Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beyond my Comfort Zone

The Agency where I work at is starting a softball team and sign-ups were yesterday. I am 24 years old and I haven’t played softball in 12 years. A lot has changed since then. I am faced with new challenges. Specifically, I’m overweight and have a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. While being overweight is nothing new to me, the MS is. Despite that, I went through with it and have signed up to play on the softball team!

Photo from google.com
I am excited and nervous for this new adventure. This is definitely beyond my comfort zone. However, I am going to keep in mind the quote “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” because it is so very true. For example, buying a house is nerve-wracking, but it is also life changing (usually in a good way). Now, I am not saying that joining a softball team and buying a house are in the same category by any means, but you get the picture.

So now that I have actually signed up and paid my league fees, I have another incentive to keep working out with the C25K program. I am going to need to build up my endurance to be able to play a game of softball. I also might find a batting cage somewhere near me because hitting the ball definitely takes some practice! This reminds me of something that I have found to be true in the past; making healthy choices (such as signing up for the softball team) motivates you to continue making healthy choices (training for the games).
Are you doing anything currently, or have you signed up for anything that is a little beyond your comfort zone?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Despite Defeat

Despite the C25K's W4D1 defeat over me, I am feeling great just from trying to complete it! I stepped on the scale to find that I am at my lowest weight in four years! I remember wishing not too long ago to see 235 on the scale and I surpassed that this morning by weighing in at 234.6!


Thank you to all of my awesome readers for your supportive comments and emails after my post the other day! I promise, I am not giving up!

I'm excited that I am finally losing weight again! This is going to really help me in my Big Bridesmaid Challenge. The wedding is in August and I feel like my goal is still obtainable! Official weigh in is on Sunday so my mini goal this weekend is to maintain this loss for then!

How often do you weigh yourself? Do you have a special weigh in day?
My weigh in day is on Sunday that way I have a big incentive for eating well on my most challenging days, which are Fridays and Saturdays!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Little Defeated

I come to you frustrated and if I were to be completely honest, a little defeated, too.

I have tried to complete the Couch to 5K's (C25K) week 4 day 1 (W4D1) for the past two days without success. Yesterday, I went to the gym with my sister in attempt to complete my first 5 minute run since starting the program. I didn't finish it. I made it to 4 minutes when my thoughts quickly went from "You can do it!" to "I need to stop, right now!" I wasn't too disappointed with myself as my running was really forced yesterday. My head wasn't completely in it. I didn't feel like running at all. I told myself that tomorrow would be different and that I would give it another shot, then.

Tomorrow came today and there was no change. I tried to run again but I couldn't will myself to finish my first 5 minute run. I was thinking too far in to it. So many thoughts were running through my head. I was thinking that my lungs would burst if I kept going; that if I slowed down, I might as well just stop and walk; that it shouldn't be this hard. Then before I knew it, it happened; I was no longer running. I was walking.

Running is such a mental sport. I feel like my inner cheerleader is damaged, or maybe she is just tired. Either way, I refuse to give up. Next time (because there WILL be a next time) I am going to remember this as I run:


from google.com
 W4D1... I'm coming for you.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easy White Chicken Chili

Last night's dinner was delicious! I tried a new recipe that I found on a healthy living blog and just had to try it for myself.

Easy White Chicken Chili

Serves 10, 1 cup each
Nutrition per Serving: 287 calories, 2.8 fat, 42.8 carb, 21 protein


Ingredients:

5 15-oz jars of northern white beans
1 16-oz jar of salsa
1 salsa jar of water
1 8-oz package of cream cheese, sliced into pieces
8 oz of sour cream
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
salt and pepper to taste


Cooked chicken not pictured.
Directions:

Warm beans, salsa and water in large pot over medium to medium high heat until hot but not boiling (around ten minutes). Lower heat and add cream cheese and sour cream. Stir constantly until both are melted (around ten minutes). Add cooked chicken. Serve and enjoy! (salt and pepper to taste)

Unlike in yesterday's post, my husband was thrilled with this meal! I really liked it, as well. Tonight, I'm going to make chicken sausage with peppers and onions over rice. I am also planning on giving C25K's W4D1 a shot. I'm nervous about my first 5 minute run, as I barely maintained my 3 minute runs last week. As I mentioned before, I'm not going to push it, but I am going to give it a try!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup

As I promised yesterday, I am sharing a new recipe that I tried last night. This recipe is from the Sparkpeople Cookbook, which was a Christmas gift to me from my grandma.


