Starting The Week Off Right

Happy Monday! I had a really awesome weekend because two of my best friends from Connecticut came to visit me that I hadn’t seen in a loooong time! Even though I grew up in CT, my parents moved away when I graduated from college, so I never go back there during holidays or anything and it was SO great to see them. My other best friend from Connecticut, Erika, lives here in the area, but lives out in Arlington, so we ended up doing Friday night in Arlington and Saturday night in DC.

Here’s me and Allison on Friday night:

beth and allison

And Jaci and Erika on Saturday night:

Jaci and Erika We had two awesome dinners – one at Boulevard Woodgrill on Friday night, and one at Zatinya on Saturday evening. Both dinners evolved into nights out on the town, but you have to go big when friends are visiting, right?

After they get on the road yesterday morning, I had the most productive day Sunday ever. I did laundry, cleaned my entire apartment top to bottom, went through my closet and got rid of a bunch of clothes, did a new-to-me workout DVD, and cooked up a storm. I went grocery shopping on Friday night before they got here to pick up a few things, and decided to try to make it through the week without another trip. I need to work through everything in my fridge before I leave Friday morning for San Antonio and I think I can make it through the week with what I have, so I’m going to try!

Yesterday’s cooking involved whipping up a batch of veggie soup, brown rice, and un-pictured steel cut oats:

Sunday Prep

I made the simple soup by cooking onion, garlic, celery, and carrots over low heat for 10-15 minutes, then adding spices and water and letting it simmer for 45 minutes. When it was done, I stirred in a few handfuls of fresh spinach and that was it. I had a bowl last night and ended up adding some brown rice to bulk it up a bit and it was delicious! I plan to use the brown rice throughout the week for the taco salads, to add to the soup, and to make veggie fried brown rice later in the week.

Here’s what I came up with for a menu plan:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Savory Oats, banana Sardines w/Wasa Crackers, 1 cup veggie soup, plus Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Greek Yogurt w/leftover fruit salad Tempeh Taco Salad
Tuesday English Muffin w/canadian bacon + cheese, banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Veggies w/ Black Bean Dip Veggie Fried Brown Rice
Wednesday Savory Oats Leftover veggie fried rice Greek Yogurt w/mashed banana + brown sugar Out to Dinner – TBD
Thursday WW Waffles w/PB+Banana Leftover Tempeh Taco Salad, veggie soup Greek Yogurt w/frozen pineapple Omelet w/veggies + cheese plus toast


And here’s the plan for workouts, aiming for 5 days of working out and 2 days of rest:

    • Sunday: No More Trouble Zones (check!)
    • Monday: 4 miles
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: Speed Work – 7x400s
    • Thursday: Cross-Training
    • Friday: 8 miles in San Antonio
    • Saturday: Rest

This week, I want to really focus on sticking with the plan so I can work my way through everything in my fridge and make some progress on the scale. I have a lot to do before I leave for San Antonio on Friday, so I’m aiming to get most of my workouts done in the morning before work, which is my main goal for the week – get to the gym first thing!

Do you ever do workout DVDs at home? What is your favorite one?

I “love” Jillian Michael’s workout DVDs – they are built on a circuit system and really make me sweat! I have The Shred which is 3 20-minute workouts, and just got No More Trouble Zones on Friday, which is a 40 minute circuit plus warm-up and cool down, and it is INTENSE. It’s a total body workout and the equivalent of doing two levels of the Shred at once in my opinion, but I’m looking for more suggestions!

33 Comments on Starting The Week Off Right

  1. Parita @ myinnershakti
    January 23, 2012 at 8:47 am (9 years ago)

    LOVE JM workout DVDs as well! My favorite is ‘No More Trouble Zones,’ and I also love ‘Banish Fat Boost Metabolism.’ She has a new one out similar to Shred that I really want to buy. Happy Monday!

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:27 am (9 years ago)

      Based on all the comments, I’m heavily leaning towards buying BFBM!

      • Amanda @ Running On Waffles
        January 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm (9 years ago)

        I LOVE BFBM!! The nice thing is it’s similar to No More Trouble Zones but it doesn’t require weights so I typically take it with me when I’m traveling and need to get a non-running cardio workout in.

