Adventures in Cooking

It was a good day for cooking! It was really cold out, so I happily spent a few hours in the kitchen. I didn't get in a run, which I feel guilty about, but I WILL run my own personal Turkey Trot in the morning before we head out. It's going to be cold, but I'll do the best I can.

I think 2 out of 3 things I made today turned out well, and the third I messed up but hopefully it isn't too awful. Here's what I made. None of it is diet-friendly cause it's Thanksgiving. Duh. :P

This pumpkin cheesecake recipe is always great. Next time I'm going to try the Pioneer Woman pumpkin cheesecake, but I didn't have all the ingredients for it this time so I went with the same recipe as last year.

Here's what the cheesecake looked like as it went into the oven:

Here's a picture with the vanilla sour cream topping (the little flecks are vanilla beans).

I've never made a pecan pie, but I wanted to try it this year. I started out with this crust. The only thing I changed was I added some vodka. From what I understand, the vodka makes the crust easier to work with but it evaporates in the oven so the crust doesn't get soggy. It looked so pretty!

I used this recipe for the pecan filling. I did make a mistake, though. It called for one heaping cup of pecans. That didn't seem like anywhere near enough to me. I used well over 2 cups. That was too much, I think, because it boiled over which made the pie not look very good. :(

This is what it looked like going into the oven:

And this is what it looked like after the whole boiling over disaster (it looks worse in person):

I also made these honey yeast rolls. I've made many quick breads (pumpkin bread etc), but I've only made "real" bread with yeast once. They turned out ok but had ZERO flavor. It was like eating cardboard. These were much better! I had extras, which we ate with dinner tonight, and they were GOOD.

Making bread is a pain. I wouldn't say it's hard, but it just takes soooo long what with the rising and the second rising and all that nonsense. They were so good right out of the oven though, and I'm hoping they'll be good when they're re-heated before dinner tomorrow.

Here are the finished rolls:

Decorating Update

I've been working on a couple little projects in the master bedroom. I'm happy with how they turned out so I thought I'd share...First, I made a starburst mirror. I followed directions from this awesome home bio. It was pretty easy and I love the way it turned out.First, I went to Michaels to pick up some supplies. I got a round wood shape thing for the base, dowel rods, 4 packs of small mirrors, a bigger mirror, hot glue sticks, and silver leaf paint.
First I drew on the back of the round wood piece and split it into 16 equal-ish pieces. Then I glued the dowel rods on with hot glue.Then I glued bamboo skewers in between the dowels (I already had those at home). Then I attempted to silver leaf it, which was a major fail, so I just used the silver leaf paint and that was WAY EASIER. Then I glued on the mirrors.

When I was done, I attached a picture hanging thing and that was it!

Then it was time to attack our Boring Beige master bedroom. Picture beige carpet, beige walls, beige bedding, black furniture, and white curtains. I was going to post a picture, but I don't have one right now because I need to work out this iPhoto issue.

One way to ditch the bedding was to add color. But most of the bedding I like is neutral.

Here's the bedding I like from Anthropologie:
The duvet cover + 2 shams comes to $306. Yeah.
Here's the other bedding I wanted from Anthro for something like $370...

Then one day, I was walking through Target and saw a duvet cover and shams that looked an awful lot like Anthro Option 1.... but on clearance for $40!! SCORE!!

To add color, I decided to just take a risk and paint a bold accent wall. I wanted some kind of turquoise, but something more bold than the silver sage in the guest room. I decided on Tropicana Cabana from Benjamin Moore.

It's hard to get the color to look right with the camera on my iphone, but this is the best I could do. And BTW I just realized I never took the tags off the lamps. Oops.

This picture is probably the most accurate as far as color goes:

I wouldn't consider it "finished" yet but we're on our way! I LOVE the accent wall! On the other wall, there's a dresser that needs to be painted black, and I want to hang some black shelves and add some accessories. I need something else on this side too... maybe I'll recover the lamp shades, or add some accessories or throw pillows. The lamps look really tiny in these pictures, which is something I never thought about before. They are very practical so they'll stay for now. If anyone has any ideas, please share! :)

Go Me!

Fourth place! Sweet!

I had a terrible 4 1/2 mile run tonight. I kept going even though it completely sucked, and after 3 miles it got better. I did 8 this weekend (not terrible, but a far cry from last weekend's 12). I also started writing down everything I eat again cause it's time to lose another 20 pounds. Go away, fat. I hate you. I'll probably start posting a lot more updates to try to hold myself more accountable.

I Did Not Forget About You, Little Blog

I've been really busy since school started. Basically I get up, get ready for work, go to work, come home and run, cook dinner, do more work, and go to sleep. Then I wake up at about 2 or 3am from some work-related nightmare and attempt to get more sleep. Then the next day I'm even more tired. Repeat.

When work first started back up, running was a nightmare. My calves were burning, my legs felt like lead, and I could hardly fight my way through 3 miles. Fortunately, my weekend runs have gone phenomenally well and weekday runs have gotten better. Last weekend I ran 11 miles! Without stopping at all! I ran 82 miles in July and 74 in August.

I am in need of some gear. My iPod arm band is awful. My sweat gets in and has nearly broken the iPod twice. Also my hydration belt doesn't hold enough water for 10+ miles. I need either a camelback or one of those hydration belts that holds more, and I really need to figure it out soon. It also needs a zipped pocket to hold my phone and emergency powerbar. If anyone has any recs, please share!

The last Nike+ challenge ended, and I ended up in the top 10 which I was thrilled about. The new challenge started Aug. 15th and I'm currently in 6th. SWEET!!!!

I'm also joining a challenge that I co-worker told me about. The goal is to run or walk 300 miles between Labor Day and New Year's Day. That's a really hard one because it gets so hard to run outside when it's cold and snowy. I need to figure out if I should get a punch card to the rec center again or look for some sort of cheap gym membership somewhere. I don't want to pay for a gym membership when I don't want to use it from May-September.

Food is going so-so. I'm doing better on lunches since I'm back at work and am doing better with drinking water. I still struggle though. Running burns a ton of calories but also makes me REALLY hungry.

Still hanging in there!


For now at least...

Where do I go from here?

(Yes that is the title of one of the songs from Buffy: The Musical and I know every word. I'm a geek or possibly just a loser.)

I started running a little over a year ago and I could only run for 60 seconds. Barely. 2 days ago I ran 8.2 miles without stopping. Crazy! I used to HATE when someone said something stupid like "I ran 2 easy miles" because I could not imagine a world in which entire miles could be "easy" to run. Tonight I ran 4 easy miles. Seriously, it was easy. And fun! Weird.

Big Hairy Goal #1 was the Bolder Boulder. Yes I was slow. But I did it and ran the whole way.

Now what? I thought I wanted to work on my speed, but that's been pretty much impossible. I'm slow. I can improve my distance, though. The next big milestone would be a 1/2 marathon. That's 13.1 miles. That's a LOT more than 10k. And it's a LOT more than the 8 miles I can currently do. But a year ago, 10k seemed completely impossible so who knows?

I've been doing 3-4 miles 2-3 times a week, and a longer run once a week. When I looked at the Hal Higdon training programs, I'm right about at week 6 in the intermediate half marathon training program. Maybe I can do it?

I'm actually not sure the ouchie disc in my back can handle it. At 8 miles, it was really hurting and it hurt the next day. Today, it was fine and I did the 4 mile run without a problem. But I'm not sure I can keep improving my long runs at the rate of 1 mile a week. I'll just do the best I can and see how it goes.

It's definitely time for an update about the Nike+ Challenge.When the previous challenge ended, I was extremely proud to end up in 8th place. Since then, a few more girls joined, and everyone started running more to train for summer races. I was sick the first week. When I checked my place and I was in 18th!! Since then I've been clawing my way back up to the top 10. Here's how things are looking tonight:
That's me in 10th! But I'm having a battle with Shannie11. She has this magical ability to predict how many kilometers I will run, and she will run 1 more than me. SO FRUSTRATING! And SO MOTIVATING! Ha! 8th place is clearly out of the realm of possibility, but 9th place girl, watch out! (And Shannie11, you might have a crystal ball, but I am very stubborn and won't go down without a fight.)

