Friday, February 28, 2014

Bleu Cheese Cardio

Please don't hate me for saying this, but I believe that I like bleu cheese dressing.

I don't particularly like bleu cheese dressing on it's own, but I do particularly enjoy it when mixed with "Sweet Baby Rays" buffalo wing sauce.

I know that bleu cheese dressing isn't a healthy choice, but when I'm choosing to have a salad and turkey burger for dinner, I feel entitled to a little something extra.

Equal amounts of bleu cheese dressing and buffalo wing sauce created one awesome dressing for last night's dinner!

Before I made dinner, I did something that I haven't done in quite a while. I worked out!

I started to feel much better last night after being sick with a cold for nearly a week, so I decided there was no better time to get back into working out. I ran for a quarter mile, and walked the rest of the time until I completed 30 minutes of cardio. It felt good to get some cardio in. I am definitely going to work on becoming more consistent on my workouts now that I'm not sick.

Do you like bleu cheese dressing?
What's your favorite kind of salad dressing?
I use to love french dressing, but lately ranch has been my first choice.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What is Wrong with Me

Almost three days without blogging, what is wrong with me?

Mostly, all that is wrong with me is a really bad cold. It started last Friday with a sore throat, and I've been putting up with the sore throat ever since. I feel like I'm getting over it, though. Trying to stay positive!

I must have been feeling a little better on Monday, too. That's when I made a bunch of goals for this week. Then, I went back downhill on Tuesday. Here's what my feeling-good-self planned for my week:
  • Drink 100 ounces of water a day 
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
  • Stay within calorie range 5 days this week
  • Strength training 3 times this week
  • Cardio 3 times this week

As for the water goal, I have been killing it! Staying hydrated is always important, but it's even more important when you're feeling under the weather.

As for getting 7 hours of sleep, I am definitely killing this goal, as well. Since I've been sick, I'm tired all day long.

My calorie range goal has not been going so well for me. I do a relatively good job at tracking my meals and snacks throughout the work day, but as soon as I get home, I go rouge. I will be working on this!

Strength training is something I have been able to do this week. I have been sticking to an arm routine and will be doing my third round of this tonight!

Cardio is something I haven't allowed myself to do this week. On Tuesday, I began coughing and my chest has been congested and sore ever since. I will be working on my cardio once my chest is clear. 

As you can see in my post from Monday, I really wanted this week to be successful. I had a goal of losing 2 lbs. this week. I'm not sure where I'm at with that goal, but considering that I have been doing a little comfort eating at nights and that I haven't been able to do any cardio this week, I'm not expecting a good report from the scale. 

If you've heard the new song by Miranda Lambert, "Automatic", then you may recognize this quote:

Love this quote and I'll be putting in my time as soon as I'm feeling better!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Set for the Week

I tried the bacon egg and cheese bundles that I pre-made for breakfast this week and I like them! They are much tastier than I imagined they would be. The salt from the bacon gives the eggs a good flavor. No additional seasonings needed!

(I promise they look more appetizing after they are done baking. I just didn't have enough time to snap a picture before I left this morning!)

As you may know, I have been working on rebuilding my healthy habits since being back from vacation. I gained a few pounds (weighing in at 235.8 lbs. on Sunday) and I’m ready to shed the extra weight and then some!

I’m going to work on losing 2 lbs. this week by sticking to the following goals:

  • Drink 100 ounces of water a day
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
  • Stay within calorie range 5 days this week
  • Strength training 3 times this week
  • Cardio 3 times this week

Drinking my water and getting 7 hours of sleep are pretty easy goals for me to accomplish. 
Staying within calorie range will take a little extra thought, and some self control.
Strength training and cardio 3 times this week will take motivation and energy.

Now that I know what I want to do, and what I need to do to get there, I feel set for the week ahead!

Happy about getting healthy on this Monday morning!

What are your goals for the week?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Batch Cooking Sunday

Lately, I have been thinking of life as either pre-vacation or post-vacation.

