Weekend Review!

Weekend review, take 2 (I wrote this post in the morning, only to find that everything I wrote for some reason was erased and unsaved when I entered it to be posted)

I had a lovely weekend with a lot of good meals and wanted to highlight a few.

On Friday, Mike and I went out for Mexican after work. I had a veggie paella which consisted of quinoa, baby corn, baby carrots, roasted hon shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, and cauliflower (tried to take a picture but it was too dark). I’ve been attempting to expand my pallet and try new foods whenever possible, which this meal had two of for me. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms, but the hon shimeji mushrooms were pretty good! This was also my first time consuming asparagus since I was a child, and I guess I’d give it the same review as the mushrooms: pretty good. The first few bites I really liked, then it seemed just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t anticipate it becoming a favorite or staple in my diet. I’d definitely revisit both things though.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to yet again, try something new! Mike’s roommate picked up some Tai food, ordered more than he could eat, and offered us some. It was pineapple curry with tofu, peppers, and onion that we put over jasmine brown rice. Super delicious. I’ve been meaning to try Tai food and after this meal, I’ll be having some more in the near future.

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On Sunday morning, I made myself a tasty breakfast of kale, avocado, Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, and scrambled egg whites with a Dr.Praeger’s spinach pancake on the side.

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I started off with some extra virgin olive oil and kale in a pan followed by a few pieces of avocado. I only used a tiny bit of the soy chorizo because even though it’s very yummy, it’s a little high in sodium, and a tiny bit goes a long way. Stirred the egg whites in last and breakfast was served!

I also made a wonderful snack that I found on Oh She Glows‘ blog and have been meaning to try. It was a huge hit with Mike and his roommates and came out even better than I anticipated. It’s listed as homemade crispy twix bars in the original recipe. I’d describe it more as a peanut-buttery caramel dark chocolate rice crispy treat. What ever you want to call it, it’s delicious. I only made some very minor modifications.

Peanut-Buttery Caramel Dark Chocolate Rice Crispies

Starts off with

  • 1 & 1/2 cups rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

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Stir ingredients together in a bowl and then place into an 8 inch pan. You may want to line the pan with parchment paper, saran wrap, or tin foil to keep the treats from sticking. Place the pan in the freezer while you move onto the next step.

Date Caramel

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp soy milk, or more if needed
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

Place ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.

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Remove pan from freezer and smooth caramel on top

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Return to the freezer while you move onto the final steps

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Melt chocolate and coconut oil t0getuer either in a pot or in the microwave. For the stove, place the ingredients in a small pot on low heat until 2/3 of the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. For the microwave, place ingredients into a bowl and heat for about 20 seconds at a time and stir each time until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Remove pan from freezer and pour chocolate sauce on top.

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Return pan to the freezer for 3 minutes and then remove to cut into pieces before the chocolate has completely hardened. Return to freezer for another 10-15 minutes. The treats are now ready and can be stored either in the freezer or refrigerator ๐Ÿ™‚

ย Exercise

I’m still on a week break from Insanity after pulling my calf. I’ve been missing the workouts though! I never would have thought I would miss Insanity haha. I’m both excited and nervous to start Insanity on Thursday. I hope that my leg is okay once I start again. I also hope that I’m not too discouraged and frustrated if my ability to keep up with the workouts has decreased due to the break. I just have to do the best I can and push through.

I did, however, do some ab work and the mat portion of Insanity Cardio Abs on Saturday.

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Even though I been resting from workouts, I’ve been very conscious and good about my diet, so I’m still seeing some weight loss. As of right now, I’ve lost 23lbs and have 13 more to lose to reach my initial goal weight. It’s still a little hard to comprehend and I feel like I still have a long way to go, but I’m extremely happy to have gotten this far and will continue to push myself.

I picked up a freelance job from the production studio I used to work at. I think I might like to use most of that money to invest in a Nike FuelBand. I’ve been wanting to get one, but they cost $150 and I’m on a pretty strict budget these days. But I’ve been doing some research on it and I think that it would be a great motivational tool for me and worth the investment. If anyone has experience/reviews of the Nike FuelBand, I’d love to hear from you!

