Saturday, May 22, 2010

Eating the Pyramid

Did you all take Audrey's advice and download the Food Pyramid Worksheet? I did, and I want to urge you to do it, too. You will get instructions based on your calorie intake, on what to eat everyday. For me it's 1 1/2 cups each of fruits and vegetables, 2 cups dairy, 4 oz meat and 5 oz grains. It also suggests that I limit my extras- solid fats and sugars- to 170 calories a day. (Yes! There is still room in my life for cheese and peanut butter!) It is so helpful to me to have numbers to work with. At the end of the day I can look at what I've eaten and say, "I have 200 calories left, what is missing from my diet?" It's almost ALWAYS dairy. I just can't seem to work it in. I mean, 2 cups is a lot! I didn't realize my body needed so much dairy. Or grains for that matter.

While you're there, check out this tool. It's another suggestion from Audrey. It's a search field where you can type in a food, and it will tell you what food group it belongs in, and it's calorie content. I don't know about you, but I was unsure about a few of the foods I eat on a regular basis. Like tomatoes (vegetable,) avocado (fruit,) and cucumbers (vegetable.)

I also like the section called Inside the Pyramid. There you can explore the pyramid by group. It has some great charts that tell you what counts as an ounce or cup, and a fun food gallery that shows you what a serving looks like.

Kudos to whoever created It's a goldmine of information that has proven to be really helpful to me.

Are You A YOGI?

I've participated in Yoga classes on and off during the years but last fall I found a class that I couldn't walk away from. I think that the most important part of the class is the instructor. I've recently taken a few classes that were "good" but the droning voice reminded me to much of what I hear when I pop in a yoga DVD at home. This instructor makes me want to come back over and over to punish myself.

All Yoga is NOT the same. This class I've started taking is called Vinyasa. The room is heated to 85 degrees and it's pretty fast moving. You do hold poses but then you'll have faster flowing movement. You really have to connect with your breath to make it through this class.

The reason I describe this is because this class KICK'S MY BUTT! Sometimes I ask myself why I'm doing this when suffering through a spin class is so much easier, but I keep coming back.

I keep doing yoga because I think it has so many benefits. It helps you become in tune with your body and blocking out distractions, it burns more calories than you'd think and it's a great strength workout without hitting the weights. I'm talking the kind of sore that you wake up the next morning that you've worked out really hard but can still workout again.

I usually only do yoga once a week. It's hard to balance it with riding my bike but I've decided that every other week I'm going to hit two classes since I think it's so beneficial. On Thursday's the class is Vinyasa II. It's harder than the class I usually take but I've done it before. The reason I started only doing the Tuesday class is because the Thursday class went to 75 minutes and I didn't know if I could hack it but of course this week the class was 90 minutes long.

I thought 90 minutes would do me in and I'd look something like this:

But, I rocked it. I only hit child's pose twice to rest. And I made sure that I had my water bottle filled with sport drink I have on my bike rides. Why you ask? Well, you sweat a lot in these classes. I'm talking sweat like I don't think I've sweat any other time in my life. I've learned that I don't like a sweaty face at all, and had to stop a few times to wipe my eyes since there was so much getting in my eyes and bothering my contacts. BUT, I rocked out over 800 calories.

Girls, if you have an opportunity I highly suggest adding YOGA into your workouts. It's a great way to cross train from whatever else you're doing as exercise.

Try it! Mix it up! Find an instructor that works for you! It's not the tree hugin' meditating workout that you're thinking of, it's a core buster, arms and legs toner that you'll be thankful for!

Post your Monday through Saturday Points Here!

Friday, May 21, 2010

What Does 50 Pounds Look Like

Double Mattress

Airedale Terrier
Biggest Rabbit found in the UK

50 pounds of Flour

That is a lot of extra weight to be carrying around! Ouch! No wonder it hurt so much to start exercising. How was I carrying this around 24/7?

Want to Join?

Wanna Join? This is the blog Audrey showed us last week. I've been reading some of her stuff and quite frankly, I like her style. Anyway, I thought I'd let you know of the challenge she's doing if you want to join in. I know for all you fellow supporters, you could do this with little trouble.

Another Counting Calories Post from Trainer Momma!

If you're still interested in your calorie range HERE is a new post from Trainer Momma!


Not only did she respond to my email questions but she put a new post up to further answer questions we all may be having.

Here is the basic answer to the question I had.

1) If you have a HR monitor and want to use your own calorie burn to figure out the addition calories you should be eating use a lower PAL. (Personal Activity Level) You're activity level on an average day without exercise.

Then you have your Calories to maintain -500 calories to lose weight + exercise calories= how many calories you should eat.