Broccoli Cheese Soup

Servings: 4
Nutrition per Serving: 178 calories, 4.6 fat, 23.5 carbs, 10 protein

Ingredients:

2 tsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 large head of broccoli, florets separated from stalks (about 4 cups)
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup fat free evaporated milk
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Place a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add butter and cook until melted. Add the onions, reduce heat to low, and cook until onions are tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the broccoli, potato, and brother; stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.


3. Uncover the soup and remove from heat. Puree with an immersion blender, or carefully transfer the soup to a blender or food processor to puree, then return the soup to the saucepan.

4. Stir in the evaporated milk, season with pepper, and add 2 tablespoons of the cheese to the soup. Simmer for 1 minute. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining cheese. Enjoy!

I enjoyed this soup, however, I don't think that I will be making this often. My husband wasn't as much of a fan of it as I was. I think that he will enjoy tonight's dinner much more. I made White Chicken Chili for the first time and it was super simple and very delicious! I'll share that recipe with you all, tomorrow.

Have you tried any new recipes lately that you just need to share? If so, share it! I love trying new recipes and I definitely need to try new recipes to meet my quota for my 25 by 25 list!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 11

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 11
The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 3/25/12
Current Weight: 238 lbs (-2.4 lb from last week)
Total Loss: 7 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 38 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Broccoli Cheese Soup
Monday: White Chicken Chili
Tuesday: Chicken Sausage over Rice
Wednesday: Steak w/ Green Beans and Potatoes
Thursday: Sesame Chicken w/ Broccoli and Rice
Friday: Homemade Calzones

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: C25K W4D1
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: C25K W4D2
Friday: Rest
Saturday: C25K W4D3

Recap of the week:

This past week has been crazy for me, yet it was the first week in a couple that I have finally dropped in weight! My dog had surgery and I have been very busy following him around, making sure he doesn't jump on anything. In a way, I can't wait for these next 11 days to be over, but I know that's no way to live life! Each day is precious, and even though I'm having a hard time keeping up, I need to take some time each day to realize how blessed I am. I tried to do just that, today.

For breakfast, I had a mimosa and an amazing omelete with some bacon on the side.

Breakfast
 I had left over salsa con queso chicken for lunch.
Lunch
 Then, for dinner, I tried a new recipe. I'll blog about that more tomorrow, though.
Dinner
For now, I'm off to watch Desperate Housewives and relax for the rest of the evening.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not Pushing It


This morning I took my dog to the vet for surgery. I received the call about a half hour ago that everything went well and he is now neutered. If you ask my mom, she would say that it is a little too late for that. We're pretty sure that our little Max got one of her dogs pregnant. If this is the case, we may have another addition to our family sometime in the next few months. We would definitely want to take one of her puppies; trouble is that we will have more than just one puppy that will need a home! However, considering how cute Max was as a puppy, I don't think we will have any problems finding homes for the puppies!


Maximus in 2010

Last night, I took Max for another walk. It wasn't a very long walk, but it was still nice. It was 80 degrees, which is unseasonably high for this time of year in our area. We were loving every minute of it. This brings us to 2/10 walks with Max so far! I don't think I'll have any trouble marking that item off of my 25 by 25 list.

Tonight I am scheduled to begin W4D1 of the C25K Program. I am nervous to begin week 4 because I was struggling through the end of week 3. If I am not able to push through it tonight, I will just resort back to week 3. Either way, I will be running tonight!