It’s been a pretty long day. Mike and I just got back from having an amazing dinner at a Mediterranean place in the village called Taim. We shared a mixed salad platter of roasted tomatoes and eggplant, carrots, and beets as well as a falafel platter with hummus, tabouli, and shepherd’s salad. Seriously, best falafel I’ve ever had, particularly the red pepper falafel. So good.

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I’m sure I’ve probably left out some information from my original post, so I apologize, but this was the best I could do to rack my brain for a rewrite. I hope everyone else had a lovely weekend and I promise to write again soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Contest News and Better Blogging

I just recently found out that the health and fitness contest I’m taking part in, which began on January first and was supposed to run until March 31st, has been extended until May 1st. Initially, I was a little concerned, mainly because mentally and emotionally, I was prepared for and agreed to a 90 day contest. But I got an email with information about the additional 30 days and I’m kind of excited for it now. The woman running the program (Ethel Baumberg, owner of B Fit Studio) has added a point system to better track our activity during the contest. The point system works like this:

1 Point = maintaining healthy behaviors

  • Every mile you walk (take pictures/ be creative, this is a SELF-REPORT activity)
  • Every time you go to the gym (ask your gym to print out your attendance)
  • Every B Fit class you take (make sure you sign in!)
  • Every workout you do at home (take pictures/ be creative, this is a SELF-REPORT activity)
  • Every challenge you participate in (handstand challenge- take pictures)
  • Every healthy meal you eat (take pictures)
  • Every personal training session
  • Attend our running group (when it begins)
  • Every time you eat breakfast

 

2 Points = try a new something!

  • Try a new class
  • Try a new food
  • Workout with a friend
  • Increase your workout by time, resistance, type

 

 

3 Points = go out of your way, try hard!

  • Attend a workshop for nutrition or fitness
  • Accomplish a goal (youโ€™ll all pick ONE measurable fitness goal each week)
  • Register for a 5K+ and complete it

 

I think it will be fun to document my progress in this way and share pictures and information with the other contestants.

I also think it will aid me in my goal for better blogging! I know I’ve kind of been slacking in the blogging department because I’ve been so busy, but I really want to improve this blog for myself and anyone who might be reading!

 

Blogging Goals

Post at least 1 recipe a week with pictures (preferably pictures taken from a camera better than the one on my phone)

Post weekly food and fitness goals and follow each goal throughout the week

Inspirational quotes/stories

Reviews of foods/restaurants/products

Mental/emotional reflections on weight loss

And much more!

 

I recently broke through the small plateau I hit. Finally fell down to 155lbs from being stuck at 157. I really feel more motivated than ever to continue on this path that I’ve been traveling down. I do have my down moments (which I plan on going more into depth on in an upcoming post), but in general, I’m happier than ever.

And on that note, happy weekend to everyone! I will be posting again very soon!

 

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Insanity: Postponed :(

It’s been a busy week!

Last Thursday, on my first day of my second week of Month 2 of Insanity, I pulled the outer side of my right calf muscle. I decided to take a break from Insanity for 2 days on Friday and Saturday. During those 2 days, I iced my leg, elevated it, and took it easy. I resumed Insanity on Sunday, but I think it might have been a little too soon. My leg was okay on Sunday and Monday, but after last night’s workout, it started hurting again. I’ve decided to take a full week off in order to recuperate,ย  and hopefully resume Insanity next Thursday. The last thing I want to do is cause some serious damage to my leg. I might try and go to the gym at some point to do some light lifting and activity, as long as I don’t think it will further agitate my leg.

I’ve still been stuck at a consistent 157lbs. I think some of it may be water weight from my period, which usually has me up in weight anywhere from 2-5lbs. So hopefully by the start of next week, the numbers will start going down again. I’m making sure to be extra conscious of my diet. As much as I’m trying to be patient with myself, as of today, there are only 39 days left of the health and fitness contest I’m enrolled in. I would like to make as much progress as I can in that time. I think that if I’m really good for the next 39 days, it’s still possible for me to reach my goal weight of 149lbs by March 31st.

My friends Lisa and Peter came to hang out in Brooklyn on Saturday night. I had so much fun with them. I really miss having an active social life and close friends. On Sunday, Lisa and I went to the tattoo shop that her uncle manages in Park Slope. We decided to get our belly buttons pierced.ย  Here’s what that looks like!

