Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh dear....

Not-so-good stuff I've done since Friday:

  • wine
  • eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes
  • pizza
  • more wine (hey, don't judge me!)
  • Taco Bell 
  • margaritas 
  • cheeseburger & onion rings
I know, right?

Now, here's they WAY better stuff I've done since Friday:
  • Kicked it into high gear
  • a morning/afternoon full of fresh fruits & veggies
  • tons of water
  • baked chicken & veggies for dinner
  • 40 minutes of ass kicking cardio
  • planned a healthy menu and inked in workout time each evening
So, all the good stuff happened today.  When it comes to getting back on track,  no time like the present, oui?  Even after just 4 days off, I felt so sluggish - I had to make myself work out tonight, but I feel so much better for it.   It was definitely an epic slip up, but I'm determined to make an epic recovery.
Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another Hot Dish!

The boy is a little, um, set in his ways when it comes to food.  We could alternate pizza, Taco Bell, meatloaf and chinese takeout week in and week out, and I wouldn't hear the slightest whimper of dissatisfaction.  Not that I don't love (and love hard) all those things.... but I also love not needing to take the arms off of my chair at work to be able to sit in it.  

This recipe took some convincing.  Like several months of convincing.  And my success in convincing the boy to let me make it was only solidified by my offer to spring for pizza if it turned out crappy.   My bank card was spared - it turned out absolutely delicious.  And it's made in a slow cooker.  Dinner that makes itself while I have a glass of wine?  WIN.

White Bean Chicken Chili

  • 1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breast, raw & cubed into bite size pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cans chicken broth (I only add 1 to start)
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cayenne
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Throw it all in your slow cooker and stir to combine.  That's it.  Really.  Cook on low for 6 hrs or on high for 2-3 (or until the chicken is cooked through).  You can add more spices at the end if you want to kick it up, and you can also thin it out with more broth or thicken it up with a slurry (whisk in a couple spoons of flour into remaining broth, stir into chili and let simmer for another 10-15 mins). 

Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and scallions.  

You're welcome.
Sunday, February 19, 2012

off-topic hilarity

I'm feeling a little rotten after two consecutive nights of EPIC food fail.

Night 1: Cracker bread at Dublin Pub, accompanied by several pints.  (Cracker bread = carb heaven.  A flat bread covered in mashed potatoes, bacon and cheese.  Hey, at least I didn't eat all of it!)

Night 2:  Dinner at The Oakwood Club.  A starter of carpaccio, salad, 9 oz filet, garlic rosemary mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli with a raspberry sauce.   Again, didn't eat all of it, but I was sadly close.  At the end of the meal, I looked at my plate, then quietly leaned over and whispered to the boy "I'm ashamed."

To help quell my feeling of rotten-ness, here is a little something to make us all giggle.

(Why don't the guys Roto Rooter sends to my house look like this??)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Gives?

I consider myself fairly health savvy.  I know that I need to limit fat, carbs and sodium.  I know my numbers.  I try to be active at least 4 hours a week.  I was looking for something to help me monitor my workouts, and was perusing heart rate monitors online when I came across an article about the cardio zone versus the fat burning zone.

Hang on a sec..... WHAT????

Correct me if I'm wrong, but am I not burning fat when I get my heart rate up?

According to what I read, workout intensity can change whether your body is using a higher proportion of fat or calories as fuel.  If you work out at a lower intensity, your body uses proportionally more fat; a higher intensity gets your body burning more calories.

Boy howdy, did I get excited!  You mean I can work out at a lower intensity and still reap the rewards, instead of busting ass for 40 minutes of heart  pumping, sweating like a hog cardio?  Sort of, but no.  Burning calories at a higher intensity creates a bigger calorie deficit (calories in vs. calories out).  And it still burns fat, just not as a primary fuel source.  Burning calories, over time, will lead to a bigger long term weight loss.  To get the same benefits from a lower intensity workout, you'd have to extend the duration quite a bit.  Not that I would mind a longer, less killer workout, but really - who has time for that?

I'm hoping that my regimen is giving me the best of both worlds.  It's good to know that the days I do the less intense workouts - still hard, but my heart rate isn't sky high - I'm still benefiting from my efforts.
Monday, February 13, 2012

Workout Review - Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss

Let's get one thing straight from the start.  This program by itself will not have you dropping pounds.

