportive of friends who diet, I think especially for girls. Prior to Boot Camp I always prefered to eat junk food or drink with other people. It somehow makes it seem okay. But when other people aren't joining in, the guilt about eating a whole bag of chips or pint of ice cream hits you immediatly and it's harder to enjoy the guilty pleasure. BUT- what I've realized is that doing something as a group (binge eating) may be fun in the moment, but the guilt always comes eventually whether it's later that night or a week later when your pants feel tight.
SO- two lessons learned. One- Avoid the guilt completely by making good decisions and having great people around you to catch you if you slip up. And Two- Don't hate on people who diet. It's something they're doing for themselves & if it's irritating you, take a moment to consider the possibility that your annoyance may be born from the subconcious knowledge that you should probably put down that corn dog bite too.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

5 Supplements EVERYONE Should Take

A day late- but here we go on the Top 5 Supplements everyone should be taking. Keep in mind this advice comes from a holistic nutritionist Christa Orecchio ( who was a guest speaker at my boot camp, so this is her qualified advice- not my own!
1. Probiotics. These should be taken away from food. These support your digestive system, skyrocket your immune system, eliminate toxins & can help with depression.
I've actually taken these before- when I was on antibiotics to help replace the good bacteria that is killed during an antibiotic treatment. The thing about depression- basically she explained that seretonin which is a chemical in the brain that regulates mood, 80% of that chemical is developed in your intestional system. SO- theory being that if the probiotics help regulate and clean that system it can function properly & lead to increased seretonin production= more happiness!
Downside? These can be fairly expensive if you are taking them every day and often have to be refrigerated.
2. Digestive Enzymes. These should be taken before you eat. These help with better absorbtion & assimilation of the food. This is especially important to be taken with "cooked" food to help your body get all the nutrients possible. Christa talked a little bit about how foods have become less and less filled with the powerful vitamens & minerals, so it is important to help your system absorb all it can. For example, to get the same amount of vitamin D (I think it was D...) from an apple today you would actually have to eat 3 apples to equal the nutrients that one apple would have filled in 1940. It's because of overfarming of soil etc... I'm not going to go into that but bottom line- digestive enzymes help & you should also purchase local produce (not from big national chains) when possible, the soil is more likely to be less treated & the produce should have more nutrients.
3. Greens Powder. This can be taken any time. This powder is a mix of different healthy "greens", kelp, wheatgrass, spirulina. This helps with body "cleanup" and cellular detox.
4. Fish Oil or Cod Liver Oil (get one that says moleculerly distilled). This regulates swelling & inflamation of the body which is great especially when you are working out. It also helps with cardiovascular health & blood sugar balance.
5. Calcium/Magnesium Blend. (Purchase it in ionized form). This should be taken at night to help rebuild your muscles. And that's all I remember :) Ok- I got a little lazy at the end of class and wasn't taking as thorough of notes!! Sorry!
So- those are her top 5 most important. I'd recommend either googling them for more info &/or talking to a doctor about how you can benefit.
I'm going to start off with the Fish Oil & the Probiotics & then start adding in others. I wanted to write more about the AMAZING & healthy dinner Chris made me last night (and I had leftovers for lunch today) but that will have to wait for another day, this post is really long!
Oh and PS. Christa was not a huge fan of regular vitamins, like One A Day formulas. She said the reason they turn your pee super yellow is because they are not being absorbed in your body, so basically they go right through you without doing much good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Egg White Scrambles... YUM

Egg white scrambles are my new favorite thing. I had one for dinner last night and again for lunch today! Last night I was planning on a chicken salad with leftover BBQ chicken but was just feeling BURNT OUT on salads- as occasionally happens. I wanted something satisfying and filling, so I created an amazing low-cal scramble. Recipe below- serves 1:
Take the following & put in a lightly greased skillet
1/4 cup chopped onion 15 calories
5 pieces asparagus chopped 25 calories
1/2 cup fresh spinach 5 calories
1/2 cup chopped chicken breast 100 calories
Grill these in the pan until the onions turn lightly brown on the edges. Then add:
6 tbs egg whites 50 calories
Scramble together till the eggs firm up and then add:
1 tbs goat cheese- 50 calories
And you have a fabulous chicken veggie scramble for 245 calories. I was completely filled and way more satisfied than I would have felt after a salad.
And there's lots of variations- I'm planning to experiment with different cheeses, veggies, meats, etc. With such a low cal base as egg whites, you can include lots of fun stuff and still have it be good for you!
Obviously you can eat this for breakfast, but one of my trainer's recommendations is eating lean proteins & veggies for dinner(and less carbs) which can be hard to do without always eating meat & salad- so this meal both fit the plan & mixed up my routine. Love it!
Check back tomorrow for the Top 5 Suppliments EVERYONE should be eating according to a nutrition seminar I attended this past weekend. To get a sneak peak, check out the nutritionist's website at

Monday, August 17, 2009

Can you be social & maintain healthy eating? (without being annoying??)

