Major Motivation

Whoa!  Missed a couple of days there…I started this blog because I typically keep a food journal and/or calorie count with MyFitnessPal, and I thought this might be an easier way to keep track of my workouts and eating without necessarily having to keep track of every. single. calorie.  The downside, of course, is that when I get busy like I did the past few days, it’s a lot harder to keep up with!  Things have been a lot of fun around here though.

Tuesday night my family went out to dinner for my sister’s birthday, and yesterday Daniel and I spent the entire day running around town doing errands that needed to get done before our upcoming vacation trip.  Then we had dinner at my parents’ house to bid my sister (the same one) a fond farewell as she leaves today for a month of study abroad!  Thankfully, today will be a bit more normal and low-key.

Workout

I started this morning off with approximately ZERO motivation to workout.  This is really unusual for me, as I usually have a good plan for what I want to do with my workouts either the night before or immediately on waking up in the morning.  My scheduled workout was a weightlifting session courtesy Nike Training Club on my iPhone, and I just was not feeling it at 7:00am.  However, I followed the old rule about just putting on your workout clothes as a means of motivation, and (luckily) it worked!  I still wasn’t super excited when I started the workout (today was the Challenger workout) but by mid-way through and toward the end, I was feeling strong and happy I stuck with my plan!  Considering I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to work out (if at all) while on our vacation the next couple of weeks, I’m glad I found the motivation to get it done before we leave!

Breakfast

After my workout and a quick shower, I was definitely ready for some breakfast.  I’m not the kind of person who typically knows what I want to eat or craves something particular first thing in the morning, so I often plan out my breakfasts at least a day in advance so that if I need to make anything the night before I can.  Today I had initially planned to have a bowl of my new favorite cereal (Kashi Go Lean Crisp in Very Berry Crumble flavor–soooooo yummy!), but when I finished my workout I was actually feeling like something more warm and hearty.  Instead, enter a delicious bowl of oatmeal:

I combined 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats with milk, cinnamon, and some Truvia, and mixed in some sliced up gala apple, half a banana, a handful of walnuts and a small sprinkle of chia seeds.  The result was an ooey gooey mess of delicious.  Definitely would’ve been happy to eat more even though I was super full by the end.

Now off to (hopefully) tackle some yard work!

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Holiday Weekend and Finding Balance

Phew!  Didn’t get much of a chance to update til now because so far, our holiday weekend has been a little toward the wild side.  After my run yesterday, I grabbed a quick snack-fast (it wasn’t really enough to be called breakfast, but can it really be a snack if it’s not between meals?) of a half a banana and a handful of walnuts just to refuel quickly, because I then had to get ready and do a bunch of things around the house.  We met my family for lunch at Subway and then had a road trip up to my cousin’s house (about 2 1/2 hours away) for a lovely Memorial Weekend barbecue!  The whole fam damily had a lovely time sitting out on the patio with grilled chicken, burgers, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and extensive other typical barbecue fare.  It was a lovely night!

Today has been just about as crazy, but our Sundays usually are.  The day started with a quick weights workout courtesy the Nike Training Club app, and then it was off to church with me!  After church I had to make a quick stop by Michael’s to get my sister a birthday present (scrapbooking stuff!) because at lunch we celebrated her upcoming 21st birthday.  After lunch, Daniel and I went out to Target to pick up loads of little items we needed for our upcoming overseas adventure before heading home to rest for just a bit prior to going to dinner at my grandparents’ house.  We’re finally home, and I’m hoping for a bit of a rest tomorrow so the long weekend actually feels like a long weekend!

The topic of our crazy Sundays brings up an interesting point that is always a bit sticky for me.  Sundays are the bane of my nutritional existence, because every week my family has lunch at my grandmother’s house (home-cooked by her) and then usually we also have dinner at my grandfather’s home.  Both meals tend to be very heavy, unhealthy, and inevitably followed by dessert.  It’s really hard to maintain my healthy eating habits when the only things offered are mashed potatoes, crescent rolls,  pizza, corn pudding, etc. and are always followed by a push for a huge piece of cake or pie!  I invariably go over my calorie goal for the day (often by a LOT) and end up feeling awful that night and into the next day.   Traditionally, Monday is my rest day for exercise, and I hate the fact that I end up eating a ridiculous amount of rich, unhealthy food the night before I “slack off” the exercise.  Also, I end up feeling like, because I splurge so large on Sundays, there is no room for little splurges throughout the week.  Does anyone else out there have experience with family or other situations that repeatedly interfere with your desire to eat healthily?  Any recommendations?  I try most days to fill my plate up with whatever vegetables are offered first and to only take small or half portions of desserts, but even that just feels like sooooo much food by the end.  Curious if anyone has had success combating this kind of problem.  Finding a good balance is so tricky!