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I figure it will be good motivation to work towards toned abs!

I decided to request a day off from the coffee shop. Between that and the internship, I was working 7 days a week and it was really starting to get to me. As much as I need money, having a day to rest will be good for my sanity.

On Monday, Mike and I went out to dinner with his friend Deniz who was visiting from Las Vegas. She’s getting married in June and I was invited to her bachelorette party this May in New Orleans! I’m super excited ๐Ÿ™‚ We had dinner at a tapas place called Cata in Soho/LES area. A little pricey, but seriously delicious. The thing I love about getting tapas with a group of people is that you get to have a little bit of everything and you feel full without being over stuffed.

Other than that, it’s been a pretty regular Wednesday. I’ve been trying to send out a few resumes and would really really love to get a job in the near future, but so far I haven’t heard back from anyone. Just have to keep sending them out.

I hope everyone else is doing well! I just ate a yummy lunch of roasted veggies over spinach and kale with avocado. Going to try and have a large fruit and veggie smoothie for dinner at least 3 nights a week in the next week and see how that goes. I also have to get myself a new pair of sneakers and I think I’m going to get my feet fitted at a specialty store that was suggested to me. I’ll post about how that goes! Have a lovely week ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I bought a dozen doughnuts and brought them to work, but I have not consumed any, nor do I plan to. A nice fresh apple for me instead ๐Ÿ™‚

Today will be the start of my second week of Month 2 of Insanity. Only 3 more weeks! I can see the finish line within my reach!

I’ve hit a bit of a plateau with my weight loss it seems. I haven’t been able to get below 157lbs, but I’m trying to not let it get to me. Just continuing to eat well and exercise, and I’m sure it will happen eventually. Plus I know it’s not really supposed to be about the number, but I really would like to reach my goal of 149 by March 31st. I still have time.

I am super excited for this weekend! It’s my first full weekend off in a long time, and I’m packing as much into it as possible. On Friday I’m heading to NJ and meeting up with a friend, and then having dinner with my aunt and cousins. Saturday I’m having lunch with my mom and then heading back to Brooklyn. My two friends are coming over from NJ and spending the night in BK.

I’ve planned my meals ahead of time! I looked up the restaurants that I’m eating at on Friday and Saturday and picked a healthy pasta and salad. Mike and I got ingredients to make guac, some veggie tortilla chips, low fat brie with multi-grain flaxseed crackers, and we’ll be using our juicer to make a fresh juice sangria. We’re going to order pizza from Barboncino.It has some super yummy/organic and relatively healthy pies. Zucchini and eggplant=delicious. We’ll follow dinner and drinks with some bowling. Sunday we’ll probably go out to brunch, and then the rest of the day will be primarily for relaxation ๐Ÿ™‚

Extra butter fresh popped popcorn

Last night Mike and I used a groupon I had for Gustorganics. The baked empanada appetizers were good.The tofu fajitas were amazing, but the zucchini “noodles” with pesto was super bland. The service was pretty awful as well. Not bad for a groupon deal, but I probably wouldn’t go there again.

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day. I might be making some other yummy snacks this weekend. If I do, I’ll try to take pictures and post some recipes!

UPDATE:

Food I’ve been offered for free at my internship today:

Chocolate Cake

Lemon Cake

Cupcakes

Chocolates

Lollipops

Champagne

Boxes of every type of pizza imaginable

What I’ve actually eaten today:

Cheerios with banana, soy, and freeze dried raspberries

1 Granny Smith Apple

1 Orange

1/4 cup of nuts

Veggie Burger

Brussel Sprouts

English Breakfast tea with honey and steamed soy

 

My boss who is aware of my healthy diet and exercise was cutting a piece of chocolate cake as I was making myself tea, to which he said, “Girl, you inspire me to get my life together.” Yesterday, he was also kind enough to compliment me by saying, “Look at you! You’re disappearing before my eyes!” I was wearing a pencil skirt that is form fitting with a tank top and cardigan. In the past, I’ve only been able to wear that skirt if it was hidden under a baggy sweater. It was nice to be able to wear it in a way that shows off my shape and be complimented in it. This is my motivation to continue to say no to the massive amounts of temptation I’ve been coming across. I don’t believe in completely depriving myself of sweets or junk food. Everyone deserves an indulgence now and then, but I’d like to think that I should save an unhealthy treat for some time when I really really want it. I don’t want to give into every whim for chocolate and grease, otherwise I’ll go back to consuming much more often than I should. Feeling proud and continuing to say, “no thanks!” to the treats coming my way.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Slow day at work. Most people are either out in CA for the Grammys, or stayed home because of the pending storm. Wish I could have stayed wrapped up in bed this morning.