Is anyone else currently doing the C25K Program? If so, which week are you currently on?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Make The Rules

Yesterday, I finished a book that I have been reading called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. It was a fun, easy read that gave me invaluable information in which I will be using in my daily life. By reading this book, I have completed one of the five healthy living books that I have set out to read as a part of my 25 by 25 list.

5. Read 5 books regarding healthy living (1/5 done)

As I looked at my list, I became alarmed as I noticed an item on my list that hadn't been worked on, and very well could have been.

23. Take our dog on 10 walks and blog about them


We have a mini dachshund, Maximus, and he is the center of my world. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I am the center of Max's world, as well. I am an animal lover to the core, and I have always wanted a dog to call my own. I love taking care of him and making him happy. He really has done the same for me. He enjoys walking, in fact, we have been on a couple of walks these past few weeks. However, I didn't blog about our walks, such as my list insists.

So, this is me, declaring that I went for 1 out of the 10 walks with little Max yesterday. He loved it! It was about 70 degrees with clear skies. It truly felt like summer out there, yesterday!


After my walk with Max, I went out to the track and completed C25K W3D3. It was tough, mentally. I just wanted to throw in the towel after my first 3 minute run. I'm so glad that I didn't! The second round of intervals are so much easier once you get that first 3 minute run out of the way. I'm nervous because I don't feel like my body is ready to progress to W4D1 and I'm not going to push it, either. If I am not ready, then I will do week 3 for another week. That's the joy of progressing at my own pace. I make the rules!

Do you have any fitness goals for yourself right now?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Joy in my Ordinary Day

Nothing feels better to me on a work day than accomplishing something early in the evening, that way I have the rest of the night to relax. Last night, I came home to a relatively clean house. The first thing that I did when I stepped in the house was open all of the windows. It was so lovely outside, at 70 degrees with a slight breeze. The fresh air smelled wonderful throughout my house! There was half a sink full of dishes, so I turned on the radio in the kitchen and got started on the dishes. I began making dinner and was cleaning up the dishes that I used for dinner as I went along.

Zuppa Toscana

 After dinner, I looked around at my clean house and realized that I had a couple hours to myself without the nagging task of dirty dishes staring at me. My husband wasn't due home for an hour more, so I spent that time searching through recipes in my new favorite cookbook; the Sparkpeople Cookbook.


My favorite cookbook! My grandma gave me it as a Christmas present this year! :)
As you can read on My Program page, I use Sparkpeople as a tool in my weight-loss journey. It's made an amazing difference in my life and I was very excited when I heard that they were coming out with their very own cookbook. With the fresh spring air still filling up my house, I snuggled myself into the couch and tabbed some promising recipes that I may want to try in the future.

As I sat on my couch, I smiled to myself. I realized that I had really found what I have been reading about in the Happiness Project (the healthy living book that I am reading in effort to work toward crossing another items off of my 25 by 25 list). I found joy in my ordinary day. I was loving my life, just as it was, in that very moment. Sometimes, it's good to sit back and really look at where you are, and what you have in life to be thankful for. I am thankful for so much, and just by accomplishing so little in my evening, it opened the door to me being able to feel the joy that is my life.

So take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, take a look around and tell me: what is making your ordinary (or not so ordinary) life wonderful today?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 10

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 10
The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 3/18/12
Current Weight: 240.4 lbs (+2 lb from last week)
Total Loss: 4.6 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 40.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Monday: Zuppa Toscana
Tuesday: Mini Eggplant Pizzas w/ Salad
Wednesday: Steak w/ Green Beans
Thursday: Salsa Con Queso Chicken
Friday: Homemade Calzones

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: C25K W3D3
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: C25K W4D1
Friday: Rest
Saturday: C25K W4D2

I gained two pounds from last week and here's the reason why: I didn't follow my meal plans and I overindulged way too many times. When our schedule gets crazy and I feel like I'm spinning out of control, it is very easy to eat unhealthy food, just because it's quick or simple. I need to force my goals to the front of my mind. I am worth it and I can do it! Attitude is half the battle and I'm going in to this week with a great one despite the gain on the scale!

