Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Overnight Oats

Good evening all!  It was my first time trying a recipe that I have seen on numerous websites and I think overnight oats are a win!  The idea behind it is to soak the oats in a liquid of your choosing overnight and breakfast is served when you get up in the morning. 

I decided to be adventurous and experimental right off the bat.  I decided to create a German chocolate version of overnight oats and they turned out really yummy.

German Chocolate Overnight Oats

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup skim milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tbsp pecan pieces
1 tbsp ground flax seed
2 packets splenda

I heated the milk and mixed the cocoa powder until it was fully dissolved.  Put all the ingredients together in a dish, cover and put in the fridge overnight.  Next morning, enjoy!

I doubled up on the liquid because I like my oatmeal a little soupy.  If you want something creamier or less soupy, I would recommend cutting the liquid in half so you have equal parts oats and liquid.  You can also use any kind of milk to change the texture as well (i.e. almond, soy, rice, etc). 

It was such a satisfying breakfast and it kept me full for a long time.  They were absolutely the perfect grab-and-go breakfast after my 4am workout :) 


Monday, June 27, 2011

HIIT me!

What a great morning workout!  I did some high intensity interval training (HIIT) and it felt really good.  I completed 30 minutes on the treadmill and I was seriously sweating!  Basically, the HIIT is alternating between short periods of exerting your maximum effort followed by periods of rest/recovery.  HIIT

After a tough workout, I decided to make a delicious smoothie for breakfast.  I just used a Yoplait smoothie mix that I bought from Costco and added in some protien powder and ground flax seed.  Yum!  With no straws in the house, I decided to eat my smoothie cereal-style in a bowl with a spoon.

The rest of my day seemed to fly by which was good.  I have continued to try to keep track of the foods that I am eating, which oddly enough I think has made me less hungry.  Before I started tracking my intake, I just felt like I was just trying to cut back on what I ate and felt deprived and hungry all the time.  Now that I know how much I want to eat each day, I feel more empowered to make the decision of what and when to eat.  I'm not saying I don't feel hungry anymore but I don't feel like I need to eat every thirty minutes.  Does that make sense?

Tonight I'm going to experiment with overnight oats....stay tuned tomorrow for what that is and how they turned out!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Honey-Nut Yummy!

Good Morning y'all!  So my little one has gone off to her daddy's for the next two weeks and I'm not looking forward to my empty house at all :(  Right now I am OK just because I'm used to her being gone every other weekend.  I think around Wednesday I might start getting lonely and missing her a lot. 

We spent the morning coloring and snuggled on the couch playing with her markers (like they were action figures).  After that, we had some oatmeal.  Julia asked for hers with some honey in it and that gave me an idea....I decided to make myself some Honey-Nut Oatmeal!  It was delicious :)

Honey Nut Oatmeal

1/2 cup oats
1 tbsp ground flax seed
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Cook oats, flax seed and water in the microwave for one minute.  Add remaining ingredients and enjoy!

I plugged the ingredients into a calorie calculator and it looks like it's about 360 calories, which isn't too bad.  It was something very quick and easy to make too. 

I'm off to the ball fields to watch Alex!  Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Swimming or the Sidelines?

Happy Saturday!  I had a great day :)  Alex and I took Julia to Waterworks and had a blast.  My mom and dad had us over for after that for yummy barbeque. 

Even though I overall enjoyed today, the beginning was a little rough.  We decided to take Julia to the waterpark and at first the plan was for Alex to play with her in the pool while I sat by and read.  I decided that I wanted to be able to play too...so I started to try on the swimsuits in my drawer.  UGH.  Bad idea.  They were too small.  So being in a grump mood, I told Alex that I needed to go and buy a new swimsuit.  His response was "go buy one" but I thought his tone was saying "you don't really need one or need to spend the money."

Once I opened up and told him how I was feeling, he was more than supportive about taking Julia to the park while I got a bathing suit and met up with them later.  He's the best :) 

Here's why it was such a big deal to me....I don't want Julia to see my imperfect body keeping me from living my life to it's fullest.  I don't want her to not be confident in her own skin.  How children view themselves can be correlated to how they see their parents act.  I want to teach her how to have confidence in herself, to enjoy life and not just sit on the sidelines.  PLUS I don't want to miss out on having fun with my child!

So I found a bathing suit and we had a blast....my only regret is not asking Alex to take some action shots of me and Julia in the pool ;)  Oh well, lesson learned.

