Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My name is Nicole, *sigh...and I'm a slacker/snacker

OK, so I am the absolute worst!! I have slacked on on this blog so bad that this morning when I went to log in, I had forgotten my user name =( And it's not just the blog, I have been slacking in several areas of my life over the past 2 weeks. I hadn't completely fallen off the healthy living wagon, but I was holding on for dear life. I have definitely given less than admirable efforts a work as well. I don't know, I guess I got completely side tracked from life. But fear not, I'm back. Let's review the lessons that I have learned:

#1: 5 am workouts are a terrible idea! Well, its just not good for me to have them 2 or three mornings in a row. I haven't completely given up on them, but I think I'm just going to do them once or maybe twice a week. It is pure hell trying to get out of the bed that early.

#2: I have step my workouts up to 5 days a week. Plain & simple. 4 days just won't cut it for me at this stage in the game.

#3: You don't get to "cheat" on your diet unless you've actually put forth a monumental amount of effort. I'm surely not starving myself, but I don't think I should be allowed to have fried shrimp & hush puppies just because I went to the gym 3 days in a row.

#4: I'm back to hating yogurt.....what can I say, I tried.

#5: a chronic snacker such as myself must keep healthy snacks on deck at all times...and I must keep a variety, so I don't get bored. Right now I'm liking muti-grain wheat thins, triscuits, laughing cow wedges, mini bags of pop corn and fruit salads..... I LOVE SNACKS!

#6: Some people don't have gym etiquette! So the BF and I were in the gym last week wrapping up our workout with an ab session. There were two girls near us on mats doing a similar workout. They were cute, seemed to be normal....people that I would assume have some home training. Well, after about 2 reps of "6-inches" and 20 crunches, I started to get a whiff of an extremely foul odor. I looked at the BF with disgust. "Gross! my mouth was open!....I'm struggling to breathe & here you are polluting the little bit of air that I can inhale!!!" He responds with a simple "It wasn't me...what are you talking about?" Shortly after finishing that statement, he got a sudden whiff as well. It was one of those cute girls! Not sure which one, but I'm thinking "how is the other one not passed out dead on the mat?" Either way, one of them needs to bypass the crunches and go see a colon hydro therapist. A dirty colon is probably the culprit for that tummy bulge. Needless to say, we cut the ab workout short that day.

To make matters worse, I tried on a pair of pants yesterday that have been falling off of me for more than a year now. I hadn't put them on in a few months. They actually fit his time!!!! I wanted cry. But instead, I pushed myself extra hard in the gym that evening. I have stepped my level of dedication & seriousness up about 5 notches. I'll be posting another recipe and pics soon. Until then....wish me well. Oh, and I'll keep you all updated on those pants in the future.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This weekend I came up with a dinner and dessert recipe. For dinner I made ginger garlic teriyaki chicken. To maximize health and minimize calories and carbs, it should be served over brown rice, but I was trapped in the house over the weekend because of an ice storm and all I had on hand was jasmine rice.


marinate chicken (I used 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts) with onion powder, garlic powder, Mrs. dash, black pepper, 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Glaze, a few sprinkles of ground ginger & a few sprinkles of thyme. Let the marinated chicken sit covered in the fridge overnight. When you're ready to prepare, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 1/2 tsp of olive oil in bottom of your baking dish. Place the chicken in the baking dish. On the stove top, combine 1 sliced green, red & yellow pepper into a skillet. Peppers can be expensive, so you might want to try to find some sort of package that has this variety of peppers already sliced and ready to go. I would not suggest frozen peppers. Next, add one 16 oz can of drained pineapple chunks. Then add about 1/4 cup of chopped fresh garlic root, 1/3 cup of teriyaki sauce & 1/3 cup of Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Glaze. Let the chicken cook in the oven for about 35 minutes...or until done. Let the veggies cook uncovered until tender (20 mins or so), stirring so that they don't stick to the skillet. Serve veggies and chicken over rice. You can add some broccoli, water chestnuts...or whatever you like to the veggies. It came out pretty good. Lots of ginger flavor! Now, there is a decent amount of sodium in this dish from the teriyaki and glaze, so do not add salt!

For dessert I made fat free chocolate cupcakes with fat free chocolate whipped icing! They actually came out pretty good!

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 3/4 cups of sugar or sugar substitute, 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of baking soda & 1/2 tsp of salt. In another bowl, combine 2/3 cups of fat-free plain yogurt, 1/2 cup of skim milk, 4 egg whites & 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Heat your oven to 400 degrees and then mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Pour the batter into the lined cupcake pan. You want each slot to be filled about 2/3. Bake for 20 mins. For the frosting....I made some intricate home made frosting, but realistically, to save time, money and energy you can combine 1 package of fat-free cool whip, 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder & 1 tsp of vanilla extract...voila! The cupcake I have pictured is paired with 1 scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh fruit topping.
Today is a non-gym day, so I'm just going to do a 10 min ab workout in the house. I'm trying to drink plenty of water, and snacking on some fresh cantaloupe. 5 am workouts commence tomorrow =( Till next time....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Way to get started!

So this morning I was too tired to go to the gym @ 5 am...fear not, I'm gonna go this afternoon I PROMISE! I'm off of work most Fridays, and those that I do work, I'm off by 12:30 pm at the latest (our clinic closes at noon). I asked the BF if we were going to the gym this evening when he gets off work. He said it depends on how he feels later. That being said, I'll be at the gym around 3 pm....he doesn't have an weight to lose, so I can't fool with him today....