(Bad quality iPhone picture)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bye-Bye Credit Card!

First, I have to say that we have had some really great weather this week! My husband and I even went on our first motorcycle ride of the season the other day! This week has been wonderful!





Yesterday, I was very happy when crossed an item off of my 25 by 25 list! We were able to pay off our credit card, leaving us with just one more to go! I didn't expect to be able to pay it off so quickly, and I'm really happy that we'll be able to put that extra monthly payment toward our only credit card left!

25. Pay off credit card ($1,000)

I love crossing items off my list!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Lot on my Mind

I've had a lot on my mind lately, literally!



I had my annual MRI yesterday. Last year my neurologist found that I had a small cyst in my brain and I was diagnosed with MS based on a number of tests. I won't know if my "cyst" has grown since last year, for about a week or so. However, I looked over the disc from my MRI (even though I shouldn't have) and I must say that in the picture above, the "cyst" looks bigger than I remember. Now, the goal is to not think or worry about this until I hear my actual results from the Doctor. Wish me luck!

It looks like this week is going to be another wash in the terms of weight loss. I haven't been following my meal plan (I even went out for a beer and wings last night) so I'm thinking I might be due for a gain on the scale. I still have a few days before weigh in this Sunday, so I'm just going to move forward and eat as best as I can until then!

My only saving grace in terms of my weight is that I have been consistent with exercising! I am scheduled to complete W3D3 of the C25K program this evening. I am really enjoying this program and I know it is going to help me in my upcoming 5K!

Now, I will leave you with a quote that I found while reading my most recent "healthy living book", The Happiness Project:

"There are times in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though... yesterday had passed over us unappreciated and unenjoyed". ~William Edward Hartpole Lecky

In other words, enjoy your day, everyone! There may come a time when you wish you could be back here, someday; living just as you are now. Everyday is precious. I'm going now, on my quest to find what joy I can in my very ordinary, yet wonderful day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 12, 2012

First 3 Minute Jog

Last night I completed Week 3 Day 1 of the C25K Program. W3D1 consisted of 90 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking, then you repeat. The weather was decent for an evening jog in March; it was about 45 degrees. I was really surprised with how well I was able to control my breathing during my jogs, especially after completing my first 3 minute jog. I wasn't sure if I would even be able to complete a 3 minute jog outside, let alone be able to control my breathing throughout it. This was a big accomplishment for me!

Me, after completing Week 3 Day 1!
Today, I am enjoying a day at home. I planned a vacation day for myself weeks ago, and I am enjoying every minute of it! It was nice to have the time to make a good breakfast and enjoy it at my leisure; something that is less possible on the mornings that I work. This morning, for breakfast, I had a cup of coffee with a cheese omelet and a roll.


Along with relaxing, I am also using this day to get ready for spring! I bought a nice hanging plant which will be hung in the entryway of our home once my husband returns from work. I also bought a small plant in which I will be transferring into a pot. Finally, and most exciting, I will be starting my vegetable garden, today!


I love spring and the joy of starting a new vegetable garden each year. It's so refreshing!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 9

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 9

The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 3/11/12
Current Weight: 238.4 lbs (-0 lb from last week)
Total Loss: 6.6 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 38.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Pizza from Little Caesars (hosting birthday party)
Monday: Shrimp w/ Rice and Broccoli
Tuesday: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken over Noodles
Wednesday: Steak w/ Sweet Potato Fries and Green Beans
Thursday: Sesame Chicken w/ Noodles and Broccoli
Friday: Homemade Calzones
Saturday: Zuppa Toscana
Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: C25K W3D1
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: C25K W3D2
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: C25K W3D3
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

I'm not too disappointed with the zero loss this week because I know that I didn't give it my best shot. Today I am hosting a birthday party at my house for my dad's side of the family. There will be pizza and cake. I am not going to track nutrition today, but instead, will make it a goal to track my nutrition for the remainder of the week, as well as to stay within my nutritional ranges provided from Sparkpeople. I just have to keep on keeping on! Wishing everyone out there a successful week ahead!

