Tag Archives: weight loss

Check Out the Leaner, Meaner You

weight-lossSo, it’s about that time when we all start thinking about what it might be like if someone asked us to don a bathing suit right this very minute. But instead of it being just a mere thought, the truth is that the skin revealing time of  year really is just around the corner.

And, yes, setting weight loss or get-in-shape goals really are key to achieving the swimsuit bodies we all desire. But wouldn’t it be much more helpful if we had a clear vision of what results our hard work might churn out? Like, a photo of our brand-spanking new, buff bodies?

Well …. you CAN have it. Just check out WeightView.com, a site that allows you to upload a photo of your current self and plug in your weight loss goals. The result? A specially altered picture that allows you to see what your fab self might look like should you commit to eating healthier and pumping some iron.

Talk about inspiration, right? In the April issue of SELF magazine, one writer hung the photo at her desk as a reminder to hit the gym after work.

Technology … whatever will they come up with next?

(Hmmm … something that involves calorie-free, chocolate lava cake … please?)

2 Comments

Filed under Eat, March 2009, Pray, Run

Share Food with Others and Lose Weight!

I am watching The Biggest Loser right now and I think this is something you should all check out. What better incentive is there to lose weight when you know you can do it and help others?pfp_logo

The Pound for Pound Challenge — Pledge Now to Make a Difference!!

For every pound you lose during the Pound For Pound Challenge, Pound For Pound will donate 10¢ to Feeding America — enough to provide one pound of groceries to a local food bank.

JOIN HERE NOW!!

1 Comment

Filed under Eat, February 2009, Pray, Run

Weekend Goodies and a Breakfast to Die For!

Wasn’t the video this morning just fabulous? I loved watching Matt Harding takes his dance moves across the world . . . just totally inspiring.

OK, folks! So, it’s time for the weekend 30-Day Challenge wrap-up. Here goes…

Friday: Lunch was one of the yummiest sandwiches I have ever had — seriously! Dan had marinated a few huge portobello mushroom caps the night before, so I roasted one and put it between two toasted slices of whole grain bread. I also added lettuce and about 1 tbsp. of Lemonaise Light. Notice the cranberry-splashed water in the background. A little bit after lunch I was craving something sweet, so I had a bowl of green grapes and perfectly-ripe blueberries. What a perfect foodie afternoon!

My brothers were visiting on Friday night because we were going to work on our bikes Saturday afternoon, so we splurged on some pizza and ice cream treats. I had two medium-sized pieces of pizza and, later, a Snickers Ice Cream Bar. We watched movies and had a blast!

On Saturday morning, I got up early and went for a 4-mile run. I forgot my watch, so I am not sure what my time was, but I think I was cookin’ it along pretty well! It felt good to be done with exercise early. After that, I was back to my usual self at breakfast— munching on one of my favorite cereals! I had a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares with about 1 cup of soy milk.

Before we trekked it over to FreeRide, I had a small bowl of whole wheat shells with about 1 tbsp. of Smart Balance Omega Olive Oil “butter” spread and a few dashes of onion salt. My stomach was kind of bothering me, so I decided to keep it a little on the bland side. We worked on our bikes for four hours (more on that later!) and then headed home for some dinner.

Whew, we were tired! But we did manage to whip up some food before relaxing for the night.

The boys had chicken and tortellinis and, since my stomach was still bothering me, I kept it simple with some toast with peanut butter and hot green tea. I was feeling much better by the time I hit the sack. Must have just been a little bug.

Sunday morning’s breakfast was a huge treat: My sister, her boyfriend and I took the boys to the infamous Pamela’s! Poor Dan had to head off to work, but we thought of him with every bite! (:

Now, if you are not from Pittsburgh, you will not understand the glory that is Pamela’s, but let me try to explain. They have these amazing thin — and kind of crispy — pancakes that are as big as your plate. And strawberries and cream-stuffed crepes. And California French toast. And home fries with big chunks of potatoes. And …. oh, I could just go on and on.