2) If you just want to use a general number and don't want to have to worry about how many calories you burn during your workout use a higher PAL and that will give you an average of what you should be eating every day.


I've checked Lose It, Daily Plate, and Trainer Momma's equations. They are all slightly different but I take my range from there! I have a range not a specific number because if I exercise harder one day I eat at the higher end of the range lighter or no activity on the lower end of the range.

I wear my HR monitor a lot but sometimes I don't but I do like knowing how much more I can eat if I do wear it! Mmm, food.

Hope this helps some of you. If you still have questions let me know and I can talk you through it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The digging crew

Every year we try to make improvements on our yard. 2 weeks ago we decided to dig a hole for our trampoline. Do you know how HUGE our tramp is? 15x15! The Heaps were up for the challenge.
Heres my crew on day 3. We decided to break it up in 4x4 foot square sections and do one each night. It makes the elephant a little easier to eat :)
We have been working hard but we should be done by this weekend. I will post more pics later.
Some great things about digging:
Our family working, talking, and laughing together
great exercise
fresh air
Seeing progress each night

I never thought I would enjoy digging a hole so much :) I guess I can count this as exercise points don't you think?

She came. She ate. We giggled. She left

Greetings, Ladies! I feel totally recharged after a late night of good belly laughs with a dear friend.

I thought I'd share the meatless recipes I used. Thanks for all the ideas! I'm definitely going to use Jill's spinach pasta toss in the future. I had to switch gears earlier in the day and make something cold because her ETA got pushed back and I needed food that could be flexible. I found a recipe for Roasted Red Bell Pepper Spread Sandwiches that was perfect. Refreshing, delicious, satisfying, but even better the next day in a whole wheat tortilla as a wrap with a few slices of ham!

If you are interested in making this recipe, I would highly recommend a few changes. Use way less cream cheese than called for. Like maybe half! Add extra garlic, salt and pepper. Serve it with spicy sprouts, if you can find them. It's a little high in calories, so I only ate half, and that was plenty for me since I was also eating Audrey's yummy orzo salad, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
I tried to copy and paste the orzo recipe here, but that didn't work and now I'm frustrated. I'm not willing to re-type it out right now, so maybe another time. Have a great day!

Why Can't I Have the Title?

I was thinking about yesterdays post on the Fitness Freak blog. I started thinking about all the wants of fitness I have. One day I want to become a fitness freak and everything that goes along with it. There is this lady that runs in my neighborhood with two kids, pushing a double stroller. I see her the same time every morning. We've labeled her "The Crazy Runner Lady". Kind of a funny name, but deep down I think, "I want people to call me the crazy runner lady. I think I'm a bit jealous of her title. Then today, I thought to myself, no more wants. No more somedays. It is today. So, today, I'm calling myself the Fitness Freak, or Crazy Runner Lady. It's what I want, so I mine as well make it a reality. So if you see me running down the street, loudly whisper, "There goes that crazy runner lady. She is such a fitness freak." I'll give you a little wave, and a happy dance to go along with it. Besides, I'm almost down 50 pounds. There has to be some craziness in that!

Big fish to fry

Hi Ladies!

Thinking about all of you today because I have about 7 of these in my freezer. All freshly caught by the husband-fisherman. So fresh fish is on the menu every week for awhile. How should I cook this trouty fella?

First, I'm wishing they had cut off that head with the beady eyeball. I just don't like my protein looking up at me while I'm cooking and eating. Know what I mean?

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rain or Snow

Three posts in one day. You're going to get sick of me. I just have to share a little experience last night and encourage you to get your exercise in. As I've said many times before, my mom is my running partner and I would definitely label her as the Fitness Freak. Rain or Snow, she is at my door at 6:15 every Tuesday and Thursday for our run. When we first started doing this, I would call her to give the weather report and see if she really wanted to run. Really, in my mind, I was looking for an excuse not to go. In the beginning running was still really hard for me. Her reply was always, "As long as it isn't icy on the road, it doesn't bother me." So, I knew last night wouldn't be different. The rain was pouring and my mom shows up, right on time, ready for our run. At first I thought she was crazy, but I think my new favorite run is in the rain. There is something so magical about it. Is it the rain, or is it the bonding time I get to spend with my mom? Thank goodness for her fitness commitment or I wouldn't be as far with my fitness goals as I am today.

Quinoa Meatballs

Has anyone played around with Quinoa? Weird question, but what exactly is it? Every health blog I've looked at suggests eating it, but I've never had it until last night. I got this recipe off of
This blog is another fun one. Like Trainer Momma, she was overweight and turned into a Fitness Freak! I love these blogs because they just get it. And, don't you love the title. I want that title. I want to be labeled as the Fitness Freak.
Anyway, I tried the recipe last night and it was so tasty and fun.