  2. Laura
    January 23, 2012 at 9:13 am (9 years ago)

    I love JM DVDs as well… my favorite is “Shred w/Weights” using kettlebells. Its something different with the same JM style.

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

      I have never used kettlebells before! I’ve wanted to but don’t own any and am too scared to experiment with them at the gym.

  3. Life's a Bowl
    January 23, 2012 at 9:20 am (9 years ago)

    I don’t do workout videos at home [mostly because I don’t have space] but I have been wanting to try one of Jillian’s DVD’s- I’ve heard great things!!!

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:25 am (9 years ago)

      I don’t really have the space either haha. I move a bunch of stuff out of the way and try to be careful about not jumping around TOO much.

  4. Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner
    January 23, 2012 at 9:36 am (9 years ago)

    I also love Jillian Michaels. I have 30 Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism (which is similar to No More Trouble Zones but doesn’t use weights and is more focused on plyometrics to burn calories than strength training). Last winter I worked through 30 Day Shred and then moved on to NMTZ and BFBM. After a long hiatus, I tried to to NMTZ a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t do it! It is so intense. I am working my way back through 30DS now and will go back to the other two when I have rebuilt some strength and stamina!

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:25 am (9 years ago)

      I thought it was really intense too, but I have been consistently strength training about 1-2x a week for the last couple months, so I was able to make it through. That said, I cannot BELIEVE how sore I am today! I could barely get out of bed!

  5. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    January 23, 2012 at 9:37 am (9 years ago)

    I hear Jillian’s ab videos are awesome, too. Next time I’m looking to switch it up a little, I think I’ll be picking one up! (Ripped in 30 or something like that?)

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:23 am (9 years ago)

      I’ve heard that too! I already get so sore just from the little bit of abs on her regular dvds though I think I would die from an ab only workout!

  6. Sarah
    January 23, 2012 at 10:07 am (9 years ago)

    I just did NMTZs this morning! I always switch between 3-5lb weights. And that first shoulder circuit is a killer. I’d also recommend her Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. That workout is intense. It’s a warm up, 3 6min. cardio ciruits, 6 min. abs, 3 6min cardio ciruicts, cooldown. I also love Billy Blanks cardio max for kickboxing.

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:22 am (9 years ago)

      I did that too!! Switching between 3 and 5. I’ll check out BFBM!

  7. Sharon
    January 23, 2012 at 10:20 am (9 years ago)

    I see that you run and my daughter’s piano teacher also runs. When you get a chance, can you share how you got started and tips on doing it right or at least what not to do?


    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:21 am (9 years ago)

      I have a post in my top posts called “How I Started Running” that you can check out. I did a program called Couch to 5k, which can be found at, that I highly highly recommend! It was great!

      • Sharon
        January 23, 2012 at 11:47 am (9 years ago)

        Thanks for the info! I would like to start running, but I’ve had mild problems with my knees hurting at times in the past. I purchased new workout shoes and with the weight I’ve lost so far, it’s been better. Can’t wait to get started!! Have a great day!

  8. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    January 23, 2012 at 10:59 am (9 years ago)

    I have that Jillian DVD, as well as Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism (which it looks like many other commenters do too!), which is also INTENSE! It’s great though- no equipment needed! She uses the same girls as No More Trouble Zones and it’s the same amount of time.
    But- if you REALLY want something intense, pick up any of Bob’s “Inside Out Method” DVDs. They make Jillian’s seem like a warm-up! I LOVE them though- and the one of I love the most is his yoga DVD. I do it 2-3 times a week to balance out Spinning and Bodypump. It’s hardcore and makes you sweat like crazy!

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:19 am (9 years ago)

      Eek.. if it makes Jillian’s feel like a warm up, I’m scared! =)

  9. Heather
    January 23, 2012 at 11:05 am (9 years ago)

    I love Jillian’s The Shred, it’s a killer. I also like the Crunch Candlelight Yoga when I feel all knotted up and need to work it out.

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:19 am (9 years ago)

      Ohh I’ll have to check that out! I’ve been looking for a good yoga/loosening up one.

  10. Hilary
    January 23, 2012 at 11:15 am (9 years ago)

    I’d love to try some Jillian DVDs… I just have shard time spending the money when I already pay for a gym membership.