I am so, so bummed, but I forgot to take a picture! Ahhh! I was so focused on eating my California French Toast (whole wheat raisin bread, dipped in egg and cooked up for your eating pleasure) that I completely forgot to snap a photo! But check out the picture (at left) of the strawberry crepes — that is what my sister ate and, boy, are they delish, too. My sister and I also shared a side of the oh-so-good home fries.

After that feast, I was so completely stuffed that lunch was definitely out of the question; especially, since we ate a later breakfast.

But, don’t worry, my eating adventures were not over just yet! After running a few errands around home — and packing some boxes (yep, it’s already moving time) — my brothers, Dan and I went to my parents’ house for our usual Sunday night dinner.

We had some great food, and I loaded my plate with corn on the cob, salad, grilled green beans and potatoes, and about a 2.5-oz. serving of ahi tuna. Again, a fabulous meal!

And, now, here I am, back to Monday, and starting the week anew. This weekend was fun, albeit a little bit indulgent, but it’s always nice to splurge!

Tomorrow is the last day of the Challenge! Meet back here to talk about some of the things I have learned, and for run-through of today and tomorrow’s meals.

Enjoy the evening! (:

1 Comment

Filed under Eat, July 2008, Pray, Run

Breakfast on an Island and the Best Gosh, Darn Pizza Ever!

Hello, lovely people!

Vacation is winding down quickly, but I wanted to write and fill you in from where I left you last . . .

Rewinding a bit to Monday:

Breakfast was a piece of whole grain toast with almond butter and Thousand Islands Winery’s Blackberry Merlot jam. Both of these were from the wine festival we attended on Sunday, and, after tasting them, I would say they are tummy-approved buys! The jam, as you probably already assumed, has merlot in it and you can taste a faint hint of the wine with each bite. A perfect combo with the blackberries. I think I said, “Mmm…” with every bite. I had the toast with a cup of black coffee — go figure, right?

I am going to be honest with you about lunch — I have no clue what I ate, there are no photos to help me recollect and I am going to just have to assume that I flat-out forget what filled my tummy that afternoon.

But one thing is for sure: Dinner was anything but unforgettable because we went to Cavallario’s Pizza! YAY!! I had a slice of my favorite, Pesto, Feta Cheese and Artichoke, and one slice of cheese and mushroom. It was all so delightful!

After dinner, we walked around Alexandria Bay for a while, and then topped off the night with some ice cream. I got a regular-sized cone with twist soft serve ice cream and rainbow sprinkles. I felt slightly childish, but I enjoyed every bite of it!

Later that night, we went to a local natural water spring and filled up some jugs. It is so amazing to see fresh water come out of the ground like that, and it feels good to know you are putting something so pure into your body.

I got mosquito bites that swelled up my whole foot, but — despite the itchies — it was worth it!

On Tuesday, we started off the day early by taking a trip to Mary Island — a beautifully wooded campground and trails, and the infamous home to my uncle’s proposal to my aunt that I talked about earlier.

My mom packed a bunch of food for us to cook breakfast on the island, using the charcoal grills that are located at various sites throughout the park.

Some of the work was done at home; the potatoes were boiled and chopped before we left, and Dan made the pancakes, so they only had to be reheated once we arrived.

When we first set out on the boat, the weather was not looking too promising, so we had to bundle up a bit and bear the semi-chilly weather.

Once we arrived, we set up camp and then everyone got started cooking.

We made started two charcoal fires — my mom sauteéd the crazy-good potatoes that I have talked way too much about, and made toast and eggs on one, and the boys had some eggs and bacon going on the other. We also warmed up the aforementioned pancakes. Mmm … everything looked so good. Nice pj’s mom!

I munched on some grapes — hey, Luke, get your hand out of there! — and four Pringles from my brother’s personal stash while I waited.

Here is what my plate looked like:

Tasty, huh?

After eating, we hung out on the island for a while, and the weather just kept getting better and better. Look at the sunshine difference in these two pictures! The first is from when we arrived and the second about an hour after we had been on the island.

What a great morning!

After that, I was pretty stuffed, and lunch was pretty much out of the question. I did, however, snack on a cookie.

Dinner was early, but I kept it pretty light. I had a medium-sized salad with 2 slices of whole grain bread that I dipped in an herb olive oil. It was so good!

