Workin' It Out

Melting Away & Finding Myself

Do Better!

A new quote I spotted at the gym today:

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Apparently the gym’s manager wrote this one himself. I like it a lot and really fits my workout I had today, which I will tell you about later!

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New Favorite

Meet my new favorite snack:

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I never thought I would like it, but I now LOVE peanut butter & apples. And for one small apple and a tablespoon of pb, it’s only about 150 calories. Perfect. And perfectly delicious.

Gluten-free Granola Bars

I have been wanting to make my own granola bars for awhile: they look like a simple thing to do, I would know what was in them and I knew I’d be able to make way more than 6 for $3, which is what I end up spending on some of my favorites. So I scoured Pinterest for something yummy and healthy. The result was a gluten-free recipe with lots of nuts and dried fruits. I just made the recipe for the first time and I can’t wait for them to cool enough to eat! Trust me, I already licked the spoons! That little preview was amazing!

I pinned the recipe on my pinterest profile. Or you can find the original recipe published here. Here’s how I made mine:

Gluten-free Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten free)
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup raisins (or any combo of dried fruit to make 1 cup)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not that fake stuff that’s actually dressed up corn syrup)
4 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance soy free butter)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mix together all dry ingredients (oats, seeds & nuts) on the baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and toast the dry ingredients for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent them from burning. As soon as the ingredients are toasted, remove the pan from the oven.

While the dry ingredients are toasting, line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Next, place a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add in the brown sugar, honey, butter, cinnamon and salt. Bring the mixture to a strong boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Place the toasted ingredients in a large bowl, and stir in the dried fruit. Pour the honey-sugar mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until all the ingredients are moist and well combined.

Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing down to evenly spread out the mixture. At this point I was ready to ditch the bars, grab a spoon and go to town! Set the baking sheet aside and let the bars cool for 2-3 hours until they are hardened.

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Once the bars are hard, remove them from the baking pan and turn the granola out onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment paper. Cut the granola into bars by pressing straight down with a long knife (don’t saw or they will crumble) – I cut mine into 24. The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature individually wrapped in plastic wrap for up to a week or in individual snack baggies.

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So I tried one… YUMMMMMMOOOO! And I’m looking forward to trying some variations, I’m thinking one with chocolate chips, one with peanut butter & banana chips, one with more almonds… Oooh the possibilities! What would you put in a granola bar?

Nutrition info per bar:
165 calories, 5.1 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbs, 4.8 g protein

What I Made Monday

Are you sick of me yet? 3rd post today!  A little late, but here’s what I made Monday.

Be proud of me.  I had to teach summer school Monday, had a headache, an “eh” workout, but I still came home and cooked!

Penne Primavera with Rotisserie Chicken and salad (courtesy of Emeals)

Ingredients:
16 oz. penne pasta (I had rotini so I used that)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
2 green bell peppers, diced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 C. water (my recipe looked plenty liquidy so I omitted this)
3 T. Worcestershire sauce (forgot I was out of this, so found out soy sauce can be substituted)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta as directed, drain and set aside.  I also made some Gluten Free Penne from Heartland.  Have you ever tried it? It tasted like real pasta! Very yummy.

Saute veggies and garlic in olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until tender.

Add water, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cooked pasta and heat for 4-5 more minutes.  My skillet couldn’t possibly hold the pasta too, so we just served the veggies on top of the pasta and topped that with Parmesan cheese.

We had the rotisserie chicken (pre-made from the grocery store) and a salad on the side.  I was so hungry, I completely forgot to take a picture of our plates, but it was delicious!