UPDATE: Please disregard my last post. Apparently, I do run in the rain (just so it's a light rain and not a downpour accompanied by lightning). And I like it.

Excuses, Excuses...

Top 5 reasons why I don't run in the rain:

5. If it's raining, maybe it just isn't meant to be. Who am I to argue with fate?
4. People driving by in their warm, dry cars give you the strangest looks.
3. Cookie is terrified of thunder, and she can't exactly cower under my feet shaking while running (though she tried and I almost crashed).
2. No one wants to see me running in a wet tank top and running shorts. NO ONE. It's just not something you can un-see. This isn't an episode of Baywatch.
1. To say that I am clumsy is a huge understatement. I can hardly manage to sit still without hurting myself. I'm surprised I haven't managed to kill myself in my attempts to run on dry, good weather days. Running in the rain or snow would be begging for disaster.

So no matter how much I love running outside more than on a stupid treadmill, running in the rain, sleet, snow, etc is just not an option for me. If it was just sprinkling lightly that would be wonderful, but usually we get quick torrential downpours rather than light drizzle.

Today we were busy most of the day and it was way too hot to run, then it finally cooled off and rained. I thought the rain had passed, but soon after Cookie and I left home it started raining again (big cold raindrops that were trying to become hail), so we only made it half a mile. :(

I never thought I could be so sad about missing a run. Who am I and where did I put Kirsten?

Proof that it was too hot to run in the middle of the day:

Okay it's possible the thermometer was ever so slightly wrong. ;-)

Good Workout!

Do as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of the following:

5 push-ups (I gave up on man-style pretty quickly)
5 burpees
5 jumping pull ups

I got through 10 rounds. It's the burpees that will kill you.

Some videos:
Me doing burpees (Ha! Maybe someday)
Crazy dude does 1 mile of burpees
Burpees for overachievers
Burpees for beginniners
Jumping Pull Ups

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Since the diet is a big old thumbs down at the moment, here's a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. First I'll copy the recipe as stated, then share what changes I made. Seriously, these cookies were GOOD. Sorry I don't have a picture... by the time I thought to take a picture, they were all gone.

Here's the original Nestle Tollhouse recipe:


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
After reading through a bunch of the comments about this recipe on, I decided to try a few changes.

  • You really need more than 2 1/4 cups of flour or the cookies will be too thin. I used 2 1/2 cups, but I just went with heaping measurements so it was actually more than that.
  • Double the vanilla. When you alter a recipe for high altitude, usually you add more flour and add some water, but I went with extra vanilla instead. I used the amazingly wonderful madagascar vanilla bean paste instead of regular vanilla extract.
  • Instead of 1 teaspoon of baking soda, I used slightly less than 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Usually I cut down on baking powder or baking soda when altering a recipe for high altitude.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt instead of a whole teaspoon was plenty. I did use salted butter though. Actually I used Irish butter, which is divine and can be found at Costco.
  • I left out the walnuts. I was making the cookies for some friends and wasn't sure if they liked nuts in their cookies or not. The recipe is great with or without the nuts.
  • I used milk chocolate chips because I like them better. The cheap generic chocolate chips from King Soopers are super yummy.
  • 9 minutes cooking time was perfect. I did not wait for them to be "golden brown" because I didn't want them to be crunchy.

The "Improved" Recipe:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (heaping cups is fine... there's no need to measure precisely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, or slightly less
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, or slightly less
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4-1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4-1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional; walnuts work well)


  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. (At this point, you might want to taste the dough. Don't eat too much because of the raw eggs, but this cookie dough is GOOD!). Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until they're a little brown on the edges. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. I ended up with 38 fairly small cookies.
Oh and one more tip.... when storing the cookies, put a piece of bread in the container with them. It keeps them nice and chewy.


Today's Workout

This is a good one to do at home with minimal equipment. All you need is a hand weight. I used 15 pounds. 15 felt fine but I should probably try 20 since my arms aren't sore (crap I hope Brenna isn't reading this). Really the problem continues to be my abs. They are so weak and it makes other exercises difficult. I really need to work on this issue. My chiropractor thinks it's contributing to my back issues as well. Maybe I'll do a plank challenge in July or something.

Today we did this thing that is called a half viking salute, though google is not bringing me any results for this exercise. I'll attempt to explain it.

Put the weight on the ground. Grab it with your right hand and bring it up over your head with your arm straight up. Leave it up there, and take your right leg and move your leg back into a lunge on your right knee. When you're on your knee, bring the weight down do your shoulder, then back up above your head. Then keep it above your head and stand up (I think this is the hardest part!). Once you are on both feet with the weight still above your head, put it back on the ground. That's 1 rep. Then do it with the other arm and the other leg.

The workout is 10 half viking salutes (alternating which side you use, so 5 on each side), then 50 sit ups. Then 10 half viking salutes and 40 sit ups. Then 10 and 30, then 10 and 20, and finally 10 and 10.

I also squeezed in 5k of running tonight. I was stuffed full of delicious lasagna and Yogurtland, which made it really hard (at first I was so full I had to walk) but it was a beautiful evening. Maybe someday I'll learn my lesson about overeating.

I also started tracking my food and exercise again. I'm using an app called livestrong, but if you don't have an iphone and the app, the website is free. The best thing is they have an amazingly complete selection of items so it's soooo easy to find how many calories are in just about anything. They even had nutritional information for about 20 flavors from Yogurtland! So far I would definitely recommend it. The only thing I would say is that the calories it gives you seems rather high so I'm trying to stay under their recommendations.

Thoughts on Tonight's Little Run

I thought I'd be safe from getting sick over the summer since I'm out of the germ factory (school), but apparently not. A couple days after book club, we all came down with it. It hasn't been fun.

I ran Sunday morning and started getting sick afterward. Since then I haven't really been able to exercise. I went on short walks Tuesday and Wednesday with Cookie, which was all I could handle, and today (Thursday) I woke up feeling awful. After a few extra hours in bed, I was feeling a big better so decided to try to get in a short run tonight. I was shooting for 5k and made it 6.27k, even slower than usual.

Here are some random thoughts....

1. There is someone who missed the runs more than me, and that is Cookie. She was happy happy happy! Halfway through, we saw a little old man walking with a walker on the path with (I assume) his daughter and grandchildren. He was waiting for his family on the path and was looking at Cookie and smiling, and asked me her name. I told him that her name is Cookie, and he said "Hi Cookie" and Cookie was soooo sweet. When he said her name, she stopped running, walked over, stood right next to him, looked up at him, and stood perfectly still so he could pet her. It was so heartwarming to see how happy he was to pet her and how good Cookie was. She is so intuitive and just knew she needed to be calm and still. It made me wonder if there's a retirement home where they like to have dogs come in. I'll look into it.

2. I got a side stitch. I haven't gotten a side stitch in months. :(

3. Bug spray with deet is only partially effective against mosquitos. Some mosquitos don't care. Some seem to like it. A couple days ago I forgot to wear deet and got tons of bites, and tonight I sprayed on loads of deet but still saw several mosquitos trying to suck my blood. Pretty much all I've been doing the last couple days is scratching mosquito bites and blowing my nose.

4. Working out is much more fun with someone else. Jesse isn't into running but likes riding his mountain bike, so he rode around on the path while Cookie and I were running. It was fun seeing him on the path. Cookie was thrilled.

5. Amazingly awesome running shorts:

6. I don't think I'm going to make my run goal this month. Here are the distances I have run each month this year (in kilometers):

January: 58.68
February: 65.48
March: 90.74
April: 64.63
May: 93.3
June so far: 64.61

It's not looking like I'll make it in the 90s this month. :(

Ahh, summer!

First, the good....

1. Since I haven't weighed in for a couple weeks, I stepped on the scale today and was down 1.6 lbs.

2. I'm getting into a running groove. I didn't run all week after the Bolder Boulder. I actually wasn't sore or anything.... I was just WAY too busy. Anyway, since we're off from Crossfit this week, I've done some good, easy runs. I've been running laps through my neighborhood with Cookie, which I've really been enjoying. It's nice being close to home in case the weather changes. Here are my runs in the past week:
Saturday: 6.87K
Monday: 5.85K
Wednesday: 5.93K
Thursday: 7.11K

3. Summer break is just plain awesome.

Now the, er, not so good news (in my house, we've learned to not say the word "bad" because Cookie gets all upset and thinks you're talking about her. Yup, she's got us wrapped around her cute little paws!).