How do you teach your children confidence?


Sad Saturday!

So I got a text from Patrice yesterday saying that she has training today so she had to cancel our session for today :(  I'm pretty sad about that.  I was looking forward to getting my butt kicked!

So last night, I did a quick dinner.

I cooked up some chicken breasts with some baby spinach.  Then I tossed in some pre-made butter chicken sauce...mmmm, butter chicken....Warmed up some 90-second jasmine rice and dinner was served!  It wasn't the most healthy meal ever but it was quick and tasty.

I did my 4am workout yesterday morning :)  I did a hill program on my treadmill, which definitely got me sweating!  That's the number one way I feel successful with my workout Haha!  I even felt ambitious enough to climb stairs on one of my breaks.  I climbed ten flights and then came back (it was only a fifteen minute break). 

I didn't wake up early today to get a workout in before everyone else got up but I am planning on mowing the yard later today.  Not the most grueling exercise but it counts for something.  Alex and I are taking Julia to the water park today :)  That will be great exercise for her for sure.

For breakfast, I tried to be creative with the eggs....I made Philly cheese steak eggs.  I cooked some onion slivers, sweet peppers, and mushrooms with a little Worcestershire sauce.  Added eggs and for Alex, I served it on flat bread with Morning Star breakfast sausage and cheese.  I had the same but without the bread or cheese.  YUM!

What's your favorite way to make eggs?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Patrice :)

Yesterday with Patrice went really well.  She had me perform a series of tests to determine my physical ability.  Of course, the standard calipers were there.  she also measured my circumference.  She didn't say what my calculated body fat percentage so I will have to remember to ask about that on Saturday.

She took my resting heart rate and active heart rate, both of which were in the healthy range.  My blood pressure was low (I definitely get that from my mom).  Next came the fun stuff!  She had me complete a three minute step test on a 12-inch step.  Number of push-ups and sit-ups in a minute.  I whooped the v-sit-and-reach; I'm flexible like that.

Overall I am in pretty good physical shape.  The thing that I really need to improve on is my body fat.  For the most part, I eat very well and get my five fruits and veggies each day.  My portion sizes are probably too big and I also have a cRazY sweet tooth that knows no limits! 

Recently, I have been tracking my calorie intake just for informational purposes.  I haven't really given myself a target range or goal to achieve.  On average I think I am eating between 2000 and 2500 calories, which Patrice says is a lot.  Since I have decided to invest in myself, it's now time to be serious about watching what I eat so I can get the most out of my time with Patrice. 

On another note, I did my BOSU DVD and it was great!  It was only thirty minutes but sweat was rolling off me!  I really liked it :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Treadmill VS Dishwasher

My alarm went off way too early yesterday morning.  I spent ten minutes in bed deciding whether or not to get up and workout.  The night before I brought my BOSU up to the living room along with the DVD so that I could try it out.  I finally made the move and went down to the kitchen to get a water bottle for my workout.  And that's when I was hit with a visual reminder that as a single mommy, when you shift your efforts to one area of your life (i.e. fitness/exercise) another area of your life is sure to struggle (i.e. cleaning).  My kitchen was absolutely a disaster area!

So my BOSU is still sitting untouched and awaiting it's first rendezvous with me BUT my kitchen is clean and happy :)  And you know what?  I don't feel guilty about not working out at all.  As I am getting older, I am getting better at realizing the things that overwhelm me and stress me out.  I have been trying to confront those things head on instead of distracting myself with other things (like eating or spending money which only serve to distract me from what's really bothering me).  So I decided to clean for an hour and a half and it felt just as energizing and refreshing as any workout.

On a different note, I tried something new that I am pretty excited about: roasted seaweed!  I saw it at Costco and thought "Hmmm, I've never tried that before but it looks pretty good for you...."  So what should you do if you want to try something new and don't know if you will like it?  Buy it in bulk!  If you hate it, then you will have thirty pounds of it laying around your house to remind you that you don't like it haha.  Anyway, I tried it and I liked it!  I'm so excited for my little salty sea chip discovery.  I won't have a problem eating these all up.  Check this out for nutritional info for seaweed.