1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa
3 tbsp onion flakes
1/2 pound lean ground beef (93%)
1/2 pound extra lean ground turkey
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
3 tbsp dried parsley
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Cook Quinoa according to package directions. Mix all in bowl using hands. Roll into balls and place in greased baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until cooked through. Makes 18 meatballs. 262 calories for two. These are big meatballs.
I tried doing meatball sandwiches for my kids with a bit of BBQ sauce on whole wheat 100 calorie Flat Sandwich Bread. I should have just given them the meatballs plain because that's all they really wanted. But, they ate them up. Try it and let me know what you think.

Mothers Day Tradition

Susan G Komen Race for the Cure
This is one of my favorite traditions. We've done this nine years now, and I look forward to it every year. The picture above doesn't do it justice, but all the white dots up the street are people. 20,000 to be exact. It's a 5K run/walk and it is so inspirational!
The crew. Sorry the picture is so discolored. My mom, my three kids, and me. We usually have my brother and sisters, but they were out of town this year. We did try running it one year with two strollers, but it wasn't very fun. Trying to run through 20,000 walkers just doesn't work to well. After the "race" we always have brunch at a local restaurant. I look forward to this event every year. My six year old walked the whole way!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guess who's coming to dinner.

A vegetarian. Yikes! What on earth do you cook a vegetarian? She's my good friend from high school, and she'll be here one night on business- tomorrow night. She's the fab photog behind Blue Lily, and she's flying in to take pics of Design Mom's new baby. I'm thinking I'm going to make Audrey's yummy orzo salad, and go light on the orzo and heavy on the veggies. But what else? Some kinda fancy meatless pizza? A bean cassoulet? HELP ME!

And make it quick cause I'm going shopping in the morning.


I had taken my measurements when I started the p90x program back in March.  I am glad that the challange this week was to take measurements.  I kept forgetting to check mine and see if there was any good being done.  I am glad to report that I have lost 2 inches of my waist, hips and chest.  1 inch gone from the thighs and 1/2 inch gone from the upper arms, o those arms are the things that challange me the most.  I was very happy with those numbers.  I love to see progress.  In fact I can easily get the "I am so done with this if I don't see any progress attitude."  So I will keep working hard and keep working to keep my sometimes bad attitude in check :) 

I'm here to lighten the mood: Read these funny stories and I promise a great laugh.

Sometimes trying to be healthier is down right hard. I feel like I've been trying to help move us through some tough times with all to serious post. So today I want to share two links with you. These are some of the funniest things I've read about trying our best to do things right in a long time. Just thinking about these stories puts a smile on my face. You don't want to miss out, I promise.

THIS one was shared by Brook. She is a participant in the Ladies Olympic Challenge where I first started and got this idea. She is a beautiful lady with a fierce determination. You'd have to to be daring enough to do what she did. Although I think it's funny...I just might have to do this myself. It goes to say: Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do.

THIS post is from a girl who's blog I've been following since last year. She has had an amazing weight loss journey. She shares her stories every week. Her Friday blog post are called : FAT BUTT FRIDAY! I've been inspired by her story but this story is hilarious and tells me that you can't listen to what ANY scale tells you. It's about how you feel inside.

And I hope that you all took your measurements and got your 20 points. No, it's fun to see what it is but in a couple of months when you check it out again you'll be glad you did. Some of you may have liked what you saw!!! That's awesome, now work that heart muscle.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Perfection: Setting Yourself Up For Failure

"A lot of disappointed people have been left standing on the street corner waiting for the bus marked 'Perfection.' " Donald Kennedy

I've had this quote hanging in my laundry room for a couple of years now. Every now and then I'll look at it and remember I'm not going to be perfect and that's ok.

In my mind I have the energy of 10. I think about eating perfectly and doing double workouts every day. I think, If I was a professional athlete I'd be in such great shape because I'd be able to workout all day. Well, guess what, I'm not. And even my best laid intentions sometimes go unfulfilled. However, I try not to let my unfulfilled desire take me off course of what I'm really trying to achieve. What I'm learning is I need MENTAL STRENGTH. I think when you are learning to change your unhealthy habits having strong mental toughness is as important as anything else you can learn.

Thinking you can do this challenge or just get healthy without any bumps in the road is setting yourself up for failure. Success comes from persevering not from perfection. If you hit a rough patch you can't beat yourself up over it. You need to put it behind you and move forward. You can't quit.

We don't see athletes have a bad game, not win the gold, or miss the winning shot and decide they are going to quit the sport. That wouldn't make sense. So why when we miss our mark our instinct is to throw in the towel. We need to stop. We are strong women. We need to love ourselves not put ourselves down for not being perfect. (And that goes for all areas of our lives.)