I have come to realize that my pre-vacation life was not as appreciated as much as post-vacation life has been. Take this weekend, for example. I woke up happy each day. I was just happy to be home. Vacation is great, but home is wonderful. I love my bed, I love my dogs, I love my weekend routine; I love my life.

This Sunday was especially wonderful. It's the simple things that make me happy.

My husband will be in night class all week, so I decided to make life a little easier for the both of us, and batch cooked.

My husband has a container of chili to take in for dinners all week, and I have a container of chili for my lunches all week. I love batch cooking and Mindy's chili is my new favorite thing to batch cook!

I was in the kitchen for most of my day. I made barbecue pork ribs in the slow cooker for dinner. It was so simple! Just catsup and bbq sauce and a few seasonings. I cooked the ribs on low for about 6 hours and it made the house smell good all day long!

I made a couple amazing salads for the both of us for lunch. I think guacamole on my salad is my new favorite thing. Why have I never tried this before? Guac and cucumbers are the best combination, ever. Add some chick peas, steak and ranch, and we've got my new favorite kind of salad!

After we visited my friend at her birthday party, and loaded up on some groceries, I was back in the kitchen to batch cook our breakfast for the week.

About 18 slices of bacon, 10 eggs and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. I'll let you know how they turn out after we give them a try tomorrow morning!

How was your weekend?
What are you favorite meals to batch cook?
What are you appreciative for today?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rebuilding my Habits

So, do you remember when I made goals for February? No? Okay, good. Because I'm not really sticking to them all that well.

This is my first week back from my 7-day vacation. It has taken a few days for me to adjust back to my typical work week schedule, and a bunch of other routines.

It's surprising how quickly I am able to stray from my healthy routines. It only took 7 days for me to get out of my water drinking routine. I didn't drink much water while I was on vacation, and it has taken a few days for me to get back into the habit of drinking as much as I was drinking before I left.

Monday: 34 ounces of water
Tuesday: 64 ounces of water
Wednesday: 98 ounces of water

I'm working my way back up to drinking about 115 ounces of water a day. I just feel better when I'm hydrated!

Now that I've got my water habit back under my belt, it's time to focus on sticking within my calorie range for each day. I'm hoping by Sunday that I'll be ready for a full week of eating within my calorie range, drinking all my water and adding exercise to my routine.

One step at a time, one block at a time; I am rebuilding my healthy habits!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Root Canal

I'm not a happy girl, today. It's official. I need a root canal.

I am scheduled for March 20th. I had a cavity filled a year ago, and it never stopped being sensitive to hot or cold since. I learned to chew on the other side of my mouth, so it didn't both me as much. However, lately it hurts even when I'm not eating. I went to the dentist a few times in the past few months and it's time for a root canal. These past few days have been especially rough.

I didn't make the final decision on the root canal until yesterday. I had gotten a cavity filled on the other side of my mouth on Monday (I guess I need to lighten up on the sweets) and so I have been forced to eat on the side of my mouth that I have been avoiding for a year. This is causing a lot of pain, and sadness. I am mostly sad because eating (the thing I love to do most) is causing me pain.

I think I'll just dream about being back in paradise. Hard to believe I was here just one week ago!

Ever had a root canal? Any advice for me?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easing Back into Reality

I'm easing back in to reality, one step at a time.

The memories of vacation have been making these past couple days back at work, much easier.

This morning, I was 20 minutes late due to snow. I guess I forgot how to drive in it.

After a week of this kind of weather (picture above), I guess that's quite possible.

This week, I am taking simple steps to get myself back in to a healthy living routine.

I am working on increasing my water intake (again). That was a huge problem for me while I was on vacation. It's easy to drink water when you've got a routine down, but when you don't know where you are going to be from one day to the next, it is easy to forget this simple habit.

I am working on sticking to a meal plan. Meal plans (at least for dinner) really seem to help me stay on track. After a week of not knowing what I was going to eat from one meal to the next, it feels really good to have a plan, and stick to a plan, again.