Monday again... I had such a great weekend, I just did not want it to end! Saturday an old college friend from LA came down to visit and we had a ton of fun. One of our favorite things back in the day was to have a weekend brunch at Brian's outside on the patio, complete with greasy food & lots of mimosas. If you could hear some of the things we talked about out there... :)
But- it's not exactly eating healthy and knowing I had a weigh in on Monday (it went well- lost all the NY weight plus some!) I wanted to stay semi-good, while still enjoying myself. So- instead of my usual "Bacado Omelet" (bacon, avocado, lots of cheese- YUM) I had:
-Toasted English muffin
-1 egg scrambled- no cheese
-side of salsa
-side salad with dressing on the side
-3 mimosas (They are the BEST in San Diego & well worth it)
And was totally satisfied. That night we went to the Charger game and I skipped drinking there and packed a healthy snack of some Mary's crackers to munch on instead of nachos.
The next day I stuck to a similar plan- Chris & I went to the Del Mar horse races with a big group of people & I brought some diet sodas & some healthy snacks: lite cheese, triscuits & grapes. I avoided the brownie cookies, chips & margaritas that looked amazing- BUT the main point was I still had a great time. So many social occasions are built around food- it has been a good wake up call for me to realize that you can still have a FUN life and do FUN things without eating & drinking like crazy.
We also ran the 5k yesterday! I am sad to say I did NOT meet my goal of being under 30 minutes- but I'm not going to beat myself up about it too bad- my time was 30:01! Seriously! So I shaved about 40 seconds off my time from last year. Chris did AMAZING and managed to cut 3 whole minutes off and finish in 26:20. He is such a speedster :)
Such a great weekend, although now I feel like I need another weekend to recover from it! I also did some good grocery shopping and have some great meal ideas planned for this week which I'll be sharing soon!
Oh and PS. Some of my clothes are starting to get a little baggy. Very exciting!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bread Bowls, Runs & Healthy Mexican

Warning- this post is a little random (could you tell from the title?) what can I say, it has been a long week! TGIF (shoutout Kurd)
I was horrified yesterday when I got the mail. There was an insert promoting Domino's new Bread Bowl Pasta. Could there possibly be anything worse for you? Choose from chicken alfredo, mac & cheese, carbonera... all in a pizza dough bread bowl! But that wasn't even all- the offer on the insert was buy a Bread Bowl Pasta (ranging from 1400-1600 calories- more than I can eat a day) and get a free Chocolate Lava Crunch Cake!! Each crunch cake has 357 calories, but don't worry- and order includes 2 of them! So- were you to eat it all (for the low price of $5.99) you could potentially be eating 2,300 calories in one meal. WOW. And people wonder why American's are getting fatter? Seriously!
So- this weekend is America's Finest City 5k run in Balboa park. I'm excited and hopeful to beat my time from last year. I would really love to beat Chris- but not sure that's going to happen just quite yet :) I'm a little nervous because I haven't really been running lately outside of bootcamp. In class we run about 2 miles (and a 5k is 3.2) but I think I should be okay because I'm doing a ton of cardio & my legs are definitely stronger! Races are really fun- the first one I ever did was this same race last year and really got hooked. It's such a fun environment & a great way to motivate yourself to keep working out when you know you've got a race coming up. We actually have another one- 4 miles next weekend but I think that will be more of a fun run, it's on the beach from La Jolla to PB & ends in a beer garden. :)
I'll leave you with a recipe which I'm thinking about making tonight "healthy mexican tacos/tostadas" it's pretty easy & really good.
Corn tortillas
Ground Turkey
Mexican seasoning package
Black Beans
Chopped Tomatoes
Plain non fat greek yogurt (use in place of sour cream)
Lite Cheese
So basically you prepare the turkey in a pan just like you would ground beef, and add the seasoning. Then heat the beans & toss the tortillas on the grill for a minute to soften and then add all the great toppings and enjoy!
Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fast Food (It doesn't have to be evil!)