And for a snack … drumroll please! … we had s’mores. I sandwiched mine in dark chocolate again, and it was oh-so-good. Ignore the goofy face — I was lost in s’more heaven. I had three — I know you’re thinking, “Control yourself, girl!” But they were just the best. (:

By the end of the day I felt pretty filled to the brim with food. But it really was a fabulous 1000 Islands day — food and all.

More on the fabulous life and food times at The 1000 Islands later … for now, I gotta go eat dinner! I think we are hitting up Cavallario’s, again, for one last hoorah! (;

I will fill you in on all of the yummy details later …

7 Comments

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Fancy Cheese, Wine Festival and Potatoes, Potatoes, Potatoes!

Whew!

It’s been a little while since I last posted and, boy, do I have some good vacation times — food, too! — to share with you.

But first: In case you are just tuning in, I want all of my readers to understand the method behind my slightly increased madness. Starting on June 9th, I kicked off a personal 30-day health challenge based on the influence of my writing work with First30Days, a Web site devoted to helping individuals change their life for the better. I have also been reading the book, First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (And Loving Your Life More) and it has bee an amazing resource for helping me along in my journey.

However, let me tell you one thing — it probably was not the best idea to kick off this change before I went on vacation, one of the most self-indulgent times of my year. It’s been a bit tough to moderate. But we learn, right?

And I have been thinking that it may have not been so bad of a thought after all because vacation is a time for self-renewal anyway, at least, that is how I look at it. So, perhaps, it was a good time — especially, a good time to learn how to better control portion sizes of foods that are not so high on the healthy list. (; I have also been working on pushing the exercise factor despite the fact that I would sometimes rather just sit and read a fabulous book.

Now, when I left you last, I was heading off to dinner. Thursday night’s meal ended up being mahi mahi, chicken, a spicy black bean rice dish and grilled veggies. I had about 2 oz. each of the chicken and fish, and 1/2 cup of rice with the vegetables on the side.

I also had a small glass of wine. Mmm … this dinner was so good.

After we finished cleaning up, we took a night ride on our boat and my mom, dad and Dan jumped in. I had a slight earache, so the water just was not happening for me that night. But I did get some funny pictures of everyone jumping in — it was chilly!

Friday was kicked off with a bowl of the usual — Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats with about 1 cup of 1 % milk. But I jazzed it up by adding a side of some homemade potatoes. In case you have not noticed, these potatoes are a vacation breakfast staple. They have become particularly special to the 1000 Islands because these salt potatoes — potatoes boiled in salt — are a breakfast food my mom often ate with her family when they vacationed here. And so, the tradition of yummy potatoes was passed on. Most likely, however, they are not part of a healthy diet. (: But for vacation, I believe in some exceptions, especially, family food traditions!

After breakfast, my sister’s boyfriend, Anthony, surprised her by arriving a day early. Her face was priceless!

Lunch was a bit of a repeat of dinner the night before; I had about 3/4 cup of black beans and rice with a dried blueberry-topped salad. I was trying to keep it a bit on the light side because I knew we were having “fancy” grilled cheese for dinner.

I followed up lunch with a small bit of M&Ms.

Before dinner, my mom, sister and I went for a 4-mile walk. It felt good to get out and get my muscles moving!

Now, before I move on to dinner, I think this meal requires some explanation. I call this “fancy” grilled cheese because when Dan first came to the 1000 Islands we visited this store called River Rat Cheese, — I know, what a name, right? — and he came up with the idea to buy a bunch of gourmet cheeses and great bread to make some extra-special grilled sandwiches. Not much genius thought required behind that culinary creation, but oh-my-gosh these things are fabulous! Now, they are a once a year vacation dinner requirement, and I am so thankful my fiancé established that tradition — thanks, honey! I tried to keep it as healthy as humanely possible by putting it on whole grain bread. My sandwich was a mix of garlic and chive, tomato basil, and a dash of jalepeno cheese. On the side was some split pea soup from the The Wellesley Hotel. I know it kind of looks like baby food in the photo, but the fresh peas tasted so, so good. It was topped off with sliced sugar snap peas and I ate every bit of it! I was a bit full after this one . . . to say the least.