This week's dinner plan:

Tuesday - Steak Salads
Wednesday - Turkey Burgers with Salad
Thursday - Shrimp with Rice and Broccoli
Friday - Steak Salads
Saturday - Mindy's Turkey Chili

Those are the two main things I'm working on this week, as I ease myself back in to reality.

What are you working on this week?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Afraid of the Scale

I am going to be super real with you guys. I am afraid to step on the scale.

Photo from yesterday, poolside in Florida; last day of our extended vacation.

It's hard to believe we are finally back home. I ate so much food during our 7 day vacation; not to mention the beer for breakfast, lunch and dinner on most days. The seat belt on the plane was a little tighter on the way coming home than it was going to vacation.

I am making a deal with myself. I will get back to healthy living tomorrow (we just got home and don't have any groceries) and will stay far away from the scale until next weekend. Even then, I know I will be up in weight, but at least it won't be as bad as if I were to step on the scale right now.

All said and done, this vacation was awesome. My husband and I had the time of our lives (we even sang that dirty dancing song during karaoke together on the cruise).

After a week of my vacation blog posts, I'm sure you may be a little sick of reading about vacation. It's kind of been my life for the past week, though, so I don't have much else to share with you. Here are a few pictures from the extended portion of our vacation, when we were "stuck" in Jacksonville, Florida for the past two days. The rest of the photos will come soon, once I go through them all on my camera.

Don't worry, I'm slowly easing back into my home routine. It just so happens I have returned home on a Saturday which means that I get to relax a little more and make some plans for the week ahead.

What are you doing tonight?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Still on Vacation

Surprise. We are still on vacation!

Our flights got cancelled so we have to stay an extra two nights in Jacksonville, Florida. It is a slight inconvenience but lets be real; if I was to be stuck anywhere, vacation is the place to be!

My husband and I will be spending Valentines day in Florida. Our friends are with us, which has made this entire experience even that more fun! We all plan on going out to dinner (maybe at Carrabas since we don't have one near home) and then a movie for Valentines Day!

God willing, we should be leaving on a jet plane towards home tomorrow morning. Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Place Like Home

Vacation is wonderful, but there is no place like home (even if it is cold and/or snowy there).

Today, we are spending the day traveling home. We will be traveling from 11:30 this morning, and won't arrive home until about 10:00 p.m. We have a couple of long layovers, but I don't mind sitting around the airport if it means we can save a little more money; money that went toward a better time on the cruise. Totally worth it!

Right now, the best feeling in the world will be that moment when we open the door to our house and I get to see our dogs for the first time in a week! They get overly excited after I am gone for a day of work, you can only imagine how hyped up they will be to see us tonight.

Truth is, I will be just as excited.

What's your idea of a perfect length for vacation?
Our 5 day cruise was just long enough!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Traumatized by Water Slides

Day five: Day at sea

Okay, wait a minute. How did this happen? It's already our last day on board?

In cruises past, I feel a light panic come over me on my last day on board. I love to cruise so much, and I never know the next time we will get to go. So, I feel a slight urgency to have as much fun, and relax as much as possible on our final day aboard.

My silly husband, wearing my sun hat.

This day is usually spent by the water slides, on a lounge chair, under the sun.

Ever since I was little, I have been very afraid of water slides. I had a bad experience when I was probably around 7 years old. I use to love water slides until the one time when I sat up and stopped sliding, and couldn't get myself to go any further. I began to scoot myself down before somebody came flying in behind me, but it was too late. I almost made it to the end of the slide before somebody came flying behind me, their body shoving and holding me under water. It was very painful, and traumatic. I haven't been able to go on a water slide, ever since.

Each year my husband asks me to go, but I just couldn't do it. Instead, I'll be laying on a lounge chair while he slides the day away!

Water slide. Are you able to do them? Do you find them fun?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Most Favorite Place

Day four: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Remember when I said I have a favorite place in the Bahamas? Well, this, my friends, is it!

If I could live in Half Moon Cay forever, I think I would. Except, I would need my entire family and all of my friends to relocate, because by this time of the cruise, I am really missing them all!

