Jillian Michaels and Chipmunk Cheeks

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Hello! Just checking in at the end of an uneventful weekend and the beginning of finals… hell week. But this will be the last one ever of my collegiate career! Since that part of my life is almost over… crazy how time flies. The above picture is me driving home from school on Thursday afternoon, all bright eyed and bushy tailed because it was a beautiful and sunny afternoon and I had no idea what awaited me Friday morning. Well, I did, but no idea of how annoying it would be.

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Wisdom teeth surgery! Yahooooo! Happy happy joy joy. Friday after the surgery wasn’t so bad. Doctor said that I would not be able to focus on schoolwork so I took the excuse to lay around on the couch all day and catch up on magazines. Mum and I went to the store and I stocked up on smoothie ingredients, and the day felt like a nice, relaxing and detoxifying vacation. Then Saturday the chipmunk cheeks arrived. I slacked on the icing, went out shopping with Mum, and am paying for it today.

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I am sore, hungry, hangry, grumpy, and my belly is squirmy because it is too full of juices, soups, and smoothies. It doesn’t help that the weather has been gorgeous all weekend so Mum has been BBQing on the grill and it smells heavenly. Oh I cannot wait to be able to bite into a juicy turkey burger again! And go for a RUN! My body is probably loving this break though, from alcohol and all the pounding of the pavement that I have been doing lately. I am going to study hard tonight, get to bed early, and hopefully be a little more de-puffed by tomorrow.

In other news, Thursday night my friend scored us SECOND ROW SEATS to the Jillian Michaels show!! I knew that she was on tour, but never in a million years thought that she would actually be coming to Hartford. But she was! And she touched my hand! And we made eye contact for 3.7 seconds! (I counted).

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The show was great. I was shocked, even though I shouldnt have been, at how much energy that woman had! She must have spoke for almost 3 hours with only a 15 minute intermission. And she was jumping around the stage and yelling and laughing. Your probably wondering how on earth could you listen to her talk for 3 full hours? It actually went by super fast. She broke the show up in to 3 parts, all important to reaching your weight loss goals and being the healthiest you that you can be. The 3 parts were Science, Sweat, and Self. 20130505-085702.jpg

For Science, she went through all of the important tools and calculators used to measure your calories taken in and weight loss goals. Her weight loss philosophy was so simple and true, that it was comical: “Eat less, move more!” So plain and easy, yet millions of people struggle to do this. And there are so many simple equations to make sure that you are not eating too much. For example, she gave a formula to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is an estimate of how many calories you would burn by simply doing nothing, being at rest. It is the minimum amount of energy that your body needs simply to breath and keep your body functioning.

My BMR is about 1,579.9 calories per day. This means, that on days that I do not exercise, if I do not eat more than that amount of calories, then I will not gain weight. Multiplied by my exercise expenditure for a light physical activity level (x 1.2) I get 1,895.88 calories per day that I am allowed. If I do some exercise that day, then I can eat more! Woo!

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Jillian also talked about all of the bad things and chemicals that you should watch out for in your food, the things that are really making Americans fat. This included trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, pesticides, antibiotics, and even bug spray. She showed a picture of a pumped up on steroids fat cow, and a cow that had been naturally raised and grass-fed. The slabs of meat were identical, but the cow on steroids’ meat was huge, with fatty white streaks running throughout it, and compared to the lean slice of darker red meat that was the grass-fed cow. Almost just put me off red meat in general. Almost.

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Another interesting topic Jillian brought up was the importance of counting calories, at least to start off with your weight loss plan to keep you accountable and so you really know how much you were consuming in a day, since all of those “extra” calories do add up. She suggested treating your  calories like money to be cashed in each day. You should really be choosy and picky on how you want to “spend” those cash calories and how much that cupcake is really worth to you. If you have extra calories to spend, go for it, but if it is breaking the bank, then hold back. I need to refocus my financial goals at this moment and work on reigning in that spending, so I like the idea of treating calories the same way. Choosing wisely what to “spend” my calories on throughout the day is a really interesting and novel way to look at food recording. Lately I havent had to worry too much, since ive been spending my calories on healthy fruit smoothies and blenderized soups. I wonder if I will lose any weight on this liquid diet or just turn into a bloated ball of watermelon.

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While we are on the topic of soft foods and I am trying to think of something to make to satisfy my growling stomach, lets talk about some of the smoothie creations I have come up with! I have become quite the smoothie master if I do say so myself.

