Feta

Weigh In and Weekly Goals

One of my June Goals was to go back to Weight Watchers, which I did on June 24th for the first time since early April. I had gained 3 pounds in the 3 months that I’d taken a hiatus from going, which is not too bad considering that I didn’t count points and did a lot of drinking and having fun. I have been on WW since March 2009, and have basically been the same weight since January, so it’s really time to just push forward and get to my goal weight already. With my weigh in at the end of June, I had 9 pounds to go to get to my goal weight.

I skipped weigh in (WI) last week because I had a really busy day at work and had meetings over lunch, but I went back today. During those two weeks, I lost 2.6 pounds!! I was so happy to see a pretty significant move on the scale since I haven’t seen one of those in ages, and this means I only have 6.4 pounds until I’m at my goal weight! I’d like to put out there that my personal goal weight is 4-14 pounds lower than my WW goal weight, but I’m not really in a rush to get there, I just think my body will naturally get there once it’s ready. I am in a rush to get to my WW goal though, so that I can become a lifetime member and stop paying! I’d also love the opportunity to be a Leader and run the meetings, and you have to be Lifetime in order to do that.

So, I am setting some goals for myself for this week to keep myself on the losing train:

  1. Workout 5 times – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I’m flexible with what I do, but I’d like to do the Shred at least once, Bikram at least once, and run 2x.
  2. Finalize My Half-Marathon Training Plan – The half marathon is somehow only 11 weeks from this weekend!! I will share my plan once it’s developed fully, but this week is the week I have to do it!
  3. Limit Alcohol – Saturday night I’m celebrating my birthday with my friends, first with a birthday dinner and then going out on the town, so that night there will be plenty of booze (and it will also be my “free” day). Besides that day, I’d like to keep drinking to a minimum. My eating habits and drinking tend to go hand in hand (as in eat bad and way too much when I drink) and I don’t have any other special stuff going on so it should be doable.
  4. Lots of Water – I’ve been OK about this most of the time, but in this intense heat its even more important to get a lot of water in, and I think getting sick on my birthday night had a lot to do with not drinking enough water. 8 cups a day minimum, and more when exercising.
  5. Daily Multivitamin – I stopped taking multivitamins for some reason and need to get back into the habit of taking one daily, even though I eat a pretty balanced diet and get in most of my nutrients naturally. I just took one for today, so check! 🙂

Lunch today was a loaded salad that was deeeeelicious.

It had:

  • Kale (0 pts)
  • 1 tsp garlic gold oil (1 pt)
  • carrots (0 pts)
  • broccoli (0 pts)
  • 2 tbsp garlic hummus (1 pt)
  • 1 oz RF feta cheese (1 pt)
  • 1/2 serving tempeh (2 pts)

This salad was really big and satisfying since there was so much going on. I rubbed the oil onto the kale and it was the first time I tried the Garlic Gold Oil and it is AWESOME. There is garlic at the bottom so the whole jar is really flavorful and added a nice kick to the salad.

Do you set daily, weekly, or monthly goals for yourself? What are you currently working on? Do you find they help you stay on track or just get you overwhelmed? I’ve just recently started setting shorter term goals and I like it because they are easier to stick with than my big goals like “get to goal weight” and help me make mindful decisions.

Whipped Oats

So, back to normal, for now. 😉

I woke up early this morning to go for a run since I hadn’t worked out since Saturday. To be honest, I was kind of dreading the run before I went (mostly because I was awake before 7am, but partly because I hadn’t run in a week and I thought it was going to be hard!). It ended up turning out really well! Because of my dead computer, I couldn’t plug in my Garmin for the breakdown of stats, but I found this cool running calculator that can help you calculate pace or speed to figure it out.

Duration: 38:59

Distance: 4.00 mph

Avg. Speed: 6.16mph

Avg. Pace: 9:44 min/mi

Overall, a great run! The weather was perfect, a lot cooler than it has been for the last week or more. I think it was around 70 degrees and a little breezy. Amazing.

After I got back from my run, I was HUNGRY. Yesterday I saw this technique for Blended Grains, where you make your oatmeal like normal (or any other grain you want) then you blend it up. You can use a blender, food processor, or handmixer, and it basically gets really fluffy and turns into whipped oatmeal. I was thinking about it during my run, so figured why not give it a shot! It’s kind of hard to gauge the consistency of it from this picture, but it was really creamy and delicious.

I topped it off with some cherry craisins

And it was goooooood. For this bowl, I used:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (2 pts)
  • 1 cup water (0 pts)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites (0 pts)
  • ~2 tbsp cherry craisins (1 pt)

I added the egg whites to give it a little protein and I couldn’t even taste that they were in there. I will definitely be blending up my oats or some other grains again – I loved the texture of these! I had a pretty huge Pink Lady Apple (1 pt) for a mid-morning snack.