1. Losing 1.6 lbs is good good, but I'd really rather be losing that much each week rather than every 2 weeks.

2. Yes the summer break is WONDERFUL, but food is more of a struggle. I was into such a routine before... healthy breakfast, healthy lunch, normal dinner. Now sometimes I'll sleep through breakfast and skip it entirely, or have a late breakfast then a weird lunch/dinner meal and a snack later. We've gone out for ice cream once this week and froyo once. And last night I had to turn down Dairy Queen, which the husband insisted that he "needed". Yes, I love going out for ice cream in the summer. It's pretty much my favorite thing in the world to do. But seriously, no one "needs" ice cream three times in one week!!!

BTW, if you're looking for some really good ice cream, I highly recommend Little Man Ice Cream in the Highlands neighborhood. I got the Bailey's Chocolate and it was to die for. They have a Scoop for Scoop program where they donate one scoop of rice to Ethiopia and Myanmar for every ice cream scoop sold. Here's a pic of Little Man:

And here's my froyo.

Bolder Boulder: Recap

The Bolder Boulder was awesome! I'm so glad I signed up.

The husband and I were really worried about the logistics of it all.... traffic, where to park, etc. It turned out to be fine. We never found the runner drop-off point, but we got fairly close to the start and I hopped out and walked to the starting place. It was easy to figure out where to go and you didn't have to check in or anything. I was happy to find my friend Hilarie before the race started, and we came up with a plan to meet up afterward and go out for lunch. Jesse ended up parking at Wild Oats, and he rode his bike all over town while I did the race. He found me at two spots along the way to cheer for me.

I was in the 70-90 minute joggers group, which turned out to be perfect. When it comes to pace, I was about in the middle of my group (slower than half, faster than half) which exactly the kind of group I wanted to be in.

A few minutes in, I was looking around to see if anyone was going about the same pace as me, and spotted someone who looked familiar. It was Michele, a parent of a former student of mine! I took off the headphones and jogged over to say hi, and we ended up running the entire race together. It was WONDERFUL having someone else to run with! We chatted a lot, especially during the flat and downhill parts. It was such a fun race. There were people in the neighborhoods spraying us with water, throwing marshmallows, handing out beer and snacks etc. The hardest part was the hill going up to the stadium at the very end. I gave Michele my phone # and I'm going to see her tomorrow, so I'm hoping we can schedule some time to go on a few more runs together. She's been running for 30 years and I think she'll be a perfect running partner.

I had 3 main goals: 1. Don't Die. Check! 2. Run the whole distance. Check! 3. Finish in under 90 minutes. Check! I finished in 82 minutes. Here are my stats:

Honestly, even though my goal was 90 minutes, I'm really disappointed in my pace. I would have liked to have been in the 11 or 12 minute range. Michele pointed out that I talked a lot, and said that means I could have gone faster. I don't know. I CAN go faster, but I can't keep it up for long periods of time because I get so worn out. Then again, while I was tired after the race, I wasn't any more tired than I usually am after a longer run and I wasn't sore or anything. Maybe I do need to push myself a bit more. Then again, now that I know what kind of back and neck problems I have, I'm reluctant to push it very much.

For now, I want to just keep on doing 3 miles twice a week and 6-8 once a week, ditch the walking breaks entirely, and see if I can slowly improve my speed a bit. I also want to start bike riding. And of course, I'll keep doing crossfit with the ladies from work and keep working toward losing weight.

It's going to be a busy summer! 2 more days... can't wait!!!

June's Push-Up Challenge: Enter if you Dare!

I'm a day late posting this, but it is now officially June Push-Up Month! (I might be making up the "official" part). Last June, Brenna challenged us to do 5k of something. My lovely friend Erin helped me through jogging intervals for 5k (I think it was 60 seconds jog, 2 minutes walk). A year later I ran a 10k! After push-up month, who knows, maybe a year from now I'll be able to do 60 push ups! Maybe my arms will be rockin! Maybe my core will become stronger than strawberry jell-o! Heck I'd be happy if I am able to do just ONE proper man push-up by July.

So every day you do that many push-ups (the 1st you do 1, the 2nd you do 2, etc). I skipped yesterday because I forgot, but today I did 2 push ups. If you can't do a man push-up, just go down like a man push up then back up on your knees. Had I not been so ridiculously exhausted I might have attempted to do them properly today, but instead I did the down on your toes up on your knees thing.

Come on people, who is brave enough to join the PUSH-UP CHALLENGE????

Long Overdue Update

I didn't post much last week because it was not a great week. I've been SUPER stressed out and our dear Aunt Flow was making things even worse. My weight was up 2 lbs. But I'm starting to de-stress and get back on track. As of this morning, the 2 lbs are gone, and they took another 1.2 with them. Yay!

I found a wonderful fast food breakfast that I am totally in love with: The Western Egg-White Melt from Subway. It's a lower calorie wheat English muffin, egg whites, cheese, ham, onion, and green peppers. They toast it, and you can choose any other veggies to put on it. It is GOOD.... and only about 160 calories! I've been searching for a healthy takeout breakfast item for years and it's finally here. THANK YOU, SUBWAY!!! I've also had a few Subway turkey sandwiches this week since I've kind of sucked at the whole going to the grocery store and packing my lunch thing. Sadly, my Subway gift card is now all used up, but it was lovely while it lasted.

I finally found the time and motivation to make an appointment with a chiropractor who came highly recommended, and went in today. I've been having some problems for years.... hips often feel crooked, upper left side of my back always feels off, middle right side always feels off, and my neck feels stiff and like I don't have the proper range of motion.

It turns out there is a reason for every single one of these issues, the biggest ones being my lower back, where a disc has started to degenerate, and my neck which has completely lost its curvature and the next step if I don't do anything about it will be disc problems.

He recommended I not push it too much with the running. I am not going to stop running. I figure I go so slow it barely counts as running anyway. However, I will probably keep the distance to 7-8 miles tops and won't be working toward a half-marathon. Instead I'll just work on my 5k and 10k times. I'm also going to start bike riding too. He thinks there are many things he can do to help, and it will also help if I can continue to lose weight. I feel better after the adjustments he made today and feel confident that it would continue to get better if I could continue to go.

Insurance Rant
Unfortunately, due to the horrible health insurance issues in this country, it probably won't be covered and therefore I can't afford it. In my opinion it should be 100% covered as preventative care because that will be a heck of a lot cheaper than the future surgeries that will probably need to occur when everything gets worse 10 years from now. I seriously don't understand why people are all pissed off saying that Obama will make it so you can't choose your own doctor. Guess what, like millions of other Americans, I can't choose my own doctor NOW because the doctor I want isn't in network. I want to know what insurance these people have where they supposedly have the freedom to choose any doctor they want. I want that insurance. We teachers obviously do not have that insurance, and in fact this year we lost our dental and vision coverage. Kirsten Not Happy.

How to make your entire body sore.

Step 1: Go for a 13K run on Sunday.

Step 2: Do this workout on Tuesday:

You do 200 jump ropes and 50 sit ups, then 160 jump ropes and 40 sit ups, then 120 jump ropes and 30 sit ups, then 80 jump ropes and 20 sit ups, and finally 40 jump ropes and 10 sit ups. The goal is to get through it as quickly as possible. I think I did it in 14-ish minuts? Or 15?

Oh but before that, do 30 push ups. MAN push-ups. Well the closest you can get to man push-ups, which for me is man-style on the way down then go back up on your knees.

Step 3: Do this workout on Thursday (by the way, you just need to go on walks Monday and Wednesday. You won't have the energy for anything else because your class is draining every ounce of energy out of you):

Set the timer for 1-minute increments. For the first minute, do thrusters. Thrusters are where you hold a hand weight in each hand (mine were 15lb, which was way too heavy), bend your arms so they're at your shoulders, do a squat, then when you come up push the weights up above your head until your arms are straight, then bring your arms down and go back into the squat for the next rep. Sorry that's kind of a horrible explanation. Do those for the first minute. Then when the minute is up, start the next minute right away on the timer and do 3 burpees, then keep doing thrusters for the remainder of the minute. At the end of every minute, you do 3 more burpees then finish that minute doing thrusters. Once you've done a total of 100 thrusters, you're done.