Breakfast on Saturday morning was the last bit of my Barbara’s with about 1 cup 1 % milk. Luke tried to steal it from me, but then her realized how serious I was about this cereal, and he gave it right back! (:

My last bunch of Barbara’s was followed by a trip to a book sale in Alexandria Bay. Yay, BOOK SALE!!!!! I know, books are pretty much the last thing I need, but I figure there are worse addictions out there, right? I bought about 20 used books for $13.00! Now, that’s a bargain you just cannot pass up!

I must not have been feeling lunch much that day because I only munched on a graham cracker and bananas with peanut butter. We had an XMen trilogy fest — yes, we are nerds like that! — and maybe the intensity just got to me . . . who knows! Looking back, I went a little overboard on my peanut butter dosage for the day!

Dinner was a chicken chili that my mom concocted, and it was mighty tasty! It was chock-full of chickpeas, black beans and veggies; I also had a piece of whole grain bread dipped in olive oil. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture — I must have been so hungry from skipping lunch that is slipped my mind. Sorry!

I had to buy a new cereal for Sunday’s breakfast, and it had to be very similar to my Barbara’s. So, I purchased Quaker Shredded Oats “with a touch of brown sugar.” They are tasty, too, and I wouldn’t mind using them every now and then to change it up a bit!

Around noon, we all headed to a food and wine festival in Clayton. It was so much fun to try bits of different wines, cheese and crackers, homemade dips, bread and herbed olive oils . . . yummy!

After the festival, we walked around town for a little while, where I had a piece of shortbread from a small cafe. We then went back to the cottage for some time in the sun! Before I went outside, I had a piece of a Pop Tart. OK — pause for a second. I never eat Pop Tarts, I mean — never. And as I was eating this piece of pastry, I was thinking, “Why am I eating this?” And then, I realized: Because I can! The truth is, if I did not have these kiddie foods around me, like when I am at home, I would not be eating them. Well, lesson learned!

For dinner that night, Dan was at it again with an amazing red pepper and sliced almond turkey burger concoction. I had mine with ketchup and light mayo on two slices of whole grain bread. I also had a salad and 12 oz. beer on the side. I am usually not a big beer fan, but sometimes it sounds good to me when I am eating something like a burger. Plus, I had to try one of these because they came straight from the festival! It was good, but I did not finish the whole bottle; sometimes the fizzy nature of beer gets to my tummy! I gave about 1/4 of it to Dan, and he finished it for me.

That night, I had a bit of work to do on the computer, and while I was working I had about 1/2 cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream. So good!

Well, I don’t want to inundate you with too much food and vacation food — this is an extra long blog post!! — so I am going to leave you with a TO BE CONTINUED . . . sound good?

But before I do, a few points I want to end with —

All in all, I am not unhappy with health decisions that I have been making on this vacation. A few things I would still like to work on:

  • Eating more fruits and veggies.
  • Exercising more, and adding much more strength to my routine — Don’t forget: I want those girly musk-les!
  • Eating less sweets!!
  • I need to stop skipping meals. Even if it is only every once and awhile, it makes me feel crappy!
  • Not eating potatoes for, like, an entire year! Ha, ha, ha, ha! (:

More 30-Day Challenge fun tomorrow, but for now I am hitting the sack!

Zzzz . . .

1 Comment

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Eating, Working, Packing, Eating, Work Out, Eating . . . Whew!

OOOOOK……. so, where did I leave you last? I feel like I have done so many things since I blogged about my walk/run session last night.

First off — Last night’s snack. I was too hungry to wait until dinner, so I had some Fage Total 2 % Peach Greek-Style yogurt to hold me over. Mmmm … I love this stuff!

Next — Dinner. I had a severe craving for something semi-naughty, so when Dan called to say he was picking up a few things to make our next couple meals at least a little interesting, — finishing up stuff has become extremely blah — I said, “I think I want pierogies.”

I know, weird, huh?