And now, for the Food and Exercise Journal du jour:

Yesterday (5/26) Workout:  6 mile run!

Today (5/27) Workout:  45 minutes of weight lifting circuit courtesy Nike Training Club.  The exact workout I did was Adrenaline Hit, which is from the advanced section of “Get Lean.”

Yesterday’s Lunch:  Subway 6″ black forest ham on flatbread with provolone cheese, spinach, onion, and green pepper.  I had a bag of Snapz apple chips as my side.

Yesterday’s Dinner:  Started with a couple of slices of locally baked beer bread (sun-dried tomato and onion flavor–you may salivate now) as well as some carrots dipped in hummus prior to dinner.  Dinner itself consisted of a grilled chicken breast with lettuce and a slice of white cheese (not sure what kind exactly) dipped lightly in some Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce.  For sides, I had a little bit of baked beans, a little bit of this delicious green bean and potato salad, an ear of corn on the cob, and some strawberries.  Dessert was a small piece of Duncan Hines Indulgent Fudge brownie with more strawberries.  I also had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  And then I died of a food coma.

Today’s Breakfast:  After my weights workout, I knew I wasn’t going to last until lunch so I had a small bowl of oatmeal (I make it the quick way, by pouring skim milk over the oats and heating in the microwave.) with blueberries and walnuts.

Today’s Lunch:  My grandmother made a beef roast, and I had a small piece (I’m guessing 3 oz or so) accompanied by rice, peas, brown gravy, cooked carrots, and half a crescent roll.  Dessert was a half piece of my sister’s chocolate birthday cake (courtesy Duncan Hines once again) with homemade buttercream.

Today’s Dinner:  My grandpa cooked up some ribeye steaks that were served alongside a fruity salad (I love fruit in salads) with Good Season’s dressing, a teensy-tiny amount of au gratin potatoes, and a dinner roll.  Dessert was a sliver of devil’s food cake and a sliver of italian cream cake from our favorite local bakery, as we had to celebrate birthdays with that side of the family as well!  I tell you what, the chocolate cakes were both fabulous today, but the Italian Cream did them all in.  So, so, so good.

So as you can see, definitely not the healthiest of days today, and this is pretty typical of Sundays.  I find it really frustrating, not only that it’s so difficult to make good choices but that I honestly have almost no will power over these kinds of comfort foods when they’re sitting so openly in front of me.  At home, we don’t keep those kinds of foods around and I’m able to do much better.  Any thoughts on ways to increase the health factor of family days?

For the love of Insanity

Yesterday was a lovely day off that ended up being so full of things to do that I didn’t even get to write.  The day began with a typical workout, but then there were errands and such going on nonstop!  We went to the store to get Daniel some new dress shoes (his were, quite literally, falling apart on his feet) because he had a job interview in the afternoon!  The interview was only expected to last about 30 minutes, so I dropped him off and found a place to sit in the car–but apparently the interview went well, because 30 minutes turned into 2 1/2 hours!  I ended up finding a coffee shop and grabbing a Diet Coke.  After the interview, we made a run to the bookstore to find reading materials for our upcoming vacation before finally heading home after 8:00pm for some much needed dinner.

Is it just me, or is it incredibly frustrating when you can’t find a book that really draws you in to reading it?  I LOVE to read and always have, but have just been in a funk lately trying to find some good new reading material.  Any suggestions? (I ended up going with The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton, because I’ve always said I’ll read it and never gotten to it.  But I plan on taking one of my “go to” reads as well just in case.) Now, on to the day’s fitness recap!

Workout (yesterday): Insanity Max Plyo!

I love, love, love the Insanity workouts from BeachBody.  They are what got me on the fitness bandwagon (or rather, back on it, since I used to be an athlete in high school and worked out 30+ hours a week back then) this past January.  They were recommended by a friend, and I ended up doing the whole 2 month schedule back in January and February and had great results.  I’ve never gotten into a workout video or plan before, but this really kept me motivated–the workouts are short enough to fit into my crazy schedule but really make you work!  I lost significant (for me) weight and really feel worlds healthier since I started doing them.  When I finished the schedule, I knew I couldn’t go back to my formerly sedentary lifestyle, but I also didn’t want to just do a repeat of the past 2 months (as varied as the workouts are, they can get a little stale after 2 straight months), so I  basically started mixing Insanity days into a schedule that also includes running and weightlifting.  They’re a great way to knock out a workout when I just don’t feel like going outside or to the gym.  The workouts are cardio heavy, interval based, and use only your bodyweight, so you can do them anywhere.  And they burn crazy calories–my 55 minute workout, based on average heart rate, burned approximately 400 calories!  I was a sweaty mess!