Friday, March 9, 2012

It Shouldn't be this Hard!

So, despite not feeling well yesterday, I decided that I would go to the gym with my sister, after all. We were initially going to go use the treadmills at the school gym since my mom was going to be walking with her friend there, as well, but we decided against it at the last minute and drove the 15 minutes to the gym. When we pulled up to the gym, I realized that I forgot my gym card at home. Sitting outside of the gym, with a sore throat and no way in made me feel even more tired than I already was! I said "it shouldn't be this hard!" I just wanted to do something good for myself and nothing seemed to be going right. Despite my frustration, I pushed on and we drove back to the school gym where I completed W2D3 of the C25K Program. I felt so great afterwards. Sweating never felt so good!

In other news, and in effort to work on my 25 by 25 list, I have bought a healthy living book for myself titled "The Happiness Project". I'm about 1/3 of the way in to the book and it's a happy and fun read! It's given me some great ideas and it's a book that I look forward to reading again in the future, and I haven't even finished it yet!


I've been able to relate to the author in many ways, so far. She mentioned how she "didn't want to wait for a crisis to remake her life". She asks the question, "how can I discipline myself to feel grateful for my ordinary day?" That is something that is very important to me. I remember reading the quote "what a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." I don't want that to be the case for me. I want to enjoy every day. I am blessed in so many ways; I am grateful for my ordinary days.

The greatest piece of information that I have picked up from this book is a lesson on the "Hawthorne Effect". This is where people being studied improve their performance simply because of the extra attention they are getting. This blog is my Hawthorne Effect. You are reading this, and because you are reading this, I am doing better in my life. I am trying harder; running farther; I am making healthier choices; I am going on more adventures; and, I am generally leading a more happy and full life. Before reading this book, I had no idea how much of a fan I was of the Hawthorne Effect; and how great of an effect it really has on me.

Also, by reading this book, I am working on number five of my 25 by 25 list:

5. Read 5 books regarding healthy living

I look forward to finishing this book soon and rewarding myself with another healthy living book shortly thereafter!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Did Ask for No Fries!

After my confession and resolution yesterday regarding McDonalds, wouldn't you know that ran out of the house without breakfast or my lunch for today. Don't worry, I'm not even thinking of going anywhere near a McDonalds, today! I didn't even realize that I hadn't packed my lunch until I walked through the office doors. After settling in at my desk, I overheard my co-workers discussing their lunch plans. Some of the people in our office are ordering lunch from a pizza shop today, so I decided to join in. I ordered a grilled chicken salad with no fries and ranch dressing. Could have chosen better (ranch is probably the worst choice of dressing); could have chosen worse (hey now, I did ask for no fries!).

Tonight I am either going to be working on the C25K program outside (in the rain) or inside (at the gym). My sister asked me to go to the gym with her last night, but I was unable to go with her as we had my husband's family over for dinner and game night. I made two lasagnas in record time and it seemed as if everyone enjoyed themselves. I told my sister that we would go to the gym tomorrow, which is now today. I was definitely more motivated to work out yesterday than I am finding myself to be, today. I am achy and feel like I just could use a night on the couch. Good thing my sister is a pretty good motivator! Having a partner at the gym is much more fun than going alone.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What's Done is Done

Time for a confession.

Monday and Tuesday evenings are always a struggle for me, food-wise. My husband isn't home for dinner on those nights, so I am left to cook for myself. I have trouble doing this sometimes, because I see it as my chance for a break! Without making much of a conscious decision the past two evenings, I have found myself some place that I haven't been in quite some time; the McDonalds drive-thru.