Sounds easy, but we were all SO sore from Tuesday's workout that it was absolute TORTURE!!!!!! I seriously thought I would die before I'd be able to get through it.

Step 4: After the above workout, drive down to the park and go for a run. The longest I could manage was 4.4k. My calves were KILLING me from Tuesday's jump ropes. It's weird, my calves used to always hurt like that and get stiff when I first started running, and I'd have to stop to stretch them out often. That hasn't happened in months becuase my calves had gotten so much stronger, until today. I should probably do jump ropes more often since they're obviously a great exercise for strengthening calves.

Step 5: Go home and sit on the couch and voila! Your entire body will be sore.

As soon as I can gather up enough strength, I will be crawling upstairs to take a very hot shower and then crawl to bed.

Oh and in case anyone cares, here's today's lunch (you can't really see the lunch meat, but it was there in the baggie). It was yummy. Not as yummy as the Chinese food my 3rd grade teacher friends were eating or the Jimmy Johns the 5th grade teachers were eating, but more appropriate for someone who is having a WAR with the scale this week. And the scale is winning. :(

Bolder Boulder

I signed up. And now I'm wondering WTF I was thinking?! A race? Me? EEK! *mini panic attack*

I'm having major anxiety about being able to finish the race, and I really want to be able to jog the whole way. Looking back at my runs on Nike+, I've done 10k or more several times but I'm still freaking out. The anxiety comes in because 1. I still have to take the occasional walk break, 2. I suck at hills, and 3. I don't trust the accuracy of Nike+ so I'm not 100% sure how many miles I'm actually getting in. Also I'm just nervous about the crowds and logistics.

To deal with #3, I went to to get a more accurate idea of the distance I've been running. It's a pretty cool site and is easy to use. It said that my run yesterday was 7.4 miles. Nike+ said it was 8 miles, but that does include a bit that I didn't map on the website. So yes Nike+ is off, but not quite as bad as I had feared. It took me a little over 90 minutes to get through those 7.4 miles so it looks like my goal of finishing in under 90 minutes is possible.

By the way, I had some tutoring money burning a hole in my pocket so I got some new running duds. Here are some blog pics of someone else wearing the pants and tank I got (someone who looks a hell of a lot better in it than I do). The Run Zoom Crops are fabulous and SO comfortable for running! The top is so light it's like wearing nothing - perfect for sunny, sweaty days. If I pass out in the middle of the Bolder Boulder, at least I'll look cute. :)

Vampires and Werewolves and More Vampires, Oh My

In honor of purchasing my ticket today for the midnight premiere of Eclipse in IMAX, I decided to do a blog post about books with supernatural elements that I will soon be reading.

A few books arrived in a lovely Amazon box this week. The first was Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I've actually already read this book (and rated it 5 stars because I LOVED it!), but it was one I really needed to own and read again. The sequel, Linger, comes out June 20th! Here's the beautiful trailer to the sequel, created entirely by the incredible talented author. I can. not. wait.

I also got Dead in the Family, the newest book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (the series that the tv show True Blood is based on, which I also love!).

And finally I got Spirit Bound, the next book in the Vampire Academy series. I might read this one first because I need to know if they are going to be able to turn Demetrius good or not!!! The storyline is a bit Angel-like (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Right now I'm reading Bite Me by Christopher Moore. His books are hilarious! I've only read like 15 pages though so I seriously need to get reading.

Finally, a workout!

I really don't feel like counting calories today. I had one of those bagel thin egg sandwiches for breakfast, veggies, berries, dip, yogurt, deli ham, and a chocolate cupcake for lunch. Turkey tacos for dinner.

Here's today's workout. It was good!

Do 10 goblet squats, 1 lunge (per leg), then run a lap. Then you do 9 goblet squats, 2 lunges per leg, and run another lap. Keep going until you get to 1 goblet squat, 10 lunges, and one final lap.

Now I am completely worn out. The last few weeks of school are exhausting! It's 8:31. Time for bed.

Wednesday Weigh In

I lost a pound. A downright miracle considering Teacher Appreciation Week last week and lack of exercise since Sunday.

Today I had strawberries and Yoplait Greek yogurt (SO not as good as Voskos) for breakfast (160). Here's a pic of the Voskos yogurt I wish I had instead and will be eating tomorrow (but I still have one more Yoplait to choke down). I get the one on the left, Honey Vanilla Bean.

Subway turkey sandwich with loads of veggies (280) and baked lays (120) for lunch.

I was really hungry when I got home and ate WAY too much! Pasta (2 cups, 440), sauce (40), cheese (100), and bread (300 calories, which I am so embarrassed to admit, cause what kind of psycho eats pasta AND hundreds of calories in bread and then expects to lose weight???). Dessert: skinny cow (140).

I'm scared to add that all up.

Total: 1580. Ok on calories. Not enough protein. Zero vegetables with dinner. I should have had a protein-y snack, which would have helped with the overeating at dinner. I finally bought groceries so I should be able to do well tomorrow.

My weather app says that Sunday will be the best day for a long outside run, so I'll do crossfit tomorrow and will try to get to the gym to do a shorter run Friday or Saturday.

Speaking of the gym, I only have one more visit left to the rec center and then I must make a decision about which gym to join. I'm going to go visit Lifetime Fitness this weekend, though I think it might be too expensive. I need to visit the new 24 hour super sport near work and see what their best price is. And if that all fails, there's a smaller, still nice 24 hour halfway between work and home on Lincoln which may be my best bet.

Our for Lunch

Breakfast: Toast (100), Strawberries (50), Greek Yogurt (120)

Lunch: As a teacher appreciation gift, our admin gave us the gift of time off to go out for lunch with our team! We went to California Pizza Kitchen. It was fab. BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad (697. Yikes.) and bread (Ummm. 200?)

Dinner: Edamame (100) and 1/2 of the chicken, veggies, Szechuan garlic sauce, and rice. After a google search, my best guess on calories after a Fire Bowl google search is 60 for the sauce (whole serving is 120), veggies: 25, chicken: 65, 1/2 cup rice: 120.

Dessert: Skinny Cow pudding pop thing: 50

Total: 1587. Yeah I ate out for 2 meals, but calorie-wise it was pretty decent. Fat wasn't terrible either. I know I was short on protein.

Exercise: Nothing, just resting after yesterday's 13k run. Crossfit tomorrow, short run Wednesday (on a stupid treadmill since it's going to SNOW again!!)

Ups and Downs

First, sorry for the lack of pictures lately. I keep forgetting to take them. I'll do better. :)

So Thursday and Friday were disaster days as far as food goes. I seem to have gained a pound in 2 days. All I can do now is move forward from here.

Here's the interesting part.... I thought my lunches of veggies, fruit, yogurt, and lunch meat wouldn't fill me up all that much. I didn't realize what good fuel I was giving my body until Thursday, when I had a much different kind of lunch. At work, Noodles and Company catered lunch for us. I had salad, noodle dish, and a brownie. Yes, it was yummy. I even went back for pasta seconds. However, by 3:00 I was EXHAUSTED. And I was hungry again. I had to force myself to wake up enough to go to workout and pretty much collapsed when I got home. I felt horrible! I am realizing how much better my body feels when I eat properly. I know that should be obvious, but the realization really sunk in this time.

Today has been better.

Breakfast: Toast (100), Strawberries and a little yogurt (100)
Lunch: Chef salad (550)
Dinner: homemade burrito. Tortilla (90), cheese (60), bison meat (a bit more than usual, probably around 75), beans (50).

Total so far: 1025. Will probably have a snack, such as popcorn, a bit later.

Let's lose this stupid pound, and then some!! I'm hoping to get in a long run tomorrow morning before mother's day celebration #2.

Wednesday Weigh In

I lost 1.4 lbs. Sounds good to me! I liked last week's 2.4 better, but I know 1-2 pounds a week is a healthy way to lose weight so I'm happy with it.

Breakfast: Same breakfast burrito as yesterday.

Lunch: Veggies, dip, strawberries, and del taco nacho bar for teacher appreciation week. Sigh. And a brownie.