Yesterday was a pretty good day for nutritional eating.  I also bought bulk veggies at Costco and it's my goal to eat them all before they spoil.  While I was cleaning the kitchen, I made myself a salad to take for my lunch as well as a baggy of veggies to munch on at work also.  Other snacks included my quinoa clusters and a jello temptations pudding.  I have found that those quinoa clusters are a perfect snack right before a workout.  They are light but still have a good mix of carbs and protein to give me energy for my early morning workouts :)

Today's adventures in cooking include kale chips and Moroccan braised chicken breasts!  Mmmmm.....  And don't forget, it's my first meeting with Patrice too!  Wish me luck!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Ugly Step-Sister?

Yesterday I bought some running shoes at Costco.  I feel that two sins were committed.

1.  I bought running shoes from Costco
2.  I didn't try the shoes on before I bought them

I usually like Adidas shoes so that's why I just grabbed them and hoped for the best.  Plus, Costco has an amazing return policy so I knew if they didn't work, it's not a problem to get my money back.  There were so many parts of the shoe that were stabbing my feet :(  I tried to walk on the treadmill for five minutes and I couldn't even finish.  I really do want to get some knew running shoes though.  Any suggestions on what to get?  Do I spend my exercise money on that or do I save that for something more fun?

So I'm guilty of it, folks.  I see skinny ladies and I often want to say that "they have really good genes."  I saw Pippa in her dress at the wedding and thought this very thing.  Mind changed!  Check this lady out!  She ran twenty miles and then biked another thirty all in the windy, rainy, muddy mountains of Scotland?  I was pleasantly surprised.  It's hard for me not to blame my genetics for my heaviness but as I can see, it's effort and work for everyone to be active and healthy.

I'm getting more and more excited about my date with Patrice on Wednesday ;)  I think this is going to be a great decision.  It's quite the investment but I'm sure the positive effect it's going to have on my life will be exponential :)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Long time, No see...whoops....

So it's been a busy few days but I'm back :)  On Friday I took the plunge!  I spoke with my future trainer Patrice and we made our first appointment for this coming Wednesday.  At the first appointment, we will be doing the good ol' calipers along with some strength and flexibility tests.  It's all a part of getting to know me and where I am at physically. 

Patrice is recommending that we meet twice a week, which means the twenty sessions will only last approximately two and a half months.  I definitely have to make the most of every minute!  I already told Patrice that I would like her to come up with workouts for me to do on the days I don't work out with her as well.  My two goals that I want to work towards is getting my BMI into a healthy range and be able to do a pull-up!  Two months isn't enough time to accomplish either of those goals but a definite step in the right direction.

On Saturday, I made another delicious batch of avocado banana bread.  I made two loaves and froze one of them so we shall see how that turns out.  I changed up the recipe a little bit by adding some protein powder and a few chocolate chips.  I also used all whole wheat flour rather than spelt and oat flour.  I'm planning on using this for a grab and go breakfast for a couple days this week.

I also went to a Potomac Nationals game with my honey on Saturday night.  It was a lot of fun.  Thank goodness it didn't rain!

Today was such a good food day!  I made two new recipes, both of which I thought were keepers :)  For dinner I made inside-out pork dumplings.  It was my first time cooking with baby bok choy and wonton wrappers.  They were both yummy!  It's a great idea.  You cut the wonton wrappers into strips and boil them in water like noodles.  So you cook up the ground pork with some ginger, garlic and scallions.  Add baby bok choy, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, wonton noodles and some rooster sauce and you've got a super delicious meal!

And those are the other cooking success for the day :)  These were a bit of an invention since I didn't get all the ingredients that I needed.  These were supposed to be made with amaranth.  I went to Wegmans to see if they had it but they did not.  So then I came up with an idea....the amaranth looked small and seedy in the picture on the recipe so I decided to substitute quinoa instead.  I was pleasantly surprised with my quinoa clusters.  I think they will make an excellent snack at work and even Julia likes them!  These are a much better alternative to cookies.

Quinoa Clusters

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs (whites only)
1/4 tsp salt

Combine oats, quinoa, almonds, dried fruit and honey in a bowl.  Whisk egg whites with salt until foamy.  Pour over dried fruit and stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Scoop 3 tablespoons of mixture and pat into 3-inch rounds on baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown, approximately 15-18 minutes.  Let cool completely and eat within a week.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Personal Investment?

This mornings workout was a good one!  Thirty-five minutes of intervals training and the sweat was flowing.  I felt really accomplished this morning because I knew I had pushed myself.  Pushing myself is something I only do occasionally.  Sometimes I feel that the lack of pushiness is from ignorance (i.e. I just don't know what to do) and sometimes it is because it's the easier thing to do.  My goal for future workouts is to have one good pushy workout and the other two can be decided by me that day.  The idea/hope is to increase the number of pushy workouts over time.