Eating there once (Monday's dinner), seemed to make it okay for me to eat there twice (Tuesday's breakfast), and then a third time (Tuesday's dinner) and then... a fourth time (Tuesday's "evening snack"). I am confessing this because if I blog about it, maybe it will help keep me from doing it again. I like to blog about things I am proud of accomplishing, rather than a confession of shame. This should be motivation enough to keep me out of the drive-thru.

The important thing is not what I have done, but what I do next. What's done is done! No sense in feeling guilty about it now. I probably won't have a loss this week because of all of the McDonalds I have consumed, but what I do next may prevent me from having a gain, or an even bigger gain than I would have had, if I didn't stop myself from repeating this cycle.

So, what am I doing next? Well, today is Wednesday and I have not had McDonalds. (que the round of applause!) I went for a walk on my lunch and I am making lasagna for my in-laws tonight. My mother-in-law is bringing the salad and some games for us to play!

Tomorrow, I am planning on finishing W2D3 of the C25K Program. I completed W2D2 on Sunday afternoon at the gym. I found that I prefer doing this program outside because I was getting bored on the tredmill; but the important thing is that I finished!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Calzones; Yes, Please!

Okay, so I must confess. Calzones (or stuffed pizzas, as we like to call them) are a major weakness of mine. Especially, the calzones from a local pizza shop, only about a mile from our house. So you can only imagine my gratitude when my mom gave me the great idea to make my own calzones at home, saving both money and calories. Why haven't I thought of this sooner? These turned out amazing and by making them, I even brought myself another step closer to crossing an item off of my 25 by 25 list.

1. Try 25 new recipes

New Recipe 7 of 25:

Homemade Calzones

Servings per recipe: 4
Nutritional Information: 393 calories; 40 carbs; 18.5 fat; 23.5 protein

Ingredients:

1 pkg. Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
2 cups park-skim shredded mozzarella
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced 
dash of Oregano
dash of Garlic Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out pizza dough, cut dough evenly into 4 pieces.

2. Top each piece of dough with an even amount of mozzarella and mushrooms. Fold over.

3. Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of each calzone. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes, or until browned to your liking.


Two servings pictured above.

This recipe is simple and can be easily modified. For isntance, my husband likes black olives in his calzone and extra cheese. Some of you may like a to add sauce to the inside of your calzone. The options are limitless and they are much cheaper than ordering from a pizza shop!

Enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mini Eggplant Pizzas; Low Calorie!

I've been working on my 25 by 25 list, again! In doing so, I made a new recipe; Mini Eggplant Pizzas.

1. Try 25 new recipes 

New Recipe 6 of 25:

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Servings per recipe: 4
Nutritional Information: 119 calories; 7.5 fat; 9 carbs; 5 protein

Ingredients:

1 eggplant - 3 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into 4 half-inch thick slices
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees F. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil and season with the salt and pepper.

2. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until browned and almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once.

3. Spread 1 tablespoon of pasta sauce on each eggplant slice. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.



These mini eggplants were a big hit in my house! The only change I will be making next time is that I will actually follow the directions and remove the skin prior to baking. My husband wasn't really a fan of the skin, but I didn't mind it, myself!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 8

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 8

The Plan:

I'm going to set weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week

Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Date: 3/4/12
Current Weight: 238.4 lbs (-1 lb from last week)
Total Loss: 6.6 lbs.
Goal Weight: 200 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 38.4 lbs.