Last night I was talking to my friend Shannon (I so lovingly refer to her as "Chuck") and we were discussing celebrity diets and what people think they should be eating while trying to lose weight. We came to the conclusion that it doesn't make sense, at least not for us, to eat specific foods or be on a certain food regime while trying to slim down. What happens when you get to your desired weight? Do you eat smoothies, steamed veggies and couscous for the rest of your life? I know that I'm going to want a taco at some point! To us, it makes more sense to eat normal, delicious, health conscious foods on an everyday basis as your exercising, cutting back on fats, sugars, carbs, alcohol, etc. and drinking more water. This way, when you do get down to your desired size you can simply alter your workout schedule and regime and slightly increase your cheat margin. Basically, do what needs to be done in order to maintain. It all comes down to this, I'm not going to be a stickler about counting calories. I'm just going to eat food that I enjoy that won't send me down the road of heart disease. In conclusion, tonight I am going to ome up with a ginger, garlic, teriyaki chicken recipe. I'll take pics and give you my thoughts later. Ill also come up with some sort of dessert idea that I'll post as well.

In the gym today: 5 mins of stretching, 5 mins of warm-up (on the bike or elliptical), 20 mins of upper body weight machines, 20 mins of jogging/running on the treadmill, and 10 mins of abs...1 hour and I'm out. Oh yeah, good snack idea: Breyers 100 calorie yogurt pack and a piece of fruit. I like the cheesecake flavor....it comes with little graham cracker bits to stir in! Till next time.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Julie did it...why can't I?

Let me begin by saying that I absolutely adore Paula Deen! She is an awesome chef and I wish she would come visit me during the holidays. However, it is her cooking style and approach to food that stands between me and my goal of losing 35 pounds. I'm sure many people have seen or at least heard of the movie "Julie & Julia". Well, this blog is different from Julie's in the sense that I cannot, under any circumstances afford to quit my job so that I may spend time blogging & cooking (kudos to her husband for helping to make that possible for her). It also differs in that unlike Julie, I am on a quest to lose 35 pounds by September 30th of this year and broaden my horizon of healthy delicious recipes for everyday people.

I love to cook. I haven't always felt this way. I always enjoyed cooking. I was the kid at summer camp that was in cooking class because I actually enjoyed it...not just to get out of the heat. But as I got older, cooking became more of a chore. A few years ago, I realized that I hadn't lost my flair or love for cooking, but I had simply become bored with the dishes I knew how to prepare. Everything that I didn't know how to cook I bought. I began to look up recipes online and I slowly but surely go my mojo back. Now I am inspired to try new dishes while sitting at my desk and preparing my grocery list! Now, if only I can figure out how to cook (and eat) delicious foods that can help me along my weight loss journey. Hmmm....

Is it me, or do most weight loss products and ads seem to be focused around those people who just want to lose 5-10 lbs before their class reunion (they make me sick), or those who are morbidly obese and nearly qualify for gastric? What about us fatty's in the middle?! What If you're not eligible to be on the Biggest Loser, but you can afford to miss several meals? What if you want to go down 2 sizes in you jeans? Years ago, I once asked a doctor if it was possible for me to have just a little bit of gastric? "Like, can't you just chop off some of my stomach? So I can eat at least 10 spoonfuls of food in one sitting?" He looked at me like I was insane and then told me that it was not possible. Low and behold, a little while later they come up with the damn Lap Band! I had one of those "I kinda invented that in my mind" moments. Even still, I'm about 150 lbs from qualifying for that procedure as well. Here's a thought...maybe I can cook my way through Paula Deen's cookbook! If I actually survive and my heart doesn't give out on me before I make it to the final mouth watering recipe, I will surely qualify for weight loss surgery then!

Today is Thursday, January 29th. This week Anthony (the BF) and I began our 5 am workout regime. So we wake up at 4:50. Out the door by 5. At the gym by 5:10. Then the "fun" begins. We do this 3 days a week. We also hit up the gym on Saturday or Sunday, but at a Godly hour of our liking. So for years I thought I was making great strides by going to the gym. For everyone reading, admitting you need/want to lose weight is the first step. Actually getting into a gym or better yet, putting on workout clothes is the next step. But its the third step, figuring out a functional exercise routine, that was the most difficult. When I first started exercising a few years back (when I was 28 lbs heavier than I am now....geeesh) I would get on the treadmill and walk/run/jog for as long as I could. I worked my way up to 1 hour and worked my way down to a size 12. But I think that mostly had to do with the fact that my body was in absolute shock, and many of my weaker fat cells died from trauma and then disintegrated. But the stronger, more resilient fat cells aren't going down without a fight. One hour on the treadmill does not intimidate them. I've learned that I need to mix it up a little bit and catch them off guard. I've gotten some really good routines from the BF (he played football in college so he dumbs down some of their old techniques so that I can get fit....I'm guessing it's the same workout that the kickers and punters do during practice). Anyway, before this, I had never actually broken a heavy sweat lifting weights! So mixing up weights, resistance, and cardio are a definite plus!

I have to admit, I have been sooo sleepy at work this week. And today, I am so stiff. I feel like a cross between the tin man from The Wizard of Oz and a girl who just got jumped into a gang. I have a shorter term goal of losing 15 pounds by May 13th, so hopefully those thoughts will keep me awake at my desk and away from the snack bin in the break room. Pictures and recipes to come soon. Till next time.....wish me luck.