Dinner: turkey tacos with 2% cheese, light sour cream, lettuce, salsa, and homemade guacamole which was delicious.

Exercise: 4 mile run, which was much needed considering the horrific lunch I consumed.

Day 2 of Fatten Up Your Teacher Week

It was Chick Fil A day, and damn were those nuggets good. I must say they were worth it.

Breakfast: Tortilla: 90 cal, Cheese (I bought the 2% grated kind): 40 cal at most, egg: 78 calories, salsa: maybe 15 calories, ground bison meat: 50. A tablespoon or so of fat free beans: 25 calories. Total: 298. This is the best breakfast ever.

Lunch: 8 Chick Fil A nuggets: 260 (and I could have EASILY eaten 10 more but I didn't), Veggies: 25, Dip: 60, Strawberries: 53, Brownie: I don't know exactly, but most of the recipes I'm seeing say about 130 per brownie and I had 2 small ones, so 260? Total: 658. Seriously??? O.M.G.

Snack: 1/4 of a small cupcake. Yes I cut it into fourths and ate a fourth of it. Pathetic. I should have just walked away. I have no idea how many calories 1/4 of a small cupcake is. 70?

Dinner: bun: 80, turkey meat w/seasoning: Probably 2 servings, 140, Veggies: 25, Dip, 40, Skinny Cow: 50 Total: 335

Total: 1361, which is a wholllllle lot less than I expected. Thankfully!!!

Workout: It was kind of weird, but fun. We had one minute rounds. The first round was 1 box jump or step up (I'm still too scared to do box jumps), then 1 squat, and they had to be good squats with your butt at a 90 degree angle to the ground. Then we got to hang out and talk the rest of that minute (my favorite part!!!). The second round was 2 step ups and 2 squats, the next round was 3 and 3, etc. Easy peasy, until about round 12. I think we got in 15 rounds. That was the point where none of us could get in all the reps during that minute, so that meant we were done. I'm feeling it a little but not bad so hopefully I'll be able to get in a good run tomorrow.

Weekend Update

I didn't blog over the weekend, but I did alright with food. On Saturday we went to The Counter and splurged on sweet potato fries and burgers, but that morning I went on a 7 mile run, my longest ever, so at least I had burned off a bunch of the calories. I did great the first 4-5 miles, then struggled through the last 2-3. I'd like to do that same route a few more times and see if I can get to where I could run it all. My knees did get sore from the concrete because I've gotten so used to the treadmill. They're still a little sore, so I just went on a walk today.

This week is going to be a challenge because it's Teacher Appreciation Week, otherwise known as Fatten Up Your Teacher Week. I so appreciate the sentiment, but we all know that I have zero willpower so this is going to be tough. Today I skipped the waffles for breakfast (which smelled soooo good!). Tomorrow is chick fil a for lunch (usually salad and chicken nuggets). I'm not sure I'll be able to skip that.


Breakfast: I followed Brenna's recommendation for a breakfast burrito, and it was delish! Tortilla: 90 cal, Cheese (I bought the 2% grated kind): 40 cal at most, egg: 78 calories, salsa: maybe 15 calories, ground bison meat: There are 200 calories in 4 ounces, and I probably had about 1 ounce, so 50. Total: 273

Lunch: turkey meat: 70, strawberries: 53, veggies: 50, dip: 80, Voskos yogurt (SOOO GOOD! By FAR the best of the Greek yogurts I have tried): 130 but I didn't eat it all, so maybe 110. Total: 363
Snack: small banana: 60

Dinner: Buns: 270, Ground turkey with seasoning: about 4 ounces is 160, strawberries: not many so probably 25. Total: 455

Total: 1091. Plus ice cream I'm guessing cause the husband is bugging me about that...

Beef with Broccoli = Full, Upset Tummy :(

Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories)

Snack: Freeze dried apples (38 calories)
Lunch: lunch meat (70 calories), 1 cup berries (53 calories), 2 cups veggies (about 60 calories), 4 tablespoons dip (80 calories), cookie (Not sure... 200?)
Dinner: Beef with broccoli and carrots (5.4 oz at Panda Express is 150 calories, and I probably had 2 servings that size, though it was from Mark Pi's not PE so I'm not sure, but it's probably very similar so let's say 300), rice (205 in a cup), and a veggie egg roll that I am regretting (200, again from Panda Express, but it was probably similar)

I feel stuffed. :(

Exercise: ran 5k, took no walking breaks, and really tried to go fast (for me, which is like a leisurely stroll compared to most runners). Nike+ says I burned 460 calories. I'm just happy that I went at all. I had to miss crossfit because of tutoring after school so I made myself drive to the rec center.

Total calories in.... which I'm rather scared to add up.... about 1494. Maybe a bit more if I was off on the cookie or the beef with broccoli. Fortunately it's not as horrible as I thought it would be.

I'll have to thaw something out for dinner tomorrow so I don't do the whole "I have nothing to cook so we have to eat out!" thing again.

On a different note, my back and neck are killing me. I'm wondering if I should go to the chiropractor or get a massage. Chiropractor is probably what I really need. I think I'll call tomorrow and see if I can get in early next week. Anyone know any home-visit chiropractors who would come visit me right now?? I got soooo spoiled growing up with a chiropractor dad!

Wednesday's Weigh In

I LOST 2.4 POUNDS!!!! :-D

Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories), slice of ham (17 calories)
Snack: Freeze dried apples (38 calories)
Lunch: lunch meat (70 calories), 1 cup berries (53 calories), yogurt (110 calories), 2 cups veggies (about 60 calories), 4 tablespoons dip (80 calories), jello pudding cup (60 calories)
Staff Meeting Moment of Weakness: 105 calories
Dinner: two pieces of wheat low cal bread: 90, about 1/4 cup tuna: 70 , light mayo: Probably about a tablespoon so 25 calories, veggies (in the tuna and on the side): about 20, dip: 20
Dessert: 50 calorie skinny cow thing.

TOO MUCH SUGAR!!! And way too little exercise. It should have been a day for a long run, but I just can't do it. I'm exhausted and my back is killing me from yesterday's workout.

Total: 1156 so far. Will probably want a snack later.

Zoo Day!

The zoo was awesome! The kids had soooo much fun. It was like they had never seen an animal before, though I'm sure they've all been to the zoo many times. It was pretty much the best field trip ever and the weather was absolutely perfect! It's looking like the weather is going to be horrible for our field trip Friday though. Ugh.

One thing about the zoo sucks though. The food! YUCK! I didn't pack the usual nice lunch because I couldn't find any freezey things and the thought of warm yogurt grossed me out. I figured I could find a salad there. You can find a salad anywhere. Unfortunately the salads looked horrible! The lettuce was all brown and the carrots were so old they were all white and falling apart. Gross. My choices then were pretty much burger or hot dog, and I went with burger. Not healthy and not satisfying. I'll make sure I have an ice thingy ready to go next time we go on a field trip.

I had the usual egg-bagel thin-cheese breakfast, with a slice of lean ham. Dinner was a nice salad and tuna sandwich (chunk light with light mayo, onions, celery, and pickles on wheat, low-cal bread).

Now the husband is talking about ice cream. Sigh.

It has come to my attention that I'm not eating enough protein. Good to know!! I will work on that! I have a bunch of lean lunch meat so I'll mix up the lunch a bit tomorrow. I have been making an effort to include protein (with the greek yogurt, egg with breakfast, and cottage cheese), but I'll work on it some more. Please feel free to post comments with tips on how to improve what I'm eating! I could use the help!

Workout was good today. It was great to be feeling good again so I could work out with the lovely ladies. It was: run 1 lap, 10 snatch pushes or whatever they're called (what a strange name!), then 10 kettle bell swings, AMRAP 20 (as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes - I got in 12 rounds).

Tomorrow is a NO CHEATING ALLOWED day, with a run planned after work. The weather is supposed to be great so hopefully I can get in a nice long run. I'm going to look into trails and see if there's someplace near work I can try. Any ideas would be appreciated!

This is starting to feel normal.

Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories), slice of ham (17 calories), small banana (90).
Snack: Freeze dried apples (38 calories)
Lunch: 1 cup berries (53 calories), yogurt but I wasn't crazy about it so I didn't eat it all (probably 90 calories), 2 cups veggies (about 60 calories), 4 tablespoons dip (80 calories), jello pudding cup (60 calories).

Dinner: Grilled chicken (220), bun (180), cheese (150), veggies (25), dip/BBQ sauce (50), 1/2 small bag veggie chips (75)

Total: 1476, and will have one of those 50 calorie skinny cow treats later. No exercise today but I'll do crossfit tomorrow (after walking around the zoo all day for a field trip) and run Wednesday. I really just want to go to sleep early tonight. I'm exhausted.

Splurge Day

Exercise: ran 5.4k, very slowly in the wind, burning about 444 calories

Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories)
Lunch/Dinner: We went to Bonefish Grill. We went at 3:00 and I was soooo hungry from my morning run (I had breakfast before the run and ate nothing after) that I forgot to choose something healthy. Caesar Salad: about 1 million calories, grilled shrimp and scallops with mango salsa: not too many calories, mashed potatoes: about 482 million calories (fortunately it was a small portion), bread: about a hundred million calories
Dessert: Dairy Queen Blizzard: Probably around 37 trillion calories

Total: I don't think I can count that high. :)

I just got back from the store and am ready to make a healthy breakfast and lunch in the morning, and I'm making grilled BBQ chicken for dinner. Tomorrow is a new day! :)

I ran.

It's about freaking time, but after about 2 weeks off I finally felt just about well enough to go on a run today. I took many walk breaks, but ended up doing 10k, and burned about 860 calories. I was sweating like crazy (probably because I was at the hot rec center... speaking of which, I have 2 visits left that I have paid for and after that I think I'll be joining 24 hour fitness if I can get a decent rate). We also took the dog on a little walk to the park after dinner.

On to the food....
Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories), and leftover tater tots (180 calories)
Snack: Freeze dried apples, 38 calories
Lunch/Dinner: Smashburger with sweet potato fries. I had a very difficult time figuring out the calories here. The small fries was 150 calories, cause it was small. The smashburger with onion straws and a fried egg and mayo and whatnot is 1010 calories, but from what I can figure out, the one I got was more like 800 (mushrooms and swiss, with the mayo scraped off). We'll go with 800. The chicken sandwich is something like 500 calories. Obviously chicken would be fewer calories, but that's a LOT fewer! I'll definitely be getting chicken sandwiches whenever possible rather than beef.
Dessert: Skinny Cow mini pudding thing: 50
Total: 1506 (so far.... but I think it's likely I'll have another snack at some point)

What a strange day!

It's been a weird day! It was raining most of the night and was still raining when I got to work. At work, the Internet was out, which is unusual. Then the lights were flickering, and we got a leak in the classroom and water was dripping in and soaking the carpet. The rain turned to snow and it got really bad out, so they decided to have an early release because of the weather. That means all the kids needed to call home. Of course, the phone in the classroom wouldn't work, so we had to use my cell phone. Then half the kids didn't know their phone numbers! No biggie, I can look that up online.... except that the Internet was STILL broken in my wing AND the connection I can usually "borrow" from was also out! In the end, the kids got home, and so did I. And I assigned homework for everyone to memorize one of their parent's cell phone numbers over the weekend.

It's now almost 3:00 and it has stopped snowing! I must be feeling better because for the first time all week I cleaned the kitchen, unpacked my suitcase, and straightened up a bit in the living room. Unless we get a huuuge pile of snow tonight, I'm going to attempt a workout tomorrow. It's been a week since I've done any sort of exercise. It'll be awful. I'm down to like 30th in the Nike+ contest and it'll be a miracle if I get past mile 1 tomorrow. I feel like a big fat failure/loser.

Anyway, at least I managed to not avoid the Food-A-Thon that happens every Friday morning in the teacher's lounge.

Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories). I love this breakfast! It's yummy and keeps me full for a long time.
Snack: Freeze dried pears (39 calories)
Lunch: Shrimp w/cocktail sauce (4 ounces of shrimp is 80 calories and 1 T of cocktail sauce is 15, so 95 total, but I didn't eat them all so I'm kind of guessing here), 2 cups veggies (about 60 calories?), 3 tablespoons dip (60 calories), 1 cup berries (53 calories), jello pudding (60 calories)
Total so far: 655

Dinner: Will update later. We're having turkey tacos with homemade guac. Yummm! EDIT: I decided not to count calories from dinner. I cooked lean ground turkey with organic seasoning (and also drained off any fat), made fresh guacamole with avocados, salsa, and garlic, which might have a lot of calories and fat but it's good fat, some light sour cream and cheddar cheese, and taco shells, which are 50 calories each which isn't bad. It was GOOD and I don't feel "icky" like I do after eating unhealthy stuff. It will annoy me half to death if I have to count every one of those calories. :)

Not too bad.

I am most definitely NOT going to post every calorie I eat every day, but I think I will for a while just to help myself stay on track and to help me remember what a healthy meal looks like, what measured portion sizes look like, etc.

Breakfast: Bagel thin (110 calories), egg (78 calories), cheese (100 calories), small banana (90). More than yesterday and I stayed full a lot longer.
Snack: Freeze dried pears (39 calories)
Lunch: 1 cup berries (53 calories), cottage cheese (90 calories), 2 cups veggies (about 60 calories), 4 tablespoons dip (80 calories), jello pudding cup (60 calories). I caved and bought a coke zero to go with it. It looked so good I took a picture:

It looks like a ton of dip in there but I did measure out 4 tablespoons, though I suppose that is a lot.

Dinner was basically left over from yesterday: Lean ground meat (130 calories), mini buns (180 calories), cheese (about 100 calories, I think I may have been off on that yesterday), organic oven tater tots (220 calories).
Dessert: Weight Watchers ice cream brownie thing, 200 calories

Total: 1590. I think that feels about right, though I am really full! I didn't exercise at all today. I'm still sick, still coughing, and workout was canceled anyway. I'm hoping I'll be back in the swing of things on Saturday.

Double Dessert Wednesday

Breakfast: Bagel thin w/cc (170 calories)
Snack: Fruit snack thing, just fruit, no sugar (50 calories)
Lunch: Yogurt (100 calories), berries (53 calories), veggies (25 calories), dip (100 calories), pudding (60 calories) (EDIT: I checked the dip this morning, and it was 80 calories so I was a little off there)
Dinner: Ground meat extra lean (130 calories), mini buns (2 @ 90 calories), cheese (100 calories), veggies (25 calories), dip (60 calories)
Dessert: Skinny Cow Mini Pudding Bar (50 calories)
EDIT: Snack of 8 shrimp and a little cocktail sauce. I think around 110 calories.

Total: 1,133 calories.

Overall it went pretty well. I enjoyed all the fresh fruits and veggies! The only bad part was that I was starving at 10:17, so tomorrow I'll add an egg and a little cheese to breakfast. And I suppose dessert with lunch and dinner isn't so ideal. On workout days, I'll need an afternoon snack and more for dinner.

So far, so good! I know the calories for today were a bit low but I wasn't hungry other than the 10:17 thing. From the basal metabolic rate things I've checked out, it seems that more of a 1500-1700 calorie range would be right for me.

Off the wagon. Big time.

Well, first the positives. I did attempt to stay active on our trip to Minneapolis and we had a wonderful time! I went for a short (5k) run on the treadmill at the hotel Friday morning. We went on a 2-hour bike ride on the Pedal Pub Saturday afternoon, which was a BLAST and actually ended up being harder than we all expected (the thing is HEAVY so going uphill was a challenge). Sunday we walked all around downtown, and I'm thinking it was about 2-3 miles. I did something, even if it's less than usual.

Bad part.... um, I kind of ate a lot. At times I made some attempts to be "good" but other times I wasn't so successful. There was the Izzy's ice cream, which, to be fair, was totally worth it. There was also the cheeseburger-and-nutella-shake incident and yeah that was also fantastic and I shared the shake soooo that's not too bad right? Right? I'll stop there because I am all out of excuses already.