Bright side: I get to spend my day in paradise. I guess I can wait a few more days before coming home!

I think I'll just drink a few fruity drinks and pretend they are all here with us. Problem solved!

Have you ever been to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Least Favorite Place

Day three: Port Nassau, Bahamas

Out of all the places in the Bahamas we have been, Nassau is probably our least favorite.

That doesn't go without saying that we are still in the Bahamas, with warm weather, fruity drinks, and our best friends while having the time of our life.

Having a least favorite place in the Bahamas is similar to having a least favorite Hemsworth brother. They are all beautiful, but you know you have a favorite. (The one in the middle, of course.)

It's also similar to saying that you have a least favorite place in paradise. The reality is that you are still in paradise!

Who is your favorite Hemsworth brother? 
Please keep in mind, the middle one is taken. By me. In my dreams.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Day at Sea is Paradise to me

Day two of the cruise: day at sea.

Today is day two of our five day cruise. Whenever I tell people that I am going on a cruise, one of the first questions they ask is, "where are you going?" I usually take a minute to think about it, because I don't cruise to go places. I mean, I do... but it's not my main reason.

It's definitely nice that we stop at ports, but I'm in it for the ship.

I absolutely love, love, love cruising. So, a day at sea is paradise to me!

What's your favorite way to vacation?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Things I Love about Vacation

10 things I love about vacation

1. Warm weather (given this time of year, and the kind of winter we are having, of course that is going to be my number one choice.)

 2. Clear blue water

3. Not having to cook for a week

4. Not having to clean for a week

5. Fruity drinks

6. Fun times with friends

7. Fun times with my husband

8. Relaxing

9. Not having to drive for a week

10. No work, all play

Today is our first day on the ship. In cruises past, we absolutely love this day!

We have never been on this ship before, so it will be fun to explore and figure out where everything is. My husband asked me what I wanted to do first thing when we get on the ship. My answer: hang up and put away our clothes. He made me pick a different answer; so I said the first thing I would do is get a fruity drink. Then, we will head up to the spa deck for a tour (and hopefully a free massage).

We have been on five cruises together, and our last cruise was the first time we realized they were giving away free chair massages if you went on the spa tour. We will be first in line for the spa tour, this year!

What are your favorite things about vacation?

Friday, February 7, 2014

First Day of Vaca

Today, I write to you from Jacksonville, Florida!

You haven't heard much from me this week; reason being, we have been getting ready for our vacation!

I just finished my first nap of vacation (ahh, that felt good) and decided I'd give you some updates while my husband finishes his first vacation nap!

First update: I'm on vacation. Yay! We leave for our cruise tomorrow. Don't worry, I have plenty of updates schedule for you while I am gone.

Second update: I did something very crazy for my birthday.

I turned 26 on Tuesday. For some reason, the thought of dying my hair came to me last weekend. If you didn't notice in the first picture above, I went through with it!

I've never dyed my hair before. It's actually been years since I have stepped foot in a salon, period. So, it was really nice to have a little pampering on my birthday. I asked for a blonde ombre, and my hair stylist did not disappoint. I'm super happy with how it turned out!

After hair, my friend and I got our nails done. (See toes above). It was a really great birthday, and I have been having fun ever since!

Check back for updates throughout the next week of my vacation. I am really looking forward to sharing some of my favorite things about cruising with you all!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vacation from Healthy Living

I'm a big believer of doing whatever you want on your birthday.

Today, just happens to be my 26th birthday.

So, the question is, what do I want to do?

Well, I want to make a change.

Every day is a chance to change. Every moment is a chance to change. I have decided to throw my rules out the window. To live "free" for a little while. Between my birthday, today, and leaving for vacation on Friday, I am feeling a little on the liberated side.

No more intense accountability. Just life for the next couple weeks. Life, as in, living. No double guessing what is going into my body; just some time to go with the flow.

A vacation from healthy living? Not exactly. After all of these years of trying my best to make healthy food and life choices, I believe I am wired to continue making those healthy choices, most of the time. It's just not going to be all of the time. Not right now. Not on my birthday, not on vacation. I am not going to hold myself to any rules.

Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Birthday Lunch and No Regret

How was your first day of February? Mine was really great!

I went out to lunch with my husband, mom and step dad as a mini birthday celebration for myself. We ate at Longhorn Steakhouse. Afterwards, my husband and I got shakes at Cold Stone Ice Cream. 

Needless to say, I went over calories. Do I regret it? No. Would it be right to regret your birthday celebration? No way! I went over calories, and I'll help make up for that with exercise today! That's what living a healthy lifestyle teaches us, after all.

Saturday, February 1st

Breakfast: 2 cups multigrain cheerios, 1 cup skim milk
Lunch: 2 small slices longhorn bread, 1/3 serving mushroom appetizer, 1 side salad, 7 oz salmon with vegetables, 1/4 chocolate stampede dessert
Snack: cold stone like it shake
Dinner: wegmans sushi
Snack: 9 hershey kisses

Workout: none

Calories in: 2472
Calories out: 0

Some days we go over calories. The best way to make up for it is through exercise. Today, I plan to walk a 5K. That should get me back on track for the remainder of my week.

This is a short week for me. I am only here through Thursday. My husband and I leave for our cruise this Friday! We couldn't be more excited!

Today, we are going to get our laundry done, start packing a bit, give the dogs a bath, workout, grocery shop and then meet up with our friends for dinner!

What are you doing with your Sunday?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hello February

Helloooo, February! Before I get to you, I'd like to review all my progress from January.

Monthly Challenge for January
  1. Take vitamins daily (28/31 days COMPLETED!)
  2. Log into Healthy Habits e-course daily (Course COMPLETED!)
  3. Make meal and exercise plans weekly (4/4 weeks COMPLETED!)
  4. Weigh-in weekly with photos for accountability (3/4 weeks COMPLETED!)
I am SUPER happy with my January progress. I lost 4 pounds (from 234.8 lbs. down to 230.8 lbs.) and I managed to stick with my goals through the end! January's Challenge was a success!

Happy after my workout on Thursday, January 30th!

As part of my New Year Resolution, I made it a goal to participate in Monthly Challenges. February's Monthly Challenge is below:

Monthly Challenge for February
  1. Track nutrition daily from February 1st - February 6th
  2. Share calories in and calories out daily from February 1st - February 6th
  3. List everything consumed daily from February 1st - February 6th
  4. Run a total of 5 miles this month
My husband and I are going on a cruise this month, and so I am going to stick with some intense accountability until we leave for our cruise. So far, the intense accountability has really helped me stay on track.

I started keeping track of everything on January 23rd. Here's what intense accountability has looked like since then:

Thursday, January 23rd:

Breakfast: maple and brown sugar weight control oatmeal
Lunch: 2 slices light white bread, 2 oz. turkey, 1 tbsp. homemade honey mustard, one pickle
Snack: 1 oz. spicy sweet chili doritos, 1 clementine, 1 colby jack cheese stick
Dinner: 4 oz. steak, 3 cups lettuce, 2 tbsp. homemade ranch, 1/4 cup shredded taco cheese, 1 italian tomato
Snack: 2 double stuffed keebler cookies, 1 oz. tortilla chips, 2 tbsp. homemade corn and black bean salsa, 1 tbsp. sour cream, 1/8 cup shredded taco cheese

Workout: 2 miles/35 minute cardio on treadmill (walk for warm-up, 12:00 min. mile run, walk for cool down)

Calories in: 1,544
Calories out: 200

Friday, January 24th:

Breakfast: 1 cup spinach, 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter
Lunch: 2 slices light white bread, 2 oz. turkey, 1 tbsp. homemade honey mustard, two pickles
Snack: 1 oz. spicy sweet chili doritos, 1 clementine, 1 colby jack cheese stick
Dinner: 1 cup lettuce, 1 tbsp. homemade ranch, 2 oz. fettuccine, 1/4 cup bertolli alfredo sauce, 1/4 cup spinach, 1 serving steamfresh peas, 4 oz. chicken
Snack: 4 double stuffed keebler cookies