But a super Polish indulgence it was! These guys were 200 calories and 3.5 g fat (1.5 saturated) for every three; I had six, so do the math and that’s 400 calories! I dipped mine in Kraft Catalina dressing, a total weird pierogie-eating habit of mine that is all my dad’s fault! (; We also added some Trader Joe’s Prig Kring Green Beans — the usual green bean with a spicy twist. One of my favorites, and only 70 calories per cup!

Dinner was followed by a treat, and it’s one of my faves … drumroll please … Chewy Brownie Cookies from Whole Foods!! Oh. My. Gosh. I love these things. If you pick ’em just right, you can find ones that taste just like brownie batter, and for anyone who has ever eaten it straight from the bowl, you know just how luscious these cookies are! And the best part? Every two are only 160 calories, and they’re low fat. Now, that’s a win-win situation! Except for my chipped nail polish that is … ):

I did a little better with sleep last night, but still only about six hours. The best part was, however, that I slept really sound which can be a tough thing for a light sleeper like me to accomplish. So, all was well, especially since I got up early and got a ton of my writing work done!

Breakfast was the same as yesterday — a lot a bit of All Bran Strawberry Medley and a little bit of the icky Cascadian Farms Raisin Bran with about 1 cup of skim milk.

I also had a sliced apple on the side which lasted through my mid morning coffee ….

Lunch was another attempt to finish up some food, but I was OK with that because it was one of my favorite kid-like sandwiches — PB and banana on whole grain bread! I love this combo, and if you have never tried it, then you just gotta! I have Dan totally hooked. I also had a pre-lunch snack — more peanut butter!! It’s probably a bit of overload, but I am a peanut butter freak and once I start it’s hard to stop!

After lunch, I did some running around, and a little bit of packing . . . But I only got as far as my books — about 70 books and magazines! Do you think I have too many? (-: I have a bit of a book problem. If there is the slightest, tiny chance I might need it, then I just have to take it with me. Oh, well. I guess everyone has their “thing,” right?!

Good thing I always end up wearing the same few things on vacation ….

All that book packing had me bored with vacation prep, so when Dan got home from work, I asked him to go for a walk. He wasn’t too keen on the idea — I walk really fast! — but I was totally pumped to go! Aha, ha, ha, ha! … I tried to make a “Grr!” face, but I kept laughing. We ended up having a great time, however, like we always do once we get out there!

We walked for a little more than an hour, and now it’s time for more packing, a little bit of work and dinner!

Voila! Whew …. what a busy day!

3 Comments

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run

Workin’ Those Abs for Summer Fun!

I started off the day with some Ab exercises from Fitness magazine. Hey, it is vacation time, so that means it is also time to bare my lily white belly.

Gotta get in bikini shape!

I found this program in Fitness’ Web site called The 4-Week Ab-a-thon. Pretty cute, right? Anyway, I just kicked off Week 1 today, and boy did it get my tummy muscles going! My kitties were pretty freaked out by the figure eight exercise, but I could definitely feel it in my obliques.

I’m not sure if it’s my favorite ab workout, but we will see how my stomach feels about it tomorrow.

One bonus: I like waking up in the morning and sweating, even if it’s just for a bit. It always seems to give you that extra jolt you need to get your morning started!

Breakfast was a bowl of cereal; about 1 cup of All-Bran’s Strawberry Medley and 1/2 cup of Cascadian Farms’ Raisin Bran with 1 cup skim milk. I am not to fond of this brand of raisin bran, so I have been mixing small bits of it into more favorable cereal so it does not go to waste. I also had a juicy nectarine — it was perfect!

I had a homemade iced coffee in between breakfast and lunch — still fighting that caffeine addiction!

Lunch was leftover chicken salad from yesterday (about 3/4 cup) on 2 slices of whole grain bread with shredded carrots and lettuce for toppings. I also had the rest of last night’s broccoli on the side.

In addition to lessening coffee consumption, I am also still working on getting more sleep. Last night was about 5 1/2 hours again, and I am definitely feeling it. I just keep reminding myself that vacation is coming!

I am still working on getting outside on this fabulous summer day for a walk or run. I will keep you posted, but for now I have got work to do!

Happy afternoon!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Eat, June 2008, Pray, Run