Overall, I think I gained almost a pound. BAD. And overall for the last couple months, I've been remaining stagnant at the 20 pound loss since August. I'm in something like 27th place in the current Nestie Nike+ running competition, which is a FAR cry from the 8th place I ended up placing when the first contest ended a couple weeks ago. I'm sick again so I took another day off workouts, and I can't pretend like the colds are unrelated to eating crappy food. It's time to get the ball (of fat) rolling (off my body), and no matter how much I exercise I know it isn't going to happen unless I get serious about food.

I have decided to blog about food. Every day. I have got to be accountable to someone or something. I was able to lose weight well on weight watchers because of the accountability, but I don't want to have to go to weight watchers meetings my entire life, or ever really, cause they suck. I'll blog about my food and exercise here, and weigh in once a week and report any losses or gains (and NO I am not posting my weight! HA!). Let's make Wednesdays the day. I went to the store today and stocked up so there are no excuses. This starts tomorrow.

In the words of Brenna... LET'S DO THIS!

Dear Glee:

Oh how I love you! My obsession has gone a bit overboard this week in anticipation of next week's new epiosode. Here are a couple awesome links for any Gleeks out there.

Tons of footage from Glee on Oprah

I'll try to add more later. Enjoy, my gleeky friends.

This Week

Today was crossfit:

21 - 15 - 9 - 15 - 21
box jumps (or step ups)
sit ups
lunges (per leg)

So it's 21 box jumps, 21 sit ups, 21 lunges per leg (so 42 total), then 15 of the three exercises, then 9, then 15, then 21. Sounds easy and took less than 19 minutes, but my legs are SORE.

Yesterday was an off day. The day before I ran 4.5 miles (well, stumbled through 2 awful miles then did 2.5 much better miles), but I took 2 off days before that because of a sore knee. The 2 days before that I did over 6 miles both days. I don't think my knee was sore from the distance... I think it was sore because the second day was running outside on concrete and my body has gotten used to the treadmill. I'm sure I'll get used to the concrete again with a few more outdoor runs. Hopefully the weather will stay nice for a while now. I'm really looking forward to running more on the Highline Canal trail, which fortunately is not concrete. The Cherry Creek path is so close to home and is fine, but it's all concrete and is quite exposed whereas Highline Canal is a bit of a drive, but the dirt is easier on the knees and it has tons of beautiful trees. I think HC will be my running spot this summer, and Cookie and I are greatly looking forward to it!

Gear Review:
I got a CW-X sports bra. Exciting, right?! Ha! Okay so clearly it isn't the cutest or most beautiful bra out there. But the thing is SUPPORTIVE. I thought one of the seams was rubbing, but it turns out I'm an idiot and it was the tag. I removed that and there is no more rubbing. It's excellent for running and I like the racerback style. I still like the Moving Comfort Fiona, and want to try MC's new Juno which should be arriving at Runner's Roost soon. I would say the CW-X is even better than the Fiona for running (for me at least) because it's soooo supportive, but I prefer the Fiona for cross training.

Wow. What a fascinating blog post this has been. ;)


The Nike+ challenge that I've been participating in ends today. I got 8th out of 24 participants. WOOT! The challenge was from 1/5/10-4/5/10 and even though I was out sick for about a week each month, I ran 224.75 kilometers in that time, which is almost 140 miles. Seriously? Is this ME we're talking about???? Cause I can't run and it is IMPOSSIBLE that I can run 140 miles in 3 months. Yet, there I am, CookieLover, #8.

I'm feeling extremely guilty because I'm taking a second day in a row, off but I am completely exhausted from our first day back after spring break. I'm seriously considering going to go to bed now, and it's only 6:18. I'll hop back on the wagon tomorrow. For now I'm just happy about EIGHTH PLACE!


Follow this link to get a free Agion Active Treated Shirt.

And after you've worked out in your new shirt, you will probably need to go to Dairy Queen. Follow this link to sign up for the DQ Blizzard Fan Club and you'll get a Blizzard BOGO coupon.

For other freebies, this blog is awesome! Enjoy!

Spinning Class/ 24 Hr Fitness Review

My friend Mic invited me to go to a spin class with her, so it seemed that the time had come to try out this spinning thing I keep hearing about. All I knew about it was that it's on a bike, it's hard, and you sweat a lot. My friend Mic goes to the HUGE 24 Hour Fitness on Parker Rd and Arapahoe, and she was kind enough to get me a 24 day free trial.

I wasn't crazy about the girl who was trying to get me to join, but the gym is wonderful. The first floor has big locker rooms, pools, and an outside workout area, rooms for classes, a basketball, racquetball etc. The cardio area is HUUUGGEEE. The elliptical machines and stair steppers and whatnot all have personal tv screens attached. She told me that they had to remove the screens from the treadmills because people got dizzy from the tvs and would fall off (???). There's loads of weights, and also a big area for the kinds of exercises we do in crossfit (with exercise balls, weighted balls, etc). There's also a really nice long track that goes around the perimeter. But the coolest thing was that someone came around to refill our water bottles in the middle of the class! That was so awesome.

Anyway, we went to the class and the teacher was great. She helped me get my bike ready and showed me the proper technique. I liked how she described the level of difficulty you should be at as a range between 1-10, and how you would count how many times you pedal to make sure you're going fast enough. It was a tough 1-hour workout, but it was personalized to everyone's level based on how you set the resistance. I thought I worked hard and did fairly well overall. It was definitely tough, but I liked it and want to go back!

I'd kind of like to join, but I don't know. It's $50 down and $50 a month. I'm not sure if makes sense for me to spend that since I work out at work twice a week and can run outside for free when it's warm enough. I only go to the rec center on days when it's too cold to run (I'm a wimp, so that's pretty much November through March). The rec center is $70 for 20 visits, which lasts me about 2 months during the cold months, with no money down, and they have spin classes too. I did get a free 24 day trial so I'm going to take advantage of that, but I don't think I'll be joining after that unless they can lower the price.

I'm on a roll!

Since I recovered from The March Sickness (which was preceded by The February Sore Ankle, The January Sickness, The December Sickness, The November Swine Flu Recovery, and The October Swine Flu), I've had a few good workouts. The March Sickness was the shortest yet, possibly due to my obsessive drinking of Emergen'C.

Last Wednesday was a difficult crossfit, Thursday was crossfit as well, and Friday I couldn't walk. Saturday I was still sore but could walk, and managed a 10k run! Sunday was an awful 5k run. Today I did a decent 6.7 K at the park with Cookie. It was a GORGEOUS spring day, and Cookie looked like the happiest dog on earth. :) My weight is down a bit too so that's awesome.

Gear Review:

It's become clear that I really need to bring water with me if Cookie is with me and we're doing more than 3 miles. I got a Nathan hydration belt (in black so the husband can use it too). BTW, hydration belt is just a fancy name for a fanny pack that holds a water bottle. Not exactly the height of "cool", but it's necessary.

Pros: It was nice to have water available (Cookie really needed it). It's probably about as comfortable as it could be and I like the design of this one better than the ones that have two water bottles. The material kept the water cold and didn't make me hot. The little pocket was convenient for my car key and Cookie's poop bags. Since I have her leash in one hand, I really need my other hand free so a hand-held water bottle wouldn't work so well.

Cons: Carrying water is annoying. Water is heavy, the extra weight sucks, and having a belt around your waist is not so comfortable when running. I'd definitely prefer to run without it, but I know Cookie needs the water and it was nice for me as well.

Not sure what's on the agenda for tomorrow.... maybe my first ever spin class. Eek!

Junk Food I Turned Down Today

Today was a sugarfest at work! I have to confess I did have one smallllll moment of weakness and grabbed like 1/4 of a brownie at 8am, but after that I was done with the sweets. Here are some of the things I turned down in my dieting efforts:

-Bunch of crap that was in the lounge all day, I don't even remember it all. Bagels and muffins and stuff like that. I grabbed a few strawberries for later and munched on those when the kids were eating sugar.
-Brownies for a student's birthday
-Cookies for another student's birthday
-Cupcakes because my class won the box top contest
-Green powdered sugar donuts
-Mini cupcakes
-Apples dipped in caramel and green slime sauce

It's a start. I still struggle with food. I've figured out the exercise thing and love it, but I still need to turn that corner with food.

What's worse than 90 lunges?

90 lunges while holding two 15 pound weights, that's what.

Today's workout was a good one! It's another one you can do at home, and all you need is a set of hand-held weights.