I'm pretty iffy on yoga workouts.  I'm not all that familiar with yoga, and I would generally be doing something a bit more upbeat.  Oh, also - I'm not so flexible these days, which is kind of a problem with most yoga programs.   This dvd, which is led by Suzanne Deason, was my first foray into yoga.  I've had it for a few years, and it's taken me about that long to get into it.  Because, to tell ya the truth.... it bored me to tears.  If I'm not jumping around and sweating my nuts off, I don't feel like I'm working out.  And if I don't feel like I'm working out, I do feel like I'm wasting my time.

Over the last few months, though, I've gained a new appreciation for yoga.  You know those nights that you just can't make yourself exercise, but you know you should be doing something?  Yoga is a great alternative.   This workout is about 45 minutes, and you have the option of choosing your modifications.  You can choose one modification from the start menu (for you beginners, like me, a modification is a change to a pose to make it a little easier or more challenging, depending on your level), or you can choose to see all three at once, and you can adjust your modifications as you go through the program.

One thing I have particularly come to love, is that after a stressful day at work, this workout takes my shoulders out of my earlobes.  Suzanne walks you through breathing and stretching exercises before getting into the active yoga conditioning.  Just working through the first 10 minutes of the workout takes the knots out of my back and has me feeling relaxed.  The active yoga conditioning requires a bit of strength, but it's more about balance.  Let's be real - had I been attempting yoga for the first time and they told me to do a plank, I'm sure that dvd would have made a great coaster for my wine glass.

In a nutshell, this isn't overly strenuous, and it won't have you shedding pounds in itself, but it is a great way to work on balance, build some strength and work those kinks out of your back and neck.  One other plus - if you close your eyes, Suzanne's calming voice and serene music will have you forgetting you are sitting on your living room floor.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One hot dish!

When cooking for my darling boyfriend (aka: the boy), healthy must be hidden.  I do generally buy low fat ingredients, but get I tend to get a little flack for it from time to time.  This recipe is a favorite of both the boy (who wants full fat and high carb) and myself.  It is low calorie, low fat, low points but completely delicious.  Fantastic with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

Orange Crumb Chicken:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large orange (zested and juiced)
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cups whole wheat crackers (I like baked Wheat Thins)
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

In one bowl, combine the juice from your orange, dijon mustard and salt.  In another  bowl, combine shallot, orange zest, pepper and pulverized crackers (you can use a food processor, but I find a rolling pin and a gallon size zip top bag works just fine).

Brush your chicken breast with the orange juice mixture, then coat with the cracker crumbs, pressing firmly to get  them to adhere to the chicken.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 30-40 mins (until chicken is cooked through).    ** Hint**  If placing the chicken straight on the baking dish, flip chicken halfway to prevent soggy crumbs.  I place a wire rack on my baking dish and put the chicken on that - it allows heat and air to circulate under the chicken, preventing the soggies.
Sunday, February 5, 2012

so THAT is what motivation feels like!

About 6 weeks ago, I joined a commercial "diet" plan.  Two things about that sentence:

  1. Okay, I'm totally busted.  I re-joined.
  2. Am I allowed to say Weight Watchers on here, or will the WW police show up and shut a girl down? 
I was doing pretty well.  After the first week, I tracked my weight, and found I was down two whole pounds!  I danced my way to the coffee maker that Friday morning. And I danced all day.  Well, I danced while no one was looking.

I was feeling so good about myself, the next week, I kicked it up.  Measured food portions, journaled every bit that went into my mouth, did cardio for 25-40 minutes 5 days that week.  That Friday morning, I pulled out my scale feeling pretty good about what was about to happen.  You know that cartoon face, where the dude's eyes bug out, the jaw hits the floor and the tongue rolls out?  Yep, that was me.  I gained a pound.


After a short bout of wallowing in self-pity, I decided there MUST be something else going on.  Water weight, right?  So, I got back on that horse.  Subsequently, I also got a wicked cold.  Oh, and let's not forget our dear hormone friends.  For two weeks of feeling just straight up bad and needing to feed my cold comfort food (carbs, anyone?), I couldn't bring myself to step back on the scale.   I got it together, started exercising again, and three weeks after the great scale debacle, I cautiously stepped back on the scale.  I got off, made sure it was correct, and got back on.  I was down an additional 4.5 pounds!

Logging that new number has upped my chutzpah level tremendously.  It has helped me pass up the Doritos and make a commitment to exercising.  Heads up, y'all.  I've got a cute vintage baby blue brocade dress I'll be rockin' this spring.  And it will fit like a glove.

Blog Template by YummyLolly.com - Header made with PS brushes by gvalkyrie.deviantart.com