    • Beth
      January 23, 2012 at 11:19 am (9 years ago)

      I hear that, but a lot of them are under $8 on amazon, so I feel like for me, having a workout option that doesn’t involve me leaving my apartment is worth it! 🙂

  11. Jess
    January 23, 2012 at 11:24 am (9 years ago)

    I am a huge Jillian Michaels fan and actually did No More Trouble Zones yesterday (and am definitely feeling the soreness today)! Her Ripped in 30 DVD is also awesome.

  12. Sara
    January 23, 2012 at 11:37 am (9 years ago)

    If you like “No More Trouble Zones”, get “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism”! It doesn’t use any weights – just your own body weight and BOY, does she keep you moving for the entire thing. It is a SERIOUS workout! I also have her Kettlebell Shred dvd, which I like, The 30 Day Shred (did a full 30 days of this last February and now use it to mix things up on days when I’m crunched for time) and her Biggest Loser Last Change Workout dvd. (Some people in my life think I have a “Jillian Problem”…)

  13. Lorinda @ Everyday Endeavours
    January 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm (9 years ago)

    I am seriously applaud how organized you are with your meal planning. You’re a wonderful example of how well it works….one day, one day I will get there as well.

    I love the 30-day Shred but if No More Trouble Zones is like two sessions of Shred in one…yikes! Good for you for stepping it up! Sorry I don’t have any other suggestions. Still trying to survive the Shred. 🙂

  14. Britta
    January 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm (9 years ago)

    No More Trouble Zones is my FAVORITE at home full body workout – the only DVD I’ve found and loved to replace my beloved college group strength class! Jackie Warner’s one-on-one DVD is pretty good too if you’re looking for free weights, and can be broken up into upper/lower/abs 20 mon segments which is nice. I wrote a blog post comparing the two – I can share the link if you’re interested 🙂 keep the great DVD picks coming!!

  15. janetha
    January 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm (9 years ago)

    I know you said you’ve gained weight, but it definitely doesn’t show. That photo of you up there is stunning and you look slim and trim, and you have a gorg smile (side note).

  16. Diandra
    January 24, 2012 at 3:05 am (9 years ago)

    I like workout DVDs (mostly for the days when I am to BLAH to do anything on my own and the weather is too bad for running), but I am not too keen on the Jillian Michaels DVDs. There is too much jumping, and between running and bad knees, I prefer not to do that. I have got one TaeBo video and have some zumba videos stacked on my desk to try out in the future.

  17. Deborah Thomas
    January 24, 2012 at 8:25 am (9 years ago)

    when it comes to workout dvd’s, I am a Bob Harper girl myself. Love that man! Jillian, is ok with me, but not my first go to dvd.

  18. Deborah Thomas
    January 24, 2012 at 8:27 am (9 years ago)

    When it comes to workout DVD’s, I am a Bob Harper fan myself. I love that man and all his DVDs.

  19. Roz@weightingfor50
    January 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm (9 years ago)

    We have to be really careful working out at home, because we have neighbors below us, and I’m sure they hear if we’re bouncing around. So glad you had a great time with your friends. All the best for a great week ahead Beth!!!

  20. Maggie @ Say Yes to Salad
    January 30, 2012 at 12:18 am (9 years ago)

    I used to do a bunch of videos from ExerciseTV but it looks like they’ve shut down. I recently did “slim and sleek, fast” (hulu) which is pretty good. It starts out kinda slow but by the end you’re sweating. I also like the dancy routines on Netflix. And I found a dancy routine on Hulu that I’ve been meaning to try too (Dance Slim! I think it’s called). And if you haven’t tried BodyRock definitely look into it – but go back and do Zuzana’s routines, not the new girl’s.

  21. Melanie
    January 30, 2012 at 10:27 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth! Just found your blog and wanted to comment about Jillian’s DVD’s – I also have NMTZ but also LOVE BFBM! I love the circuit training style of the workout and it’s both cardio and some strength! Hope you try it!

    I also live in DC and have lost a bunch of weight doing weight watchers. You look amazing! Congrats on your success!

    Looking forward to keeping up with your blog!



Leave a Reply