Did the Max Interval Circuit last night, and it was definitely intense. In only the second round of the first set I found myself frustrated. I felt challenged and a little defeated and unaccustomed to a lot of the new exercises, but I pushed through. Looking at the schedule, this week seems to be the most difficult of Month 2. If I can get through the next 5 days, I can get through it all!

In this down time at work, I wanted to share a recipe I made last week and didn’t have time to post. I forgot to take a picture, but I’ll take one next time I make this recipe!

Tempeh Sloppy Joesย  (3 servings)

8oz of tempeh, crumbled

1/2 of an onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp BBQ sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups of water

Combine tomato paste, ketchup, bbq sauce, vinegar, and dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add oil to a medium sized sauce pan on medium high heat. Add garlic and onions. Stir for about 2 minutes, until they start to brown a little and the onions start to get soft. Add in tempeh. Saute for about 5 minutes, until tempeh starts to cook and brown. Add in the tomato paste mixture and water. Let simmer until the water has mostly evaporated, about 10-15 mins. You may want to add a little extra ketchup or bbq sauce, depending on your tastes.

I also made a super simple coleslaw with this. It was about a cup of shredded cabbage (I used red because it’s what I had in my fridge) 1 shredded carrot, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tbsp light mayo (or vegenaise if you prefer) 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s all! Throw on a bun of your choosing and enjoy!

Month 2 of Insanity starts NOW! :)

Woke up this morning and did my 3rd Fit Test. I didn’t have enough time to do my first Insanity workout of Month 2 (Max Interval Circuit), but I’ll be doing it tonight after my internship.

I was extremely happy with my results from the Fit Test though! I feel so much stronger than I did after that first attempt, only 36 days ago, and the numbers definitely speak for that. Here’s a list of my numbers from the Fit Test, in sequence. Day 1, Day 15, and Day 36.

SWITCH KICKS: 97, 104, 131

POWER JACKS: 31, 42, 50

POWER KNEES: 58, 67, 84

POWER JUMPS: 24, 27, 36

GLOBE JUMPS: 5, 9, 10

SUICIDE JUMPS: 12, 15, 17

PUSH-UP JACKS: 14, 23, 28

LOW PLANK OBLIQUE: 36, 60, 71

I can’t believe how much more I was able to do in such a short period of time. I can’t wait for month 2 and to keep improving!

I hope everyone has a lovely Thursday ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a new day

I think my mind and body are finally done retaliating for the juice fast. I fed it all the carbs and cheese it thought it needed and now I’m back on track. Woke up this morning feeling good and did Insanity right away. Gunna fill up on a bunch of fruit for breakfast, maybe some cereal, have some yummy leftover veggie chili for lunch, and probably a salad or veggies of some sort for dinner.

Mike knew I was having a bad day, so he came home with some flowers for me last night.

ImageWe had a nice quiet night, watched Breaking Bad and The Simpsons.

Can’t wait for month 2 of Insanity to start on Thursday. At first I was dreading it, but now I’m craving it (maybe I’ll feel differently once it starts haha). I think my body misses having a good workout. As nice as the recovery week has been, and it was definitely needed, it’s strange to be burning less calories in my workout which might have also contributed to the funk I was in.

I got a call from the doctor about blood work I had taken back in December when I went in because I had Bronchitis. She said my vitamin D levels were low and she wants me to take 5,000 mg of vitamin D. I think it’s possible my levels might have even gotten lower since December because I’ve reduced my milk intake to zero and my dairy intake very substantially (only using cheese occasionally). So that’s very good to know and hopefully, taking vitamin D will make me feel better as well.