Dinner Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork over Rice
Monday: Shrimp w/ Rice and Broccoli
Tuesday: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken over Noodles
Wednesday: Lasagna with Salad
Thursday: Sesame Chicken w/ Rice and Broccoli
Friday: Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Saturday: Tomato Mozzarella on Caibatta

Exercise Plan for the Week:

Sunday: C25K W2D2
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: C25K W2D3
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: C25K W3D1
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Recap from the Week:

Last week was pretty eventful! I registered for my very first 5K, which is scheduled for April 28, 2012. Subsequently, I began the Couch to 5K running program shortly thereafter. I started on "week 2" and it seems like a good choice for me. I've tried this program in the past, yet I've never finished it. This time around, I am planning on going as far as I can until my first 5K. I have no real goal of "finishing" the C25K program, rather, this time around I am using it purely to build up my endurance as much as possible. I forgot how great this program makes me feel! I even went out for a jog in the rain last week! I called it quits once I saw the sky light up with lightening. I really wanted to keep going, though!

After my jog in the pouring rain.
The weight loss has been slow lately, but it is happening. So far in this challenge, I have lost a total of 6.6 lbs. That's 6.6 lbs. that I wouldn't have lost if I didn't begin. I am hoping that my jogging will help with my weight loss efforts. As my doctor informed me in the past, losing weight with PCOS is nearly impossible. I'm holding on to her words, as nearly impossible is better than impossible. I'm working with what I've got, and I'm keeping my spirits high! If I can do this, you can do it, too!

What's your favorite workout program? Have you tried the C25K? If so, what did you think of it?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Exercise Makes Everything Better

Exercise makes everything better.

My first day of March this year consisted of working my regular 9:00 - 5:00, coming home to dinner on the table (thanks to my wonderful husband), a great workout, a little house cleaning, and a little blog reading. It is 10:00 p.m. at the moment, and I am feeling amazing! My legs have that warm liquid feeling that can only be acquired after a decent cardio workout. My house is relatively clean, and my day feels complete. I know that I wouldn't feel as satisfied and wonderful as I do right now if I hadn't exercised. Working out gives me a sense of accomplishment and it boosts my mood! Also, it really helps me get some decent sleep at night. I can already feel that I am going to sleep like a baby tonight!

Me, pre-workout, in my amazing panda hat that my friend gave me.
Before I go to sleep, I wanted to share the amazing workout that I had tonight. I completed Week 2 Day 2 (W2D2) of the Couch to 5K Program (C25K) program. For those of you who haven't heard of this before, you can find more information out about it at coolrunning.com. I also downloaded the podcasts and listen to that through my iPhone as I workout. W2D1 consists of a brisk five-minute warmup walk. After the walk, you alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. I'm going to break down my experience from this evening for my own future reference, below:

I went out for my run at about 7:45 p.m. It was dark and about 36 degrees outside. There was barely any wind, and it was a nice cool evening.

Warm Up (5 minute brisk walk) - felt good, excited to try my first 90 minute interval of jogging
Interval One - Out of breath when I was finished. It took the entire two  minutes of walking to regain stable breathing.
Interval Two - Feeling the same effects from Interval One.
Interval Three - This interval felt so much better. I could breath more evenly throughout the 90 seconds and recovered much more quickly during the two minutes of walking afterward.
Interval Four - This interval was similar to Interval Three, although, a little more tough.
Interval Five - I do not know what happened during this Interval, however, it was my worst interval throughout the workout. I wasn't ready to start, I still had some breath to catch, and I was literally counting down the seconds in my head until I was to be finished jogging.
Interval Six - I wasn't expecting this to be my last interval, but as soon as I figured that out, I just "went for it". This interval was similar to Interval Four and wasn't very hard at all.
Cool Down (5 minute brisk walk) - I almost skipped this, but I am glad that I didn't. I could feel my legs becoming more loose as I walked, and I completely regained my normal breathing pattern by the finish of this walk.

C25K W2D1 was a success! I am going to work this program as far as I can before my first 5K on April 28th! I'm excited, nervous, and pretty impressed with myself for trying something so new to me. This adventure has me feeling amazing, and I am starting to crave exercise, again! As I said in the beginning of the post... exercise just seems to make everything better! Especially my mood!