I recently read in You On A Diet, by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz some smart tips I'd like to share.

When using a GPS it tells you exactly what to do. But let's say you make a mistake and miss a turn or turn onto the wrong street. The GPS doesn't berate you, doesn't scold you, doesn't tell you that you might as well drive off a cliff...Instead, all it says, very politely, is this: "At the next available moment, make an authorized U-turn." The GPS allows for mistakes and tries to help you correct them. That's the kind of mentality we want you to have.

What kills any regimen of healthy eating isn't the occasional dessert or slice of pizza; it's the cascade of behavior that happens after the initial indulgence.

Make A YOU-turn. You need to understand that you can make mistakes but that you can correct and overcome them with some nonjudgmental coaxing.

MENTAL:'s OK to stray occasionally, that you can take control of the situation and steer yourself back, and that the positive reinforcement and confidence that come with overcoming challenges will give you the mental strength of a tank.

I personally think that mental toughness is a hard thing to achieve but once you do you will be happier with yourself and you'll more easily see your personal successes. Hopefully this challenge and knowing you are accountable makes getting back on track a little easier and helps build the mental toughness you need to truly make a lifestyle change not just "I'm doing this now" change.

A Lot of Changes Have Been Made

A lot of things have changed over the last six month. Two things in particular: my exercise routine and my eating habits. It has definitely been a challenge to change bad habits. Here is what a day of eating looked like six months ago:

I loved Soda Pop or anything that was flavored. I used to love to freeze Sobe drinks for a couple hours and eat it like a slushy.
My poor children got a lot of fast meals: pizza, fast food, eating out. Sometimes cooking a meal just seemed like to much work. Now that I don't do that anymore, it is just as much work to prepare a fast, healthy meal, as it is to buckle the kids up, drive to a place, and wait for my food.

I loved donuts. I wish I didn't, but I do.

And then there was the junk. I always had it lying around somewhere. This was my stress reliever. If the days were rough, it seems like that's all I ate, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sure I felt sick. But it was worth it to not feel the stress of whatever was going on that day.

Things have change, drastically. I have a new kind of shopping list. Here are some of the staples I keep in my house:

Whole Wheat Bread
I used to not like Whole Wheat Bread
It was to dense
But now, I don't like white bread.

This is also a new favorite: green onions
I have a little bit each day to flavor my salads I have for lunch.

Tomatoes are always in my fridge

Kind of funny, but Tofu has become a staple. I use it in my salad for protein. My favorite way is to saute it in a bit of Hoisin Sauce until it is nice and crispy.
I can't get enough Sugar Snap Peas.
They are always located in my vegetable drawer.
And yes, a salad wouldn't be complete without Spinach. Low calories, and healthy for you. Almost a daily treat.
I've started using lemons and limes as salad dressing. Slice a piece off and squeeze it over the salad. I know I've made a good salad when I don't need any dressing to top it off.
I've become a protein shake kind of girl. This is the kind I used to have, but I'm trying a new brand now and I really like it. I have a protein shake almost everyday for breakfast.
Sometimes cucumbers are just the only vegetable that's a good side for a dinner and all three of my kids love it.
I always have frozen blueberries in my freezer for protein shakes. I've tried other fruits, but the blueberries are the only ones that do the trick for me. I can't buy them anywhere but Costco, because they are so expensive at the grocery store.
MMMMM, Peppers....
My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
My salad wouldn't be complete without a bit of avocado, two tablespoons to be exact. They are so healthy for you, but those calories can sure add up.
I've tried to workout early in the morning without eating anything. My workout suffers. This is my pre workout snack. It gives me just the right amount of energy to get a good workout in. Do you eat before a workout?

An apple a day does what??
Oh I can't remember, but it sure does taste good!
So there you have it: the staples of my house. I'm sure there are more, but those are the regulars that are always on my shopping list. Is it just me, or does anyone else notice their shopping bill is higher now that they are eating healthier? I think there's something wrong with that. Like I'm being punished for having a healthier lifestyle.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My chore chart

This is a record for me!! Two posts in two days! I am in shock!

I just had to show you what I am doing to keep track of my points. I was not blessed with a very efficient mind, and I tend to forget things often.

In our home, we have a wall filled with chore charts. For some reason it hadn't occurred to me until now that I might benefit from one too. I found this free template on the internet, plugged all my info in and hung it up right next to the kids. They were so excited to see that I had way more things to do on my chart than they did on theirs. Lets just say that there was less complaining this week from my little kiddies...I had it way tougher that they did. (Not really though.)

I loved having the visual reminder every day.