I’m starting to get a little anxious about my job situation. I really love my internship and know that I want to find an entry level position as either an administrative assistant or office manager of sorts within the entertain business, preferably related to music. Working at the coffee shop 4 days a week is really starting to get to me, for several reasons. I think one of the big reasons is that I work by myself. In other jobs, even though most jobs in food service are pretty lame, at least I had some good friends to pass the hours with. At this job, the only time I work with another person is for 2 hours each on Saturday and Sunday. The other 24ish hours of the week, I work completely alone. Of course I occasionally have a decent conversation with a customer, but it’s not the same thing. I have to have a level of professionalism with customers. Another reason is that I feel like I’m one of the only people who actually does a decent job cleaning and restocking the place. When I leave on Tuesday and return on Saturday, I’ll come back to find that no one in the past 3 days restocked or cleaned certain items. And it’s not like I ever see the person and get to address the issue. Just little things like that are starting to build up and irk me. So much so that I feel it is carrying over into every other aspect of my life. Some nights when I get home I’ll be in a cranky mood. Or when I start my my internship on Wednesday after the 4 straight days of coffee shop work I’ll feel myself lagging or being annoyed. I’m trying my best to be more positive and not hold onto those negative feelings. It just has me thinking how much I’d love to get a real job and leave my coffee shop days behind. I wish I could afford to take some time off more often, for my sanity, but being that my internship is unpaid, I really don’t have many options. Just gotta push through and keep at it for now.

But anyhow! Today will be a good day. Hope everyone is doing well and moving forward! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve had better days

This weekend had me struggling a little bit. The juice cleanse really triggered a lot of negative emotions in me that I wasn’t anticipating and that are still with me. I spent the past few evenings snacking more than I should have. Other than that, my meals have been really good though. I had been maintaining my weight up until this morning. I’m back up from 157 to 158. I almost had a panic attack when I saw that I went back up. And to be completely honest, last night I was feeling guilty about all the snacking and ended up purging. Not a good feeling. So I’m just trying to take a step back, get refocused and be rational about the situation. 1 lb isn’t the end of the world. I’ve come so far and have been doing so well to let myself unravel at this point. I’m also on the recovery week of Insanity which means I haven’t been burning too many calories in my work out, but that’s about to change once I start month 2 on Thursday. I just need to focus, eat well, drink a lot of water, clear my mind and do what I was doing before the juice cleanse. And I’d really like to shake these negative feelings I’m having about myself, because they’re no fun.

Alright well, that’s all I have to say about that for the moment. Just a short little vent. Hope everyone has a good week.

Progress Pictures: Half Way to Goal Weight

Yesterday was my first day of Insanity’s recovery week doing the Cardio Core and Balance. I actually really enjoyed the workout and think it does exactly what it needs to do: gives your body a bit of a rest and some time to recuperate, but also keeps your muscles engaged and working. This morning I still weighed in at 157lbs after my first day of being back to solid foods. It’s making me hopeful that perhaps I won’t gain any of the weight back that I lost during the juice fast. In any case, at this point that means that I’ve passed my half way mark to my goal weight (half way marking being 158lbs). Here are some visual updates for everyone.

In these photos I’m wearing size 12 jeans. At my starting weight, these jeans barely fit. I was actually a size 14 at my starting weight

(My apologies for the low quality pictures. They were taken using photobooth on my old macbook)

Starting weight: 176lbs November 26th 2013 (The size 12 jeans I’m wearing are super tight. I was actually a size 14)

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1/4 way to goal, 9lbs lost: 167lbs January 5th 2013 (The size 12 jeans fit properly)

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1/2 way to goal, 18lbs lost: 158lbs January 29th 2013 (Hard to tell in these pictures but the size 12 jeans don’t fit and are too loose. I now fit into size 10 jeans comfortably)

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The progress I’ve made from the second set of pictures to the third is my progress from completing month 1 of Insanity.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve also been taking progress pictures of me in underwear, but I’m going to hold off on posting those for a while.

I really do suggest taking pictures along the way to capture your progress. For me, it gives me a clear visualization that I actually am losing weight and making improvements. Because even though the number on the scale is going down and my clothes are much looser, it’s sometimes still hard for me to realize or comprehend that I actually am losing weight. But pictures definitely prove the point.

I’m still slowly introducing myself to new foods post juice cleanse. Yesterday was only fruits, veggies, and nuts. Today I’m allowed to add beans/grains. Yay!

So glad it’s Friday! Have a good weekend everyone!