Random Thoughts

Since it’s been so long since I’ve updated my goals & things on here, I thought I would indulge you in my random thoughts today:

  • Making beans for recipes from dried beans instead of using canned is not as difficult as I thought!  Not to mention much cheaper and without extra salt and preservatives.  Try it sometime!
  • We tried a new protein powder this week: I was not impressed.  I won’t give the brand, but hubby & I did not like it.  I guess I’m used to protein powders that have a little sweetness added.  This did not and I didn’t realize it.  What a shock on that first sip!
  • I love the weather in Kansas City right now. I really should be mowing the grass…  I really should be doing a lot of things. My to do list is so long.
  • Prayers really do get answered! I work with a lady battling breast cancer and today she received some wonderful news which can only be called a miracle.  I will keep praying for her!
  • Working out is much easier when I’m in a routine to go in the morning, but I can also work out for much longer when I go in the afternoon.
  • High school football players lifting weights intimidate me.
  • Monday was just not a good work out day. I had a headache, my clothes felt too small and the above mentioned high schoolers were also at the gym.  I warmed up, did a quick circuit of the lower body weight machines and then used the elliptical the rest of the time. Just wasn’t feeling it.
  • Anybody have any toddler potty training tips?
  • I finally lost a pound this week!  And guess what?? I upped my calories again. It’s not the intuitive thing, but it works for me!
  • I really dislike road construction! Particularly on my route to work.
  • I’m going to be making homemade granola bars soon – stay tuned!

Next week I will begin updating you again on my week-by-week progress. Measurements to be updated soon!

The Running Shoe Purchase Experience

As you know, I was nervous to get fitted for running shoes.  If you don’t know me, I live in the general Kansas City area, so I went to The Running Well Store, which for you locals, used to be the Sports Medicine store.  By the time we reached the front door, my palms were super sweaty and I was ready to run (pun intended) back to the car. I had a pre-conceived notion that although they said they were knowledgeable and helpful on the website, that I would be looked down upon or made to feel stupid with not having any running experience. I was so completely wrong – thank goodness!

As soon as we walked into the empty store, I met Linda.  She was super nice and when I started to tell her what I needed, it all came rushing out: the knee injury, the Color Run coming up, my weight loss, my nervousness. She was so supportive and really pumped me up about being able to complete the run. She asked if I had ever had a stride analysis, which of course I have not, hence the nervousness. And by this time a couple of other customers had come in, so I cannot tell you the relief I felt when she said I could “jog if I wanted to, but you don’t have to.” I chose the not having to option! I walked on the treadmill about a minute while they videotaped me.  More relief: the only part of me videotaped was my mid-calf down… whew.

Then she played back the tape and explained to me what she observed in my  stride. I overpronate, or my ankles roll inward, which means I need a good arch support (and was probably a good reason I injured my knee).  So then she measured my foot and got some boxes of running shoes.  I tried on several different brands: New Balance, Saucony, Brooks and Asics. They were all comfortable in their own way, but the Brooks really fit the best, although they felt a little tight across the top of my foot.  I got to wear them for awhile before deciding to take them home.  I even have two weeks to decide they’re not for me. I have never spent so much on a pair of shoes in my life! But I am sure it will be well worth it especially if I don’t want to re-injure myself.

So yesterday since I knew I was going to do a crazy amount of walking at work, I decided to wear the shoes for awhile to make sure they were really going to work. Well, it became pretty obvious after the first hour or so that I needed to adjust the laces.  They still felt really tight across the top of my foot.  But then I noticed if I adjusted them enough to be not so tight, that the part around my heel felt really loose… hmmm…. not such a pleasant feeling either way.  So I called the store and asked them to order me the wide width shoe.  It should be in in a week – which feels like forever when I’m finally feeling pumped up to start C25K again, but I’m okay with it.  When I get the new shoes I will start C25K and when the Color Run gets here June 30th, I will just do whatever training day I’m on and have a good time!! It may take me longer, but I will run a 5K!

I never did tell Linda about the blog, but if she ever reads this I want her to know that she made me so much more at ease and I truly appreciate her help and support!  If you need a new pair of running shoes, go to The Running Well Store and ask for Linda!

Nervous

I feel ridiculous, but I am so nervous. We are on our way to get me fitted for running shoes. You probably think that’s silly and I sort of agree, but I am still stinkin nervous! Why? Because I will have to run on a treadmill at the store to check the fit. In front of people. Fit people. And they will videotape me… running. This is a nightmare! I’m scared I will do something stupid and hurt my knee again. I’m nervous my boobs will hit me in the face. (Can anybody recommend a good sports bra for the well endowed lady?) But mostly I just don’t want to pass out in front of these people after running a few minutes.