Breakfast: Yesterday’s breakfast was heavier on the protein because I knew I planned a carb-heavy dinner for the night.  I went with two scrambled egg whites, some vanilla greek yogurt, a Van’s lite waffle with some raspberry preserves, and half a banana.  As it turned out, breakfast was very white–so I decided that for lunch we’d add some color!

Lunch: A gigantor salad!  I combined baby spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, corn, carrot, turkey, and chickpeas with some fat free italian dressing.  On the side I had half an apple with a Laughing Cow lite swiss wedge.  It was delicious, colorful, and veggie-fied!  Unfortunately it ended up not being the most filling thing ever, which made for a rough evening considering we didn’t have dinner until after 9!

Dinner: I’ve had a butternut squash hanging out in the fridge for almost a week and knew I needed to  use it, so I took a leaf from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers and made her recipe for Wheatberry Butternut Squash Mock Risotto.  We added chicken to the mix for some extra protein (and because my husband is a serious wimp when it comes to eating vegetarian meals) and had a crescent roll on the side.  It was seriously delicious and we will definitely keep this one in the books!  For dessert, I finished off the remaining half of a red velvet cupcake from the graduation party.  Alas, now all the cupcakes are gone (but thankfully, are no longer sitting around tempting me!).

Today started out with a lovely 6 mile run nice and early, because it’s going to be seriously hot around here the next couple of days!  Later today we are heading to visit my aunt and cousins for a Memorial Day Weekend cookout as well, but for now I need to get some yard work done before we all start melting.  Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Dusty!

The husband and I got a call this morning from two of our best couple friends who are currently in the middle of a major bathroom remodel, asking if we were available to come help with hanging some drywall.  Of course, we jumped out of bed and headed over (as soon as I knocked out a run and the husband knocked out a shower)!  A quick 3 mile run for me, and we headed out to get good and dusty.  Drywall is some serious work, but we had a great time and I think having 4 hands involved made things go by super fast!

Today’s Workout: A quick 3 mile run!  My legs have been suuuuuuper sore recently, and I feel like I haven’t had a good run in a couple of weeks.  You know the kind I mean–that run where you just feel good, could keep going for miles, etc.  I’m hoping that a couple of lighter workouts this week will have me back ready for some longer runs next week.  I’m ready to have that “good run” feeling again, for sure.

Breakfast: I grabbed a new cereal at the grocery yesterday, so today I had to give it a shot!  Plus, after my run (even though it was short), I was hot and sweaty and in need of something light and cool.  Kashi Go Lean Crunch Berry hit the spot!  Breakfast was accompanied by half a banana to get my fruits and veggies quota in for the day.

Lunch:  My friend Felicia made us a wonderful lunch at her house during a drywall break.  We had Morningstar brand Chipotle Black Bean Burgers topped with some lite cheddar cheese from Trader Joe’s, accompanied by a mixed green salad (topped with some Newman’s Own lite Raspberry and Walnut dressing) and some chipotle-seasoned sweet potato fries.

Dinner:  Today was a friend-tastic day, and the husband had some guy friends come over to grill brats for dinner.  I wasn’t feel ing the whole grilling scene after the “burger” earlier in the day, so I helped myself to some leftover lentils/sausage/kale mix from last night, accompanied by a salad full o’ veggies, a crescent roll, and a few apple slices.  Dessert topped it all off with a couple of bites of red velvet cupcake!

Snacks:  Snacking was kept to something of a minimum today due to the majority of the day being spent in a dusty bathroom, but while I was making dinner I did grab a mini-reese’s cup to stave off the hunger and sugar cravings!

In other news, Daniel (otherwise known as the husband) has a job interview tomorrow, so any good vibes/happy thoughts/positive juju would be most welcome and appreciated!

Out of your comfort zone

This morning, the husband and I slept wonderfully late (one of the–albeit few–advantages to him being between jobs at the moment) and had a generally relaxing day. We’re gearing up for a big graduation trip to England with my parents, so the most exciting thing we did all day was make lists of things to do in preparation and to see while we’re there.  Even my morning workout was a bit more relaxed than usual. 

Workout: 25 minutes of grouped tabatas (courtesy pinterest).  This basically consists of 5 rounds of 4 exercises each, where you do each exercise for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest. Each circuit/group is repeated once so it takes 4 minutes for each group. 