This morning’s one was worth mentioning:

Strawberry-Banana PB and J Smoothie: 

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp PB
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt

“Good for your Skin” Avocado Mango Strawberry Smoothie: 

  • half of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Tropical Banana Mango Pineapple Smoothie: 

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • Naked mango juice (optional, I had it on hand)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

I made this one for dessert the other night:

“Dirty Monkey”: 

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp pb
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Blueberry-Banana Smoothie: 

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • cinnamon

And I am gonna whip up this one for dessert tonight:

Chocolate Covered Cherry & Berry Smoothie: 

  • Frozen mixed berries and cherries
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 2 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Told ya I have been making a TON of smoothies! Anyways, I am off to get some more studying done and prepare for this week. Wish me luck and some de-puffiness tomorrow!

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Burgers, Sushi, and Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Goobers

Today is a giddy, elated, tingly, weird-feeling-kind of day. After a lazy and out of sorts weekend (read, hungover), I am anxious and excited to start this week off fresh, on the right foot, healthy, motivated, detoxed, and ready to focus. The case of senioritis has plagued me deep, and refuses to be shook off. I cannot seem to find a cure. So, I am going to roll with it. Because, in all honesty, I should be feeling at the top of the world right now, elated, happy, fulfilled, relieved, and proud. I graduate college in 4 weeks. I get a month to relax and enjoy myself, and in June I get to move to Toronto for 4 months on a yet another new adventure and phase of my life. Am I nervous? Hell yes. But these are excited-nervous butterflies.

Why am I not waking up feeling like it is Christmas morning every morning? This weekend was great, and spent with my amazing friends who I do not get to see enough, but it left me with a sense of emptiness in my stomach, and a weird nagging feeling that there is something else that needs to be done, something I am missing out on or forgetting. But even as I sit here pondering it, I still cannot hit the nail on the head. What is this feeling? Is it the fact that my body is angry with me for running so much and my hip/foot are constantly reminding me of that, keeping me from participating in one of my most loved activities? Is is the fact that I keep procrastinating planning this speech that I have to make on Thursday in front of 150+ people (as I am blogging right now instead of planning it), or is it the fact that in less than 4 weeks, all this, my life as I have known it for the past 4 years, will abruptly come to an end, and a new phase will begin? No more classes, college schedules, meetings with professors, Thursday & Saturday night shenanigans, shots after shots to make the bars more enjoyable (although my body will appreciate me for this)?

But first lets recap this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blast! But gave me an important life lesson: I fail at functioning at life when I am hungover. I must remember this. The next day will be shot and worthless.

Thursday night Steph and I made bunless roasted red pepper and feta stuffed turkey burgers on lettuce wraps for dinner, to go with our malibu bay breezes. Cleo came up and we went to Jaimies, and then went to the bar. It was your typical drunken Thursday night. Poor Cleo finished off a bottle of champagne and was struggling the next morning. I was feeling pretty useless as well after 8 too many shots.

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Friday night my dear Kara came to visit and Chelsea, Sarah, Kara, and I all ordered sushi. This was my plate —>

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The girls had their own platters unpictured. Only joking, sadly. Asian Bistro compiled all of our sushi rolls onto one platter, which we found quite amusing. Yummm hungry girls love their sushi. I had a spicy crabmeat roll, and shared the salmon avocado roll and Paradise roll with Kara. Paradise roll = heaven in your mouth. No other way to describe it. Shrimp and Banana (BANANA) tempura, drizzled with mango sauce. Hollyyyy goodness.

And what girls night would be complete without chocolate? At least none of my girls nights. As soon as dinner is over, the sweet tooth flares. And on this particular night, it flared for dark chocolate melted and layered around juicy strawberries. 20130413-141418.jpg

We also experimented with frozen banana bites, and my oh my these will definitely be becoming a new staple in my diet. They are so simple and easy to make, and I am already planning on the little banana and peanut butter frozen sandwiches covered in a layer of melted dark chocolate that I will be making tonight. Must buy more chocolate chips…..

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I had a great chest/back/leg strength training workout this morning and spinning class afterwards kicked my Monday blues.