Lunch was half successful, half not-so-much. Bad news first. I had some arugula in my CSA from last week that I wanted to use up (since I get a new box tomorrow) but it has so many tiny holes in it! I looked it up and found out that the holes are from flea beetles and I guess it’s common for them to eat arugula that is organic. That said, I rinsed the arugula really really well, but it was grossing me out as I was eating it.

I ended up picking the feta and blueberries off the salad and throwing most of the arugula out. 🙁

The successful part of lunch was pizza! I picked up these flatbreads at Trader Joe’s:

I heated up some spinach in the microwave and dried it off really well with a paper towel. I added some pizza sauce, the spinach, and some reduced fat mozzarella cheese to the flatbread and threw it in the toaster oven. The end result was this:

So good!! The point breakdown for lunch is:

  • Arugula (0 pts)
  • RF Feta (1 pt)
  • 1 cup blueberries (1 pt)
  • Flatbread (3 pts)
  • Pizza Sauce (0 pts)
  • Spinach (0 pts)
  • RF Mozzarella (1 pt)

So 6 total, which is not bad at all.

What are some of your favorite things to healthify? I love making pizza at home because it’s one of my favorites! Regular pizza can have so much fat/calories/points (which I still eat a bit too much), but making a healthy version at home is pretty easy and delicious. I also like to make my own fries at home, another one of my favorite unhealthy things that can actually be really good for you if you make it in your own kitchen.

7 Reasons to Bike

Hiya! I found a really interesting article on Womens Health Magazine’s website about biking and why its good for you. I’m trying to break myself of this mentality because I know it’s good for me, but I find biking to be a lot easier than running. Sometimes I let myself feel guilty when I bike instead of run, which is ridiculous! It’s easier on your joints, its FUN, you can go so much faster and cover more mileage, and its an awesome supplement to my workout routine. Knowing all this though, I sometimes feel like I don’t get the same quality of workout that I do with running. This article was good for me because it solidified a lot of what I already knew but also taught me some new things (#3 and#6).

7 Reasons to Start Bike Riding

  1. Calorie burn – The average woman burns 488 calories biking 12-14mph.
  2. Good for On the Go – If you live within 5 miles of work, biking to work 2x a week burns an extra 3,000 calories a month, which is almost 1 pound of fat you could lose just from using your bike to commute.
  3. Total Body Workout – Obviously your legs, quads, calves and glutes are working to keep the pedals going, but you work your upper body too with controlling the handlebars, so you get toned all over.
  4. Boosts Energy & Fights Fatigue – A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent. This is because biking causes your brain to release dopamine which is directly related to energy.
  5. Easy on Joints – It puts a lot less pressure on your knees, ankles, and joints than running or walking.
  6. Every Muscle Feels It – Biking uphill, 1/2 sitting 1/2 standing, engages your core and your triceps in addition to your legs and upper body.
  7. Protects your Heart – It lowers your blood pressure and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases aerobic fitness, all big fighters against heart disease.

I’m going for a bike ride tonight after work so in an effort to pump myself up, thought I’d share this with you all. 🙂

Lunch today turned out to be better than I anticipated. I just wasn’t that excited about it, but it ended up being really delicious and satisfying! I had a bowl of leftover soup from last night

This soup was really chunky and delicious, and held up really well over night. It was perfect to contrast with the crappy weather here in DC. 🙂 Along with the soup, I had an awesome Strawberry Mango Salad.

This salad had:

  • 2-3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 mango, chopped
  • 5 large strawberries, chopped
  • 1 serving light feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 green onion, chopped

It was SO good! The green onions made such a difference and I almost forgot about them after getting them at the Farmer’s Market last week. I still have a ton left and love using them with eggs, in quesadillas, and on salads. I asked my boyfriend (the chef) if I could eat them just as a veggie, and he said they grill them whole at the restaurant and eat them just like that! I’ve yet to do that, but could be tasty!

Ciao for now!

Manic Monday

Hey! I am completely swamped at work right now, which is actually great because I seriously cannot believe it’s almost 3pm! The day is flying by because its been nonstop, but that works for me. I have Bikram at 6pm tonight with a few friends, one of which is trying it for her first time! The reason I’ve been going so much is because I have a week unlimited that expires on Friday, so I want to take advantage of it as much as I can since its so expensive to go when you pay full price. I’m noticing improvements in my flexibility and my balance already, and I’ve only been 4 times! I can’t wait to see how my body changes as I continue to improve.

I did have time to break for lunch and have a delicious salad.