10 lunges with hand weights
10 shoulder presses with hand weights
10 good mornings

Repeat those exercises 5 times.
Run 5 laps.
Then repeat the exercises 3 times
Run 3 laps.
Then do the exercises 1 time
Run 1 lap.

FYI, the 15 lb weights were hard, but it seemed like the right weight. If you're just starting out, I'd probably try 5 pound weights. If you don't have room for the running, you could do burpees (21 instead of 5 laps, 15 instead of 3 laps, and 9 instead of 1 lap). I think any cardio would work though, like jump rope.

Too sick to run...

...but not too sick to make cupcakes! I started feeling icky with a sore throat on Saturday and it just got worse from there, but I'm feeling a bit better this afternoon and wanted to fulfill my promise to make cupcakes for the baby shower at work tomorrow.

My favorite kind of cake is chocolate, and since I'm making the cupcakes, they are chocolate. My dad made a killer chocolate cake, and we all loved it so much that he would make it even if it wasn't anyone's birthday and we would just pretend it was one of our birthdays. It was awesome. I liked mine with chocolate frosting between the layers and on the outside, and toasted walnuts on the top. My sister preferred raspberry jam in the center and chocolate frosting on the outside. Either way, the cake always turned out perfect.

Since I haven't had the chance to grab the chocolate cookbook from my parent's house, I made Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake. I know from experience that this recipe needs to be adjusted for high altitude. I put in slightly less baking powder and baking soda and added 2ish tablespoons of extra flour and 2 tablespoons of extra milk.

The first group to go in the oven rose perfectly and look great, but they took less time to cook than expected. The cake should cook for 30-35 minutes, and cupcakes 22-25 minutes, but mine took more like 18 minutes. They definitely were not undercooked.... if anything I'm worried that the first batch is a tiny bit overcooked. The second batch spread a bit too much. I don't know why the first batch was perfect and the second batch spread too much since it was the same batter. There is an easy solution to this, which is to buy another muffin pan so I can cook them all at once. Anyway, I ate one of the reject cupcakes and it was DELICIOUS.

I made this delicious buttercream. It's SO easy! You just turn on the kitchenaid, add butter, milk, and vanilla, then add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time (I used 4 cups total). There is no reason for icky canned frosting when frosting is this easy to make. As far as vanilla goes, I saw a vanilla bean paste at Cake Crafts. It actually smells and tastes like actual vanilla, and I love that you can see the little vanilla beans. Next time I'll use 2 teaspoons of it instead of 1.

To make them look pretty, I got some sanding sugar and cute little gum paste flowers. You can't really see the sparkly sugar in my pic because I took it with my cell phone. One of these days I'll use an actual digital camera so you can see the details better, but I can never remember where I put it. I'm a dork like that.

Here they are! They're so cute and really tasty!

Dear Eccentric Rec Center People:

Since there isn't much on tv tonight and I'm not really in a reading mood, I decided to compose some letters to some of my favorite eccentric rec center folks. I've been going there so often that unfortunately I've become one of those insufferably obnoxious workout snobs. So here's my vent for the evening, after which I will cease to complain about the rec center for at least a few days.

Dear Sweaty Running Girl,
You might think I am going to complain about your excessive perspiration. After all, you do drip and fling sweat all over the place, your treadmill is covered in huge drops of sweat, and some people are probably more than a little grossed out. But actually, I have a huge runner's crush on you. I can only hope to someday be able to run as fast and long as you, and I'd kill for those legs. Sweat away; you are bad ass! But don't be offended if I won't be on the treadmill next to you.

Dear Hot Pants Chick,
Did your mother ever tell you that you should leave something to the imagination? I know it sucks when your mom is right, but this is one of those times. I don't care to see your butt cheeks and everything else that happens to be showing on account of you confusing underwear for workout shorts. Who exactly are you trying to impress, anyway? The 60 year old guy next to me? The 80 year old guy next to him? The soccer mom down at the end? I understand it's hot in the cardio room, but FFS cover your hoohaa a bit better!

Dear Perfume Girl,
Rule #1 of the gym: do not bathe yourself in perfume before hitting the gym on a Saturday morning. That is just plain RUDE. Breathing at mile 5 is hard enough for me without a nose full of perfume. And FYI, while I don't really care because it doesn't affect me, an inch of makeup is also unnecessary at the gym. You might want to wait until after the workout to look fancy.

Dear Loud Annoying Couple,
I was all ready to complain about your dumb jokes and cheesy attempts at flirting, but I changed my mind. You two are at the rec center quite often and are improving a lot. Talk and flirt away, you're doing great! Most people have given up on their new years resolutions by now but you guys are going strong.

Dear Ladies Wearing Sweat Suits:
Honestly, I don't get it. I promise you, there is not going to be a blizzard inside the cardio room. In fact, it's downright hot in there, and cardio makes you even hotter. I'm sweating like crazy in a tank top with two fans pointed at me, and I just can't understand why anyone would need long thick sweatpants, a turtleneck, and a thick sweatshirt. I would die a scorching, feverish death if I ran in those outfits. Now don't go borrowing Hot Pants Girl's shorts or anything, either. Moderation, people!

Dear People Running at 7.5 MPH and higher:
I. Am. Jealous. If it seems that I'm glaring at you, I don't mean to be rude. I'm just really, really jealous. I want to be you when I grow up.


That's me in 7th place! It's a good thing I'm so competitive because this little contest is really motivating me to work hard to stay in the top 10. I was down in 11th before today's run.

10K: Accomplished!


I ran 10K on Friday!!!!!!! YAY! I did take a couple very short breaks... one to turn the channel on the tv at the rec center, and the other because I accidentally pushed the "stop" button on the treadmill, but not my usual 2 minute breaks. Yes it took me 6 months total to get from 5k to 10k, but a lot of that time I was out with illness and whatnot. I really started working toward it at the end of December so I'd say it took 2 1/2 months of actively working toward it to get there.

I took Saturday off, and did 7k outside on Sunday. The wind was a bit cold and uncomfortable, and the hills are a change from being on the treadmill. I took quite a few breaks to walk up hills. Hills aside, I love running outside with Cookie! I need to go to a real trail or park though because running trails in my neighborhood are rather limited. I end up running around a condo complex a few times then running around the park in my neighborhood a few times which is rather boring.


Since this is turning into a Lululemon gushing blog, I'm going to start having two sections: one for workout updates and one for workout gear reviews. Here's what I've tried in the last couple weeks:Satin Pirouette Headband: Unfortunately, this was a big FAIL. My head is weirdly shaped or something, and headbands don't stay on. I heard that this one might, but I left the tag on just in case. It didn't work, so it's going back. It was very expensive too at $14. I did like the tight fit (it stretched some but not too much) and that it was adjustable. If you don't have a weird head shape like I do, you would probably love it.... but still, $14 is a lot for a headband.

I Just Wanna Run Tech SL Tank: LOVE!!!! Finally someone has made a very lightweight, moisture-wicking running tank for girls who don't want to wear a tight-fitting top. In general I think running gear is made for ladies who are in great shape, which makes sense, but I have chub in the tummy area and am not a fan of tight tanks. Now that the weather is warming up, I really needed a lightweight tank for outside runs. This tank is ridiculously flattering (thank you, ruching!). I ordered it online in lagoon, but then I got an email saying my order was canceled because they were sold out. I called the store and fortunately they had it. I loved it so much that I called back and had them put some in other colors on hold for me, and I plan on getting one more. I got it in a size 12, which is perfect. It is very long when pulled down (like a short tennis dress), but I cinched the drawstring a bit and pulled it up a bit and it was perfect. If you're much shorter than me (5'4 or 5'5) it might not work. I'd get it in every color if I could but it is not cheap.

Champion C9 moisture-wicking tech tank from Target: I keep hearing people say they like the C9 workout clothes from Target, so I thought this would be great for under $10. Unfortunately, I hate it. I wish I hadn't taken the tags off. It's SO unflattering. The cut is awful, it's too short, and it just clings very badly. I wish I liked it because the price is great, but I am not a fan. I'd rather have one I Just Wanna Run tank than 6 of these.

I also got some moisture-wicking socks from Costco, which I'll review after I wear them this week.

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