So nervous…. Sweaty palms, butterflies in the tummy… But I can’t back out, because the Color Run is in 23 days and I don’t want to just walk it!! I have to must start C25K! Not that I plan to run the whole thing, but it’s my personal goal to run half. Is that doable?

I’ll let you know how the fitting goes, if I don’t die of embarrassment…

A Flowchart

In case you’re indecisive like me…

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Summer Plans

Hahaha… gotcha – you thought I was going to write about some vacation to an exotic paradise, didn’t you?  Reminder: I’m an educator with a toddler – exotic vacay ain’t happenin’ any time soon!  The summer plans I’m referring to are summer fitness/eating plans!  I thrive on structure, organization, routine, etc. I’m slightly type A. When I’m home alone or without structure, all eating and fitness plans quickly fly out the window, so I’m going to write the plans down here and you guys will keep me in check!

  • First, I want to read New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I’ve been reading all about it on MyFitnessPal, and I like the principles of it, so I want my own copy of the book and get all the info straight from the authors.
  • I’m going to “pack” my lunch everyday.  Literally I think I will prep, package and place all my food for the next day in a lunch box and keep it in the fridge.  I’m thinking this will keep me from grazing and snacking all day.  Eat from the lunch box and nothing else – except maybe the fruit & veggies drawer.
  • Workout – in the morning just like it was a work day. I do love my sleeping in, but maybe I can use naptime for a little extra snooze.
  • I’ll easily continue to log my food and exercise.  It’s such a habit for me now.

Do any of you have tips for keeping on track in an un/less structured environment??

Uhhh…

Oh my – I have no idea what week I’m on here in my weight loss journey!  The end of the school year was nuts, but it’s over, so hopefully I will have more time to blog.  Here’s what I can tell you:

  • I still haven’t lost the holy grail 4 pounds (to have made 32 lbs. by 32 years) I am looking for… stuck, stuck, stuck…
  • But stuck right over the border in one-derland!
  • I need to eat more!  Fitbit tells me I average about 2380 calories burned per day (that includes sleeping, exercising, working, sitting on my butt – everything), so I should be eating about 2000 calories per day to feed my body what it needs without letting it think it’s starving.  I know this isn’t a popular way of thinking, but read about it & consider it a path for you! Most of my “dieting” friends are doing extraordinary amounts of exercise and eating so little that I wonder how they even make it through the day!  We are all in such a hurry to lose the weight and get on with our lives, but do we really need to be in such a hurry?  I’m not saying I’m enjoying looking at the fat lady in the mirror, but I do enjoy a little more freedom with my calories.  And shouldn’t this be a lifestyle change? This can’t be a temporary eating change that we’ll all dump when we hit our goal.  Because then wouldn’t I end up just looking at a fat person in the mirror again? Hmmm… Maybe I will need to revamp this site so that it’s not so focused on the pounds, or just forget my blog title and continue to do what may work for me.  I say “may” because I haven’t given this “eating more” thing enough of a chance.  I did it for about 2 weeks, freaked out when I hadn’t lost anything and then cut my calories again and guess what? Huh… I still haven’t lost anything (well, I have, but I know I personally have an expectation of a certain number of pounds gone to say that I “have lost something”).  So what do I really have to lose? Literally, 24  more pounds before the end of the year.  But to answer figuratively, I have nothing to lose! I want to gain strength through weight training, confidence through new muscles being found, energy to play with my little man, new recipes to skinnify and then not feel guilty if I eat an extra portion. Wow, that was a long bullet…
  • I have to stop being so competitive.  My friend has lost nearly double what I have while I have danced around the 28-29 pounds lost mark and it’s driving me crazy!!  Dear Me, Please read above bullet point and then stop with the competitiveness!!!!  Love, Me  P.S. You WILL love yourself more in the long run if you stop worrying about the scale!

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