There's just not enough time in the day. I've found- even when I wake up for a 5:15am bootcamp like I did this morning (crazy!) I still don't always have the time to fit in grocery shopping or food prep needed to make a healthy meal for lunch & dinner. So... on occasion when in a crunch- I'll eat fast food. Even with the low cal options- which I'll get to below- I still know that it's not as healthy as eating REAL food- so I try to keep my fast food days to a minimum.
Lucky for me, CA just passed a law requiring any restaurant with over 10 locations to make their nutrition facts available to any customer that asks. Here are a few of my top picks:
Rubios! I am obsessed with their street tacos & pinto beans. These are GREAT and really filling with lots of protein. 100 calories each for a chicken or carnitas taco & 110 calories for a small side of beans. Also- having worked there once upon a time- I know that the ingredients really are fresh.
Chic Fil A. This is a recent discovery for me- nothing on their menu (sandwiches anyway) has over 500 calories! Yesterday I had the 8 piece chicken nugget (yes they were fried... I'm bad) for only 260 calories. I added a side salad for 50 & topped it with their wing or hot sauce which is 15 per container, for a grand total of 325 calorie lunch! They also have a grilled chicken sandwich which I'll try next time that only has 260.
Jack In the Box. I have been eating their chicken fajita pitas since college. They are SO good and with only 300 calories you don't have to feel bad about eating them! JIB also has good side salads.
McDonalds. I'm usually pretty good at eating my breakfast at home, but on the rare occasion I eat out- their Egg McMuffin is delicious and only 300 calories. Add the coffee, but skip the hashbrowns of the "combo meal" and you are good to go.
Taco Bell. The classic crunchy taco has only 180 calories. They also have a Fresco menu, which has a taco option for 150- but for only 30 calories, I'd rather have the cheese. Pintos & Cheese are another favorite of mine and good when you are craving a burrito, they have only 170 calories instead of the 350 that are in a plain bean & cheese burrito.
On a final note- I'm embarrased to admit this but in trying to keep this an honest blog (although I kind of think i've confessed enough- no one is going to believe I ever eat healthy!) last night for dinner, Chris was working late and I was too lazy to go to the grocery store. I had microwave popcorn and a wine spritzer (2 parts wine, 1 part sparkling water- it lets you feel like you are drinking more). Ok- it's out. Today will be a better day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quick & Easy Meal Ideas

Let's talk Dinners. I like to cook, but I also like to "pull things together" so that it looks like I cooked (and I get credit for it!) but it's really just taking already made items, doctoring them a bit & serving. It takes half the time of starting from scratch. Below are a few meals I "created" last week.
-Kashi Margarita Pizza. This is a great frozen pizza which I bought at Vons. It's thin crust and only has 230 calories in 1/3 of the pizza and is fairly good sized. I added fresh mozzerella cheese & sliced tomatoes to the top, which is maybe why I think it's SO delicious- but it was worth the few extra calories. Add a salad on the side and you've got a great balanced meal.
-Fajita Salad. You start this one with fajita stir fry mix from Trader Joes, which can be found in the frozen section. It's only 90 calories a serving, and 3 in the bag, so if you eat half a bag (like I did) it's only 135. Great combo of onions, bell peppers & chicken. You can use it to make tacos, or make it a Fajita Salad by putting it on top of some greens. Then choose a Mexican style dressing (my favorite is the Trader Joe's Cilantro dressing) and you've got a fresh, healthy Fajita Salad.
-"Fruit" Green Salad. This is a good option if you've run out of typical salad veggie toppings, and don't feel like eating plain lettuce with dressing. Last week I topped a salad with fresh blueberries & mango (the pre-sliced mango from TJs is great for this) and then a balsamic vinagarette (2 parts balsamic, 1 part olive oil, with a dash of salt & lots of pepper). I've found that the balsamic flavor goes really well with fruit. Not only did it taste great, it looked good too!

Last night I came home to what looked like an empty fridge and was starving after bootcamp- but I dug deep and created a decent meal. It's probably better as a lunch (Chris & I were both still a little hungry) but a good creation.
-Pizza Burger Pita (a terrible name- but I swear it's good!). You take a Morningstar Farm frozen Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger (found at TJs or Vons) and grill it in a pan for about 8 min (120 cal). Toast a whole wheat pita and cut an end off, so you can open it. Put the burger patty and lots toppings inside and dinner is served! I added lots of lettuce, sliced tomato (for Chris- I'm not a fan) and lots of grilled onions. I also put a little cheese in the pita right when it came out of the toaster, so it melted. You can also add some BBQ sauce or catchup for added flavor. Only 330 calories for the entire thing- and best of all I didn't have to go to the grocery store or get take out!
That's all for now- Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

About those travel goals....

