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Showing posts from February, 2015

Disney World Planning, Part 1: Research

I have a confession to make: I'm a Disney freak. Over the last several months, I've fallen deep into the rabbit hole that is planning for a trip to Disney World ... and think I'm a complete convert. 
If you don't already know, I'm what most people call a "Planner" No, not planner. But "Planner." With a capital P, air quotes and a bit of a side-eyed smirk. When I get excited about something, I tend to research the hell out of it so I know ALL of my options. Then obsess over all the decisions. Compare costs. Look at pros and cons. Draft Excel sheets. Make itineraries and lists. And basically freak out until the big day comes. 
Examples of this OCD-like behavior include when I got married (I think my 3-inch binder is a better scrapbook than my professional photo album), when I got pregnant (HOURS after that pink line showed up, I was at the bookstore ... and I already knew which book to buy based on prior Internet searches), when I started running (…

What We're Eating: Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie

So if you made it through the long-ass story of how I ended up on the bathroom floor and then became a protein powder person, you may recall that I mentioned a new obsession with smoothies. There are literally millions of combinations I could try, but there’s one that I’ve been using as my go-to recipe lately. 
Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie (5 points) Handful of ice (more or less, depending on your preference) 1 cup skim milk2 tbs PB2 powder2 scoops EAS Lean 15 vanilla protein powder 1 banana, sliced Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and fire that bad boy up – it’s that easy. I will note that sometimes I have to use a spoon to scrape the sides of the blender because the powder will stick. But other than that, you’re gold! 

Cheers! Here's to a great post-workout recovery. 

P.S. You can find PB2 and EAS powder at most major grocery stores. I buy mine at Meijer. 

Tales of Training: %&!@ February

So I used to have a boss whom I often butted heads with, but I could always agree with her on one thing: F--- February. (Except she and I usually left out the dashes ...)

My point? Where we live, February pretty much sucks. If you make any plans, for any reason, Mother Nature will screw with them. By this point in the winter, we've had enough cold and snow, and we're ready to move on to sunshine.

The difference between my boss and me is that she could afford to make a trip to Florida every February to escape the arctic cold. This week, I had to settle for pretending I was running alongside all my Twitter/Facebook friends who were at Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon weekend. ::SIGH:: Oh well.

Sunday: Rest Day

Monday: PiYo Lower Body
I was supposed to do a "Fun Workout" according to my plan, but I opted for something easier. The lower body workout is heaven for my legs/hips. (Helloooooo pigeon pose!)

Tuesday: 3 miles
Took it easy with Rowdy ... I think he'…

A lesson from the bathroom floor

I feel like I should start doing deadlifts. Or at least buy some free weights. After all, protein powder is only for meat-headed gym rats, right? 
Once again, I’m wrong. Life has a silly way of teaching us lessons, doesn’t it?
Obviously, I never thought of myself as a protein powder person. I’d see those big jars in the store and think they were a waste of money. “I’m an endurance athlete – I need carbs, not all that protein,” I thought. (Notice the past tense.)
Let me back up. I’m not a trainer or nutritionist, but I read a lot on the Internet, so I understand that proper nutrition is important before, during and after exercise. Don’t take it from me – Google yourself! ;) OK, for real: Talk to your doctor or someone else who has proper training and experience. 
Back to my point: It didn’t take long in my running journey to realize I needed something in my stomach before going for a run. On weekday mornings, I usually have a banana and Fiber One bar, and on the weekends I have a hear…

Track, track, track: The reminder on my wrist

It was a full-circle kind of moment. A light bulb. A realization of Oprah proportions.

Tracking makes you accountable. It's unbiased feedback. It's the honest truth staring back at you.

And it works.

It all came to me one day at work. My department has been discussing the need to track our daily work so we can more effectively manage our time and potentially bill customers for the hours we spend on projects. However, we haven't found an official system or program to do so. And to be honest, most of us were dragging our feet about it.

You see, I tried keeping a simple list on paper, then a digital one. Some days, I was diligent about tracking everything I'd done ... and other days? I said forget it.

That's when it hit me. The days I didn't want to track? Those were the days I was disappointed in my performance. Those were the days when I didn't want a paper record of what I did (or really didn't) accomplish.

Hello! It's the same as tracking my food an…

Tales of training: I'm back in the game

I stopped doing my weekly training updates after I finished my first half-marathon, but I'm back in the game. Not only am I actually training with a legit training plan, but I'm also on a kick with tracking everything lately (more on that later in the week). 
So even though I'm already on week 4 of the TLAM Half-Marathon Own It plan, I'm going to start back with (hopefully) weekly updates. I'm thinking they will keep me motivated on track, and I'm hoping they will help me keep some regular content on the blog (which isn't always easy). 
Without further ado, here's a look at my week of training: 
Monday: 5 miles, including 4x4 min. intervals Mother Nature was a fickle beast this week, so I decided to get my hardest workout out of the way before the weather would forbid it. Even though my legs were sore, I'm still happy with this decision. 
Tuesday: 3 miles  I was supposed to tack on some sprints at the end, but I was running on too little sleep.Plus, I…

It's time to see what I can do ...

I'm training again, folks. Like, following a legit plan and running with a purpose. This hasn't happened since ... Well, really since my first half-marathon. I sorta winged it and created my own training plans for my four half-marathons last year (Side note: Holy shit - I really ran four half-marathons last year?!), but I decided it was time to stop hanging out in my comfort zone and start pushing myself.

After all, I want to run a full marathon this year ... Like, really run it. I don't just want to wing it and cross it off the bucket list. (Another note: Running a 5k was the only running-related item on my original bucket list ... I should really update that one day!)

Cue Elsa: "It's time to see what I can do ... to test the limits and break through! 



So step one to training is picking a goal. So far, I have three for the year:

Run a PR at Towpath Half Marathon in April. I was planing to run the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, but my brother convinced me to do this on…

What We're Eating: Light Chicken Chili

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen the Light Chicken Chili I recently entered into the my office's chili cook-off. While I didn't win any of the awards, I got a lot of positive feedback (the pot was pretty much empty, if that tells you anything!), PLUS I was proud to put out a healthy recipe for people to enjoy.



A long time ago, I used to think that all healthy food had zero flavor, but boy was I wrong! This chili is proof of that. It's full of amazing spices, and it's even better after you let it set in the fridge overnight and reheat it - seriously! My version is adapted from one posted by Finding Her Happy Pace (I would link to her actual post, but I can't seem to find it). 

Light Chicken Chili (4 points per cup)

- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- half a sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cans white northern beans (with liquid)
- 1 small (4-6 oz) can diced green chilies (with liquid)
- 2 tsp. minced garlic …

No More Excuses

Let's review some important dates in the last two months of my life:
Friday, Dec. 5 - My last Weight Watchers meeting before ChristmasThursday, Dec. 19 - The day I gave up and decided to stop tracking points for a whileWednesday, Dec. 24 - The day I published a post in an attempt to excuse my poor eating choices and lack of trackingSunday, Dec. 28 - The day I returned to tracking, with my weight up nearly 5 poundsThursday, Jan. 1 - The day I published what I thought would be an inspiring post for people starting the New Year's resolutions (turns out, it was everything I needed to tell myself)Friday, Jan. 16 - The day I had a bit of a meltdown on Facebook because I was too far out of goal range to return to my Weight Watchers meeting without having to pay the weekly fee (or so I thought)Friday, Jan. 30 - The day I FINALLY weighed in at my meeting, back in goal range and back on track after eight loooong weeks  That last one is the most important. As a Lifetime member of Weight W…