Triathlon training starts now. 10 weeks until the Toronto Triathlon Festival, on June 21st. My first sprint distance tri. I am so pumped. I need this break from running, and I think the workout adjustment will do my body good. I am going to do a complete post soon about my training plan and equipment, but I plan to spin while still at school twice per week, then get out on my bike about 3 times per week when I get home. I am going to up my swimming sessions to twice per week, and incorporate more sprint workouts into them. I am going to run about 3-4 times per week, and still try and do one interval session and one long run on the weekends (if my nagging body will allow it, it isent too happy with my running at the moment). I also still want to get in 3 good strength training sessions, and keep incorporating leg weights. Phew. See what I mean? Who has time to worry about schoolwork anyway with all of this good stuff going on?

This is the picture of my girls from Saturday night, when we all finally got together to go out to the bar for Ladies Night. It has been so soo long since the 5 of us (Chelsea is unpictured) have gone out together, and that night may have been the last before graduation. But I truly hope not! These girls have been my core 4 friends since we all met and lived on the same dorm floor back in sophomore year. Times have changed and so have we, but we still know how to drink and have a great time together when it matters.

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Last night’s dinner is worth mentioning. I have been on a spaghetti squash kick lately, and found a roasted red pepper sauce recipe that I had to try. It really was so simple. You can cook up a spaghetti squash by poking holes in it with a fork and cooking it in the microwave for 15-20 min, depending on the size of your squash. Then toss it with whatever your heart desires and it will usually end up being delicious!

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

I cooked the spaghetti squash like mentioned above. While it was cooking, I sautéed one onion and two garlic cloves in olive oil, added one can of diced tomatoes and half a jar of chopped fire roasted red peppers, and a little bit of red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and add basil, oregano, and spinach. Once the squash is cooked, peel the spaghetti strands out and add it to the sauce mixture, stir to combine, sprinkle in some feta cheese so it gets nice and melty (goat cheese or parmesan would be delicious as well). Once stirred and all the strands are coated in the sauce, but in bowls, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy! I love walnuts on pasta so I served mine with chopped walnuts, kalamata olives, and some more feta cheese. Deeeeeelicious and nutritious.

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Finished off dinner with some more of those frozen banana bites and strawberries topped with melted peanut butter. 20130415-110055.jpg

One more picture —> I had to show you the gorgeous sunrise that greeted me before my 6am strength session at the gym this morning. It was great motivation, pays to be an early riser! I got rewarded for getting my butt out of my warm bed, where it was soo tempting to snooze my alarm this morning. Thank god I didn’t; I ended up getting in a great workout and enjoying this beautiful view and some perspective on my week. I hope that your Monday is just as rewarding and introspective! 🙂20130415-110101.jpg

Lower Body Weight Workout

Good Morning! Woke up this morning to piles and piles of SNOW. hello. its march now. snow needs to go away now please, its spring time! But in a week and a half I will be on the beach, so I cannot complain too much.

I had a great workout at the gym yesterday that I wanted to share! It was a leg lifting day for me, and I combined it with some intervals on the elliptical and bike and some body weight exercises. I hate the bike and the elliptical.. but combining sprint intervals and going back and forth between the two made the time go faster and actually kind of kicked my butt.

The Workout:

Elliptical:

  • 5 min warmup
  • 5 min speed/push
  • 5 min hills

Body-Weight Exercises:

  • 50 air squats 
  • 25 mountain climbers
  • 50 alternating lunges
  • 25 jump squats
  • 25 lunge split jumps

Leg Weights: (3 sets of 12 reps)

  • Deadlift
  • Alternating lunges (20 lbs)
  • Single leg bench squats (20 lbs)
  • Squat machine
  • Side lunges (15 lbs)

Bike 15 min

  • 3 min easy
  • 1 min sprint
  • 2 min rest
  • repeat (do this on a hill program for an extra challenge)

Body-Weight Exercises

  • 25 pushups
  • 25 tricep dips
  • Wall sit (1 minute)
  • 25 burpees
  • Plank and side planks (hold for 1.5-2 min)

Elliptical

  • 15 min easy to cool down 

Ta Da! My butt and thighs are pretty sore today, so it was a successful workout. If Steph and I can dig ourselves out of the feet of snow, we are heading to the gym again later today. I am going to do some intervals on the elliptical and bike again, my triceps-biceps-shoulders routine (see post in workout posts folder) and some body-weight exercises like burpees, push ups, and planks. Hold the squats, my legs need a breather.

But for now… I am just going to dream of warm, sunny air and palm trees 🙂 and maybe attempt some homework. Cleo is coming up tonight for some wine and movies and what is sure to be some yummy eats, so ill post about that later 😉