Monday, January 31, 2011

65 Pounds Down!

I've been working my way through a GINORMOUS pile of homework (algebra II - yuck) and trying to study for two exams. I feel like I don't have enough time to get it all done before Thursday. The last thing I wanted to do today was my workout. But I ate a few  (by few I mean an entire batch!) of cookies yesterday and sooo yeah.

I slowly got dressed, pushed all the furniture to the side, thought about just sitting down (with some cookies and milk) but what the heck, I was already dressed so I may as well do something! Five minutes in and I was SOOO glad I pushed through. I could feel life coming back to my body! My brain even feels refreshed and now I'm ready to tackle the rest of my homework.

And listen to this piece of wonderful news. I found out that during my clinicals at school the females are required to wear sports bras and shorts and the men wear no shirts and shorts. Great. Just. Great. Well, if I wasn't motivated to get in the best possible shape before - I definitely am now! After my workout I was scrolling through the saved entries on our scale. So far I've lost 65 pounds! Whoo hoo!! I'm down to 135 now and I can feel my goals within reach. I have til September to lose the rest and find my abs!

Oh! I made the most delicious snack today. Take an apple, skin it, slice it up and throw it in a frying pan. Sprinkle it with cinnamon and ginger and let it warm through. Once it's nice and warm pile it on top a piece of toasted whole grain bread. OH MY. It was like apple pie. So good.
Now- back to the algebra. Ugh.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Body Rock Workouts - My new obsession

So for about 4 years I've been working out with this dumb cardio and strength training dvd plus running about 4-5 times per week and haven't seen much progress AT ALL. I eat a (fairly) clean, healthy diet...and no, I do not eat too much. Ok, so I lost some weight but I had no definition in my muscles. I did not feel stronger in any significant way. With all the running I was doing I still wasn't getting faster and didn't feel like I could add any mileage without feeling like death. I was getting seriously discouraged and really didn't know how I could work out more than I already was. I was already spending about 1.5 hours a day and even longer on days I had a run scheduled.  Oh and did I mention I HATED every second of it. HATED. IT. (except for the running part)

About 4 months ago I started doing some research about working out and different techniques. I stumbled across the greatest site evah- Body Rock tv . Seriously, go look now - I'll wait. =) The brain (and body) behind this amazing site is Zuzana. You can see EVERY SINGLE muscle in this girl's body. It's just incredible. Like watching a race horse in action. lol


Her workouts are challenging, fun, and addicting. And Zuzana is funny, motivational, and just as sweet as can be. I can't wait to do my workout each day. Some nights I actually fall asleep pumped up thinking about my workout in the morning. I'm getting definition in muscles!! I'm seeing my strength improve every single day.  And my runs- they're getting easier with less training!  I did a 6.5 miler the other day and shaved off 2 minutes from my normal time. But that wasn't the greatest part. I felt like I had too much gas left in the tank when I was done and felt like I could have went farther and faster. Whoo hoo!!!  It's never too late to get the body you want. Take small steps at first and gradually progress but never stop!! This is Janet, a fellow BodyRocker, she is 52 years old!!

Such an inspiration! Use it or lose it they say- and that includes your precious body!! Now drop and give me 10. =)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Black Bean Hummus Burritos

I've got a yummy (and HEALTHY) recipe for you!!  I ran across two recipes the other day that made me hungry so I kinda combined them and made one yummy dish. The first one was a turkey/bean burrito over at Home Cooks Rock. This blog belongs to Jason's mom (click here to see her burritos!). The other recipe was black bean hummus potstickers over at The Athlete's Plate. (Well, actually the blog is titled: Life Of An Aspiring Triathlete, but he does this awesome segment.) Anyway, I squished the two together. Sorry I don't have any pictures of it. I don't have a camera right now; plus I ate it too quickly to have gotten a picture anyway!


1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
about 3 cloves of garlic (More or less, depending on your preference. I like my garlic)
about 1/2 an onion chopped (again more or less, depending on your preference)

Throw it into a food processor and slowly add extra virgin olive oil until it is the consistency you like. I prefer mine just a little on the thick side.

Spread some salsa and spinach over a whole wheat tortilla and spoon in your hummus mixture. Eat them cold or warmed up in the oven. I ate mine warm with a side of steamed broccoli. It really hit the spot!

It's a perfectly protein-packed meal too! =)

Running Nourishes My Soul

I was born with a deformity. It is not obvious to anyone - unless they know me well or I take off my shoes. When I was born, my right foot was a mangled mess. I had 6 toes- sorta. They were all jumbled together  when I was born.  I had to have all but my two very little toes removed.  I had so many surgeries I really don't know the exact count. Every few years the doctors would go in and shave down the bones (because they were growing too fast), cut some nerves, and re-pad the bottom of my foot. The bone of the second big toe (if I had one) kinda points downward on my foot. Big problem because it hits the ground before the rest of the ball of the foot does. It's rather painful. So the doctors always took some skin and fat from the rest of the foot and tried to pad that area. Plus, I've built up calluses under there so that helps too.