I also completed the Outside your comfort zone 50’s weight workout.  While not as challenging as I had initially expected, this was definitely a great workout (especially the more cardio-based aspects…50 burpees kicked my butt!).  Plus it was a nice way to mix things up from my typical routine. I am a big fan of the Nike Training Club app and a lot of my weightlifting and strength workouts come from there, but it can get a little repetitive after a while. 

As far as food goes, today was particularly delicious (and nutritious)! Hooray for being doctor appoved!

Breakfast: Since I slept in so late, I didn’t end up finishing my workout until after 11, so breakfast was quick and light knowing that lunch would be coming shortly after. I went with a couple of spoonfuls of vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt (Kroger brand–we’re still on a student budget here!), a handful of walnuts, and about 1/4 a banana (I had used the rest in oatmeal earlier in the week).

Lunch: I made up some pasta and filled up a bowl full of veggies (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, zucchini, squash, onion, and chickpeas) and topped the whole thing with a Laughing Cow garlic and herb cheese wedge and some tomato sauce. Let me tell you, the veggies probably made up 2/3 of this dish and it was spectacular!! The cheese definitely added the extra kick. 

Snack: It may not count, but as I made dinner I happened to grab a finger full of peanut butter and a couple of reduced fat wheat thins. I am awful about throwing food randomly into my mouth while cooking. Luckily the husband distracted me from doing more damage with a discussion of Londonian pubs. 🙂

Dinner: We made up one of our new favorites tonight–lentils with kale and turkey sausage. This was a random Internet find when searching for something to make with a giant bag of lentils we had sitting around, and it has made its welcome way into our monthly recipes. See below for the full scoop. Dinner was accompanied by a crescent roll topped with smart balance light.  For dessert I had half of one of the remaining red velvet cupcakes from my graduation party last weekend. Red velvet, you speak directly to my soul. Plus the little fondant stethoscope on top is just so cute!

Lentils with sausage and kale

Ingredients:

1 c. lentils (dry)

1 (12oz) package chicken or turkey sausage (I used Johnsonville regular turkey sausage)

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

About 6-8 cups (1 bunch, or a little less) chopped kale

2.5 c water

1.5 c red cooking wine

2-3tbsp minced garlic

Crushed red pepper to taste

1 tsp sage

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add sausage, cooking and turning until brown. Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add a tad more olive oil to pan and add onion, cooking 4-5 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper. 

Add water and cooking wine. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Add lentils. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook, partially covered, for 40 minutes. 

Add kale, sage, and saltCooker and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale and lentils are tender (about 10 minutes more). 

Slice sausage and stir in to pan. Cover and cook until heated through. 

Welcome!

Hello there, world!  Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

For background, I’m Becca, a newly minted M.D. with a passion for things outside the confines of my hospital-heavy world–chief among them:  spending time with my wonderful husband and dog, friends and family, reading/tv/video gaming/all things geeky, and of course, keeping myself sane through a combination of fitness and a love for cooking!

I started this blog because I have recently become a more involved runner, and, in my search for tips and hints about training and fueling for runs, discovered the wonderful world of fitness blogging.  So here we are!  Hopefully this will be a fun exercise into keeping track of workouts, food, and jotting down ideas for maintaining something of a healthy lifestyle while traversing the crazy world of medical residency.

To get us started…

Today’s workout:

30 minute treadmill interval run (stolen from Julie at PBfingers)

Weightlifting circuit (stolen from Pinterest)

On the menu:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt with 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, and a handful of blueberries

Lunch: PBJ quesadilla (tortilla w/ peanut butter, Trader Joe’s reduced sugar raspberry preserves, half a banana, and some sliced strawberries), Salad (spinach leaves, zucchini, squash, carrot, and fat free zesty Italian dressing), and about a quarter of a Honey Crisp apple w/ a wedge of Laughing Cow lite swiss cheese.

Dinner: Pulled pork barbecue sandwich on a pretzel bun with a handful of sweet potato, grippo’s, and garlic herb french fries from a local sandwich place (yum!)

After dinner: My friend Ashley and I hit up Menchie’s for some delicious fro-yo.  I had a mix of cake batter, dulce de leche, angel food cake, blackberry, and original tart with all kinds of toppings–strawberries, cookie dough, a brownie bite, and sprinkles.

Not exactly the healthiest day of all time, but man, I am addicted to fro-yo!  We just got a few new shops here in my hometown and I love the concept of mixing all the flavors and mix-ins.  Every time I go, I tell myself I’m going to get just 1 or 2 flavors, but I always end up with at least 3 or 4!  Too yummy!