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!

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 😉

Drowning in Hyannis

Hello! Last time we spoke I was off to Hyannis to attempt to run the Hyannis Half Marathon. Well, attempt failed. I ran 3 miles of the race and felt hip flexor pain, so ambled around a little and attempted a run-walk method to see if it would fade. No luck. So, I turned around and tromped back like a fish swimming upstream to the starting line. It was freezing cold and pouring down rain, and a nice race volunteer lady gave me a lift back to the starting line. She was currently in the middle of her training for the Boston Marathon, her 21st!! Marathon! Unbelievable. Hopefully that will be me someday.

IMG_2271I am trying so hard not to be bummed out about my hip and let it get to me. I need to keep my chin up and do my best to make it heal this week. I am taking a week off from running, with plenty of icing, stretching, and foam rolling. I can lift, spin, and swim to help keep me sane. Cross-training is great and fun and will keep my physical fitness up, but nothing beats a rewarding and beautiful early morning run and the endorphin rush it gives me. Yesterday I honestly felt like a drug addict coming down from an addiction, I was craving my endorphin fix and slowly crashing. Luckily spin filled it this morning, but I almost feel like it is only a temporary fix. Like nothing else can satisfy it but a fresh, crisp run. Spring is in the air though, and once I am healed I will be able to enjoy the joys of running in shorts and a tank top, outside, in the sun and snow-free roads. I am praying, PRAYING, that I am healed for the RnR D.C Marathon in 3 WEEKS! And last night Steph and I signed up for the More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon in Central Park on April 14th, whoops. What can I say, we have an addiction. To that and Yankee Candles. More motivation to heal.

Of course, no trip to the cape is complete without the obligatory stop at Mary Lou’s. Peanut Butter Wonderful Iced Coffee, and I bought some Mocha Mint ground to make at home.

IMG_2277And we stopped at Trader Joe’s…. that right there is reason enough to go to the Cape. Stocked up on all the goods like yummy bread loafs, almond milk, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh produce! Check out our stacked fruit bowl:

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Whats for Dinner? Week of 2/24:

Sunday: Panera on the way home from Hyannis

Monday: Buffalo Chicken Pizza —>finally!

Tuesday: Greek Salmon Burger, Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Wednesday: Max Downtown in Hartford

Thursday: Herb Crusted Tilapia, Quinoa

Friday: Casino 😉

Saturday: HOME!

Again, its another busy week and not a lot of cooking. My old GE bosses are coming to UConn to do interviews on Wednesday, and are taking me and the other old intern out for dinner. I am feeling a steak in my future. Friday Sarah and I are going on a hot date to the Casino, and then the rest of the weekend I am going to spend at home. I have been weirdly homesick, and miss my puppies. It is hard to believe it is almost March, where is my life going? Everything is flying by, and I need to keep reminding myself to stop and breathe, and take it all in. You know where I am really going to stop and sniff the roses? Or rather, the salty-sweet sea air? In PUNTA CANA. IN 3 WEEKS. I can feel the sun roasting my skin now. Can’t Wait! And with that thought, I leave you. Have a good Monday and start the week off on the right foot 😉