Workout: none

Calories in: 1,504
Calories out: 0

Saturday, January 25th:

Breakfast: 1 cup spinach, 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, crushed ice and water
Snack: 1 colby jack cheese stick, 1 oz. spice sweet chili doritos
Lunch: 4 pieces bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, 1 flour tortilla, 1/4 cup shredded taco cheese
Dinner: 1 large combination sub with lettuce, tomatoes, creamy italian dressing and mayonnaise
Snack: 2 ice cream sandwiches

Workout: none

Calories in: 1922
Calories out: 0

Sunday, January 26th:

Breakfast: 2 slices light white bread, 3 ounces turkey, 1 slice deluxe american cheese
Lunch: 1 package wegmans spicy coconut shrimp roll
Snack: 1 coconut shrimp, 2 homemade egg rolls (from my mother-in-law!)
Dinner: 1 serving Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 1 glass red wine, 4 hershey kisses, 2 servings turkey snack bites, 1/2 cup wegmans beach mix

Workout: 30 min. walk on treadmill

Calories in: 1695
Calories out: 187

Monday, January 27th

Breakfast: 1 cup spinach, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 banana
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Dinner: 1 italian tomato, 1 cup lettuce, 1.5 cup yellow summer squash, 2 turkey burgers
Snacks: 1 colby jack cheese stick, 10 strawberries, 2 homemade egg rolls, 1.5 servings bacon, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix, 5 hershey kisses

Workout: 15 minutes strength training

Calories in: 1674
Calories out: 50 (totally guessing)

Tuesday, January 28th

Breakfast: 1 package quaker brown sugar maple instant oatmeal
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 6 strawberries, 1 colby jack cheese stick, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix, 2 chocolate covered pretzels
Dinner: 2 al fresco all natural sweet italian chicken sausage links, 1/2 cup kraft minute rice, 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 medium onion
Snack: 9 hershey kisses, 2.5 servings tostitos bite size tortilla chips, 4 tbsp salsa

Workout: 30 minutes walk with inclines

Calories in: 1698
Calories out: 200

Wednesday, January 29th

Breakfast: 1 package quaker brown sugar maple instant oatmeal, 1 banana
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 1 peanut butter cookie, 2 pieces sponge candy, 2 oz. lays original chips
Dinner: 1/4 cup bertolli alfredo sauce, 1 oz. fettuccine, 3 oz. baby shrimp
Snack: 4 hershey kisses, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix, 2 servings old wisconsin turkey snack bites, 5 homemade coconut shrimp (from mother-in-law)

Workout: 15 min. strength training

Calories in: 2,142 calories
Calories out: 50 (totally guessing)

Thursday, January 30th

Breakfast: 1 banana, 1 cup multigrain cheerios, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 clementine
Lunch: restaurant grilled chicken salad, two rolls, 2 tbsp. ranch
Dinner: 1 tbsp. mayo, 1/4 cup taco cheese, 3 slices bacon, 1 tortilla wrap
Snack: 5 hershey kisses, 5 medium strawberries, 4 tbsp cool whip, 

Workout: 30 minutes on the elliptical

Calories in: 1587
Calories out: 130

Friday, January 31st

Breakfast: breakfast burrito with 1/4 cup taco cheese, 3 slices bacon, 1 fried egg, 1/2 tortilla wrap, tea with honey
Snack: 1 clementine, 1/4 cup wegmans beach mix
Lunch: Mindy's Turkey Chili
Snack: 6 large strawberries, 1 colby jack cheese stick
Dinner: 6 oz. steak, 3 cups lettuce, 8 black olives, 2 tbsp homemade ranch, 1/4 cup taco cheese, 1/2 italian tomato
Snack: 15 hershey kisses, 2 keebler double stuffed cookies, 3 oz tortilla chips

Workout: none

Calories in: 2,436
Calories out: 0

I plan to do even better these next 6 days of February. Stay tuned!

What are your goals for February?
How did January go for you?