But anyway, I used a walker a lot when I was little and went through a TON of physical therapy. I went to Shriner's Hospital in Chicago and had the most amazing team of doctors, nurses, therapists, cooks, janitors, you name it. My physical therapist was the best. For many of my years there I had the same girl - Jill. I will never forget the feeling - the burning, blinding, white-hot pain in my foot after I had surgery and they would come into the room and tell me to swing my legs over the side of the bed and let my foot hang. Just thinking about it I'm breaking into a sweat!! But Jill was such a cheerleader. She was funny, kind, motivational, and tough all at the same time. Whenever I said I couldn't take another step she could somehow push a button in me that made me want to prove to her and myself that I COULD take another step.

In middle school, my band director encouraged me to join the track team. (He was also the coach.) He knew about my foot and knew that it caused me pain but for whatever reason he thought I would be good. My very first meet he unexpectedly stuck me in the 2 mile race. A mile in and I felt like I was going to be sick and my foot was THROBBING. I don't think I finished the race and if I did then I walked it in. That week in practice he had me running long distances again. I told him he was nuts. He said I was a wimp. Uh, nobody calls me a wimp. So, I went and ran my two miles as fast as I could. Took me less than 12 minutes. He was laughing hysterically as I crossed the finish line throwing up and crying. But I was HOOKED. I absolutely love knowing that I can go a little further...a little harder...a little faster than I thought I could. It's become an addiction.

It hurts like heck to run but whenever I'm out on a run like I had tonight the pain is worth it. I'm thankful I have a foot at all. I'm thankful for my strong powerful legs. Thankful for my strong heart and lungs. It's my private time to connect with God, nature, and my body. During every single run I thank Him for my throbbing foot. At the end of a run I feel strong, refreshed, and reminded that I can overcome anything I set my mind to. I encourage everyone I know to run. It's going to feel like death at first but stick with it and take it sloooow. One day when you finish your first mile without walking you'll understand what the hype is all about. I promise. =)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I can NOT get this song out of my head. "I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the moon reflect the sun. Every starry night was His design." LOVE IT.

Delicious and Nutritious Recipe

Jay and I love one skillet meals. They're fast, easy, and can be incredibly healthy. This is our latest go-to meal. Enjoy!


3 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
5 garlic cloves, cut into pieces
1 green or red bell pepper, julienne-cut
1 onion, sliced
handful of spinach
1 tomato cut into chunks
Roasted brocolli and cauliflower
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded and cut into strips
balsamic vinegar
yogurt sauce

1. Heat oil in skillet and saute mushrooms and half of the garlic with a little salt and pepper. Don't let the garlic burn.

2. Add the bell pepper and onion and saute until soft.

3. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook through until no longer pink.

4. Add the roasted broccoli and cauliflower to the skillet and heat through.

5. At the end, add the remaining garlic, chopped tomato, spinach, and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I also add a little white wine.

6. On the side, mix together big spoonful of Greek Yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and whatever spices you want. I use everything from cilantro, to basil, to just the oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes.

7. Pile it all into a bowl, plop some yogurt sauce on top, and enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eat More to Weigh... Less!!

Did you make your yearly Lose Weight resolution yet?  A couple of my friends have asked for advice on how to lose weight. So here it is. :) My first advice is always STOP DIETING. Seriously. Sure, you'll lose weight at first but then as soon as you start to slip back into your old ways you will put that weight on faster than you can reach for the next cookie. :)

Secondly, STOP STARVING YOURSELF. You really need to eat more. If you don't eat enough food your body's metabolism will slow down to a crawl in order to preserve and hold onto every morsel it can get. In order to rev up your metabolism and balance your blood sugar you need to eat 5-6 small meals a day. Preferably every 2.5-3 hours. This strategy also helps to conserve lean muscle and encourages your body to burn off extra fat instead! Whoo hoo!!

Portion sizes are key too! A friend of mine said she'll never lose weight eating that much in a day. I had her write down everything she was currently eating and she was quite surprised with how big her portions were and just how much snacking she did. A meal should consist of a portion of lean protein (the size of your palm) and 2 cups of veggies (or 1 cup veggies/1 cup fruit). Every time you eat, ask yourself where is my protein? Where is my veggie?

It takes a little planning and prepping but is having a body you're happy with worth it?!?! Fruit, veggies, yogurt, cottage cheese, tuna, and grilled chicken breast are all great examples of in-between meals.

I work out about 5-6 days a week and this is what works for me. Find what works for you but make sure you eat something with protein and packed with nutrients every couple of hours. =)