This salad had:

  • 3 cups arugula from the Farmer’s Market
  • 1 chopped Fuji apple, also from the Farmer’s Market
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 oz light feta from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 slices Martin’s whole wheat potato bread, overly toasted

I love it when there are as many toppings as base in the salad so that you’re never down to just greens. Even though this bread looks pretty dark, it was just over toasted, not burnt. It still tasted delicious and I can’t get over how good the texture of that bread is for the impressive nutritionals!

I also had a side of baby carrots.

Crunchy and added nice color to my lunch. I never loved baby carrots until recently, but now I can’t seem to get enough of them. I think I go through phases with veggies and these are in for now. 🙂

Hope your Monday is good. Back to the grind for me!

Crumbled Tempeh Salad

I might start eating breakfast at home more… those pancakes left a smile on my face all morning! To be honest, one of the main reasons I tend to wait until I get to work to eat breakfast is because I figure if I eat at home, I’ll get hungrier for lunch a lot sooner than 12. But I think I enjoy my breakfast and have more fun throwing it together when I make it before work. Today I had those pancakes around 8:15-8:30, and was pretty full until 11:30am or so. I had an apple for a snack around then, and it held me over until 12:30 for lunch, so it worked perfectly.

This was a fuji apple from the farmer’s market yesterday. What a huge difference in flavor this was from the apples I usually get at the grocery store! It was so sweet and crispy and just delicious. Even when I buy organic apples from the grocery store, they don’t come close to this taste. I’m so excited to have 3 more of these!

Lunch was pretty interesting. I threw it together last night before Bikram because I knew I’d be too tired to put it together after I got home. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to make, so I just started throwing some ingredients into the food processor. I added a handful of kale, baby carrots, and 1/2 cup of chickpeas. I pulsed it until it was ground up together, and then I added 1 oz of light feta and 1/2 serving of tempeh, crumbled up. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper, and then let it sit overnight.

I decided to name is Crumbled Tempeh Salad. Though quite random, it was delicious and completely raw. I ate it with some Wasa Crackers.

I just discovered these in my cabinet and had completely forgotten about them. I love wasa crackers because they’re so crunchy and light, and were perfect for scooping up this salad. I also had a Massaged Kale Salad on the side to use up the last of the kale from last week’s farmers market.

Unfortunately, this was a total fail. I must have majorly overdone it with the salt without realizing. I still ate the salad, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. Sad.

After lunch I was craving something sweet, so I went to CVS and picked up some Gummy Bears. But unlike last time, I purchased a single serving bag of gummy bears, so didn’t feel guilty eating the whole thing. 🙂

They compeltely hit the spot without making me feel like I overdid it. I also grabbed a Venti Iced Green Tea from Starbucks.

Which I’m currently drinking as I finish up the last few hours of work for the week! <3 Fridays.

Massaged Kale Salad

Unfortunately breakfast didn’t hold me over for too long and my stomach started grumbling around 10:30am. 🙁 Though I really loved the way the granola tasted, I think I’m going to use it as a topping on my oats instead because it didn’t last long over yogurt. It gives a nice crunch but apparently doesn’t have much staying power. I held off for a little bit, but then had an orange around 11:30am, cut up in my new favorite style.

I swear cutting it up into 16 pieces instead of 8 makes the biggest difference… it feels like more and it takes me a lot longer to eat. This held me over until it was an appropriate time to dive into my lunch (after 12 or else I get too hungry by 5!)

The star today was a Massaged Kale Salad. I’ve seen this mentioned several places and never knew what it meant exactly, but its quite literal. You massage olive oil and salt into the kale with your hands, ideally for 2 minutes or so. The olive oil makes it more tender and the salt takes away the natural bitterness of the kale. Plus, it’s a perfect excuse to play with your food! I’ve been using baby kale so its naturally pretty tender, but if you use mature kale you want to just tear away the stems. Kale is such a nutritional powerhouse so I love to find new (to me) ways to use it.

On top of the massaged kale, I put a serving of cubed tofu, 1/2 a roasted red pepper chopped up, and 1 oz crumbled light feta (from Trader Joe’s). Kind of a random combination but it really worked! The kale got super tender and the salt really took away from the bitterness. This is definitely going to be my new go-to way to eat kale in salads. So good! With the salad, I had a toasted whole wheat Thomas Bagel Thin with a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese.

And a sliced raw red bell pepper.

It was unplanned having peppers two ways in this lunch but it worked well! I love red bell peppers – they are so sweet and crunchy and I actually don’t even like to use dip or anything on them because I love the flavor so much.

Just a few more hours until 5pm and I’ve been thinking of a challenging workout to do for tonight and I think I’ve found one! I’ll be back later to tell you how it goes!