I have most definitely been thinking about signing up for personal training.  A family friend does personal training at a local rec center and seems to get results out of her clients.  She strikes me as a very Jillian-esque trainer, which I think would work really well with me. 

Besides introductory "personal training" sessions at gyms I have joined in the past, I have never had a personal trainer.  I am excited about the prospect of a fresh perspective on exercise and external motivation to get 'er done!  The only road block for me is the cost.  It's $750 for twenty one-hour sessions.  That's no joke and a whole lot of money. 

I e-mailed the rec center to see if the trainer has availability that matches my schedule and she has forwarded it onto the trainer.  Hopefully it matches up :)  I think it will be worth the personal investment.

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Early to rise!

After a six day vacation from work, it felt kinda good to get back into the normal swing of things.  I got up and did a workout on the treadmill at four this morning.  I did a simple aerobic program on the treadmill but the important part is that I did it and I did more than glisten. 

Best part of the workout for me was my new IPOD nano :)  It has been too long since I was able to exercise with some jams Haha.  The workout was very enjoyable.

So I have devised a plan to encourage me to workout.  I pay myself to workout.  It's recommended that you reward yourself, right?  Well, I'm very generous with myself if parameters are not set.  It usually turns out that I work out for two days in a row and suddenly I feel entitled to a new shirt or pair of shoes.  To ensure that I am not over-rewarding myself, I decided to pay myself $2 for every fifteen minutes that I workout. 

It's been working out pretty well.  I have bought myself a couple new shirts and currently have $52 in the bank.  I don't currently have a reward in mind that I want to get with the money but my phone has been on the fritz lately...we shall see.

Tomorrow the plan is to get up and work out again in the morning.  As a single mom, the best time for me to exercise is in the morning when Julia is still sleeping. If I don't get it done first thing in the morning, then it probably won't happen that day.  I should head to bed soon...


Monday, June 13, 2011

Baking fun with Julia - Carrot Style!

After going through my fridge and trying to take an inventory of ingredients, I noticed I had a bag of carrots that were on their last leg.  It was a big bag of shredded carrots, more than I could stomach in a salad, so what did I decide to do??  Make Cinnamon Carrot Muffins!  This is a recipe that I found in my Whole Living magazine.

Cinnamon Carrot Muffins

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 cups finely grated carrots (4-5 carrots)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper cups.  Whisk flours, soda and salt in a bowl.  Whisk remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Fold dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined. 

Spoon batter into cups.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 22 minutes.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

I only have mini-muffin tins at my house so that's what I used.  These are on the menu for tomorrow's breakfast!  YUM :)

Kid approved!


Happy BOSU to me!

This weekend I wrapped up my birthday celebrations.  One gift that I am very excited about is my BOSU!  It came with a DVD on how to do different workouts with it and I can't wait to start using it.  

I also got a replacement IPOD since my old one bit the dust a couple weeks ago.  I have found that music is a must when I workout and since I have been working out at 4 AM, no IPOD means a lot less motivation to get up in the morning....sooo I am very grateful for my new IPOD!

All in all, from the Pnats game with friends to the cookout with my family, it was a great way to start the 29th year of my life :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do?

I'm a single mother of a four year old daughter and it already seems that her life is beginning to mirror my own.  I was always heavy as a child and I can recall the pediatrician always encouraging me to be more active in an effort to get my weight under control.  Now I get annual lectures from my daughter's pediatrician.

I find myself talking to my four year old about what is healthy and what is not, while I have secret stashes of sweets to eat when she is not in sight.  It's a complete contradiction and I often feel like a hypocrite. 

I want to be a better example for my daughter, what parent doesn't?  I want to be able to guide her through her life not only by the words I share with her but also through the way she sees me living my own life and taking care of my own body.

It's my goal to feed my body with nutrient dense foods and engage in exercise three times a week.  I also want to increase the amount of family exercise time with my daughter.  Whether it's taking our dog Leo for a walk or playing freeze tag.  I want her to see the different ways to enjoy physical activity throughout her life.

I'm hoping this blog "Not Just Saying" will be a way to share my journey with others about the positive changes that I am making in my life as well as the set backs that I will experience.  I'm hopeful that the progress will be reflected in my life as well as my family's life.