Well I'm back from NY. Had an AMAZINGLY fun trip- but definitely fell off the fitness & health wagon....
No, I did not work out once. But in my defense- I did a TON of walking including the multiple hikes up 5 flights of stairs in Brooke's apartment, I'll tell you- it sure felt like a workout!
And eating- I made a few good choices (sharing entrees, buying healthy snacks) and a probably more bad ones (eating pizza at 3am, hot dog from a street vendor, and lots of drinking).
I woke up this morning EXHAUSTED and frusturated about my lack of self control, but determined to get right back to eating well and working out.
I have boot camp this evening and I'd be lying if I said I were looking forward to it, but I'm hoping it makes me feel better and back on track. Especially becuase- I'm running a 5k race this Sunday! Chris and I ran this same race last year and my time was 30:42. I'd like to come in under 30 minutes and would be VERY happy to be somewhere around 29min. SO- the time to have a healthy week is NOW. I'm on it.
And PS- I know I owe some recipes... they will come shortly.
Oh and one more thing- I met MR. BIG from Sex & the City in New York!!! He was just walking down the street and he totally let my girlfriends and I take a picture with him. Such a NY moment!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Heading to NY!

So I leave tomorrow EARLY- 7am flight to New York to go visit Brooke! Jules and I are going so it promises to be a great and much needed girls vacation! Of course I've been thinking- how am I going to mantain semi-balanced eating in the land of world famous pizza?? Not to mention I know there's going to be more than a little drinking involved...
But I also realize that I don't want to become someone whose entire life revolves around food- there are times to be conscious about what you're eating and times to relax a little bit. So my plan for the long weekend is:
-To workout at least once on the trip. I'm bringing my running shoes and plan to fit in at least one decent run.
-To eat nothing fried. You see- that doesn't really exclude everything tasty and bad for me but it will also keep me a little in check- just becuase I'm CHOOSING to indulge a little doesn't mean I'm going off the deep end. I can live without french fries. (I think)
-Finally to eat well and exercise lots before I left, which I've been doing. 3 Bootcamp days in a row! Although I'm not going to lie, I'm totally dreading my evening workout tonight- but it's worth it to be able to enjoy my trip.
Weigh-in is on Monday, although I'll probably do it Tuesday a.m. instead since we get back late -I've decided I'm going to let myself be happy with maintaining this week. There are things in life MUCH more important than what you weigh. Like having so much fun with your best friends!! So Excited!!!
Oh and PS- there may be an additional post later this evening- I've got a few great meal ideas from this past week that I'm dying to share!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Early Morning Workouts Make Me Hungry!

Why is it that after an early morning workout I feel like I'm STARVING all day? Nothing is satisfying or enough..
I'm trying to get through and stay in my calorie range by eating lots of low cal snacks, rather than big meals. A few I've had today:
After my workout- Egg white pita. This was GREAT and only 160 calories. Basically take a half of a Trader Joe's Pita toast it. Scramble 6 tbs egg whites (2 servings- 1 did not seem like enough) add a spoonful of salsa to the eggs. Then- 1/2 of a Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedge on the inside of the pita. So satisfying and good!
100 calorie pack natural almonds (not roasted or salted) These are a new find for me- I'm not very good at portioning so I love when it's conveninently packaged. And- the protein and good fat in these seems to stick with me a little longer. I found these at Vons.
The other thing keeping me distracted from my endless hunger this morning were some funny emails from friends- here's one of my favorite reactions to the start of my blogging experience:
"I love your blog idea... I will read it! Although I'm way funnier than you! Why don't you just blog our emails back and forth to each other? Now that's something I would read. "
There you go B, now I AM blogging our emails :)
Have a great day! Oh and PS- I am still trying to figure out how to add pictures and also how to spell check prior to posting- so bear (or is it bare??) with me as I figure it out!

Monday, August 3, 2009

My First Blog!

This is exciting... my first blogging attempt! Shoot- now what?? I promised my friends (and only loyal readers) that it would be FUNNY, but that's apparently more challenging then you'd think. I'll work on it guys :)
I'm starting the blog as a way to share my new favorite thing- creating healthy "whole food" meals and snacks. For a little background, about 3 weeks ago I started a Boot Camp Fitness program that also encourages you to eat well (no processed - ok LESS proccessed junk) and stay within a daily calorie range. For me it's about 1250-1450 a day depending on if I'm working out. I was nervous about the challenge, but I've found so many ways and combinations to still be completely satisfied, feeling great and loosing weight.
A great trainer who is running this camp who is the source of any nutrition reccomendations I may give, I'm no expert- just a girl trying to get in shape! The point of the blog is to share what I'm learing, give great product reccomendations, healthy meal menus & ideas, fitness tips, lifestyle stuff... who knows where we go from there! Stay tuned...