Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Checkin' In

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about my blog.
I have been extremely busy this past week. It was my dads birthday! Happy birthday, dad!
Then I had a test and what not, so I was busy doing that kind of thing.
Good news to report............ I have gotten back up to my 3 miles!
My shin splint on my left leg still hurts, but not nearly as bad. I was at the 5.5 or 5.7 pace, but I lowered it to 5.0 and 5.2 until my shin splints are gone.
On my run last night I did a pyramid style.
On the treadmill:
5.0 for 20 minutes
5.2 for 5 minutes
5.5 for 5 minutes
5.6 for 1 min
5.7 for 1 min
5.8 for 1 min
5.9 for 1 min
6.0 for 1 min
5.0 for 3 minutes

I'll try to post later on with more updates. I have been doing a lot of DIY projects and cooking, so look forward to those! :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Year's Running Goal Update

Thanks to all of your lovely advice, I have decided to continue with my original plan and keep my goal of running 365 miles in 365 days by January 1, 2013. I've got this.

As of yesterday, I have begun to keep track of my elliptical, walking, and bicycling miles. I am also tracking the number of days that I lift weights.

Thanks for all of your advice and encouraging words!

Weight Watchers Baked Chicken Parmesan

My husband and I both love chicken parmesan, but don't love the calories. I have played around with the recipe and finally made my own, although it is pretty simple, but oh so delicious.

You'll need:
- Four 8oz skinless and boneless chicken breasts, sliced (totaling 8)
- 3/4 c. whole wheat breadcrumbs
-1/4 cup grated fat free parmesan cheese
-2 tbsp light butter, melted
-3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
-1 cup heart smart marinara sauce

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees
-Spray baking sheet
-Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl
-Melt butter in a separate bowl
-Lightly brush chickens with butter and dip into mixture
-Spray chicken with Pam
-Bake 20 minutes, flip and bake 5 more minutes
-Top chicken with marinara & cheese and bake 3-5 minutes more

I calculated mine to be 6 WW+, but it will depend on how many chicken breasts you end up using.

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Year's Running Goal 2012

This is going to be a short & sweet post basically asking for your advice. Super busy day and not a lot of time to blog.

As most of you know, I made a goal for myself as of this New Year (2012) to run 365 miles in 365 days, and I've been doing great, but with this shin splint, I am nervous. As I posted yesterday, my shin is so much better, but not the best yet.
I ran a few times last week, but during and especially after the run, my shin hurt pretty bad again. It's just an extremely uncomfortable pain to not be able to walk around without limping and I really want to prevent any complications from happening (without being a baby).

My question to all of you lovely bloggers is...
Should I count my elliptical miles towards my goal as well?

To this point, I have not been counting any miles walked or completed on the elliptical purely because this was a challenge to myself regarding running. I am just afraid I will get too far behind. I don't know, I just need your advice! What would you do? Tonight I did 3 hard miles on the elliptical. To this point, I never really thought I could get a decent cardio in on the elliptical, but MAN did I prove myself wrong tonight. I was literally dripping in sweat... and I rarely sweat! I had the intensity at 10.0 and increased it to 15.0 randomly for 2 minutes throughout my workout and finished up with 2 minutes on 20.0! It was crazy, but I loved it and it didn't hurt my shin!

Advice, anyone? :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sizzlin Sunday

I worked alllll day & boy was it busy! Thankfully, I have a great husband who put away all of the loads of laundry AND cleaned the whole house. What a relief!
As I have blogged about before, my hubby is a cute nerdy computer programmer. He was building a website tonight for something & he said "hey hunny, click around on it to see if it's working ok" and look what came up! Such a cutie :)

I bought a squash last week in hopes of making spaghetti squash. Well, I don't know if I bought the wrong kind of squash or what, but it didn't turn out as I expected. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but it was not what I was expecting.
The pictures of the lady I was following looked yellow, and my squash was orange. Also, it ended up being more like mashed potatoes, and it definitely tasted like sweet potatoes. Any suggestions?

I also made sweet potato black bean burgers that I have blogged about before. This time I baked them at 375 degrees for 15 minutes on each side. They were so good. Try them!!!

I also made potato chips in the oven. I thinly sliced two potatoes, drizzled 1 tbsp of olive oil and seasoning salt over them, and baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. They were good, but I definitely put too much salt on them..... next time, I'll go easier on it.

And here's my weekly post of my running goal. Last Sunday it was at 240, and this week it is at 232. Not as much as I've been running, but it's good considering my shin splints! AND to think that my original goal was to just run one mile a day, so I should be proud of myself, and I am! :)
My left shin splint is slowly getting better. I think I am going to continue to do low impact physical activity this week including swimming and elliptical and get a day or two of running in there to mix it up and see how my shin responds!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day 2012!

OMG!!! The stinkin' leprechauns came & forgot to flush!!! :) Thanks pinterest for the cute idea.

Saint Patty's Day ends up being Ryan's grandmother's birthday, so it gave me an excuse to bake! I made green "Lucky Charm Cupcakes." They ended up being so cute! I died the batter with green dye and topped with a small amount of green icing and of course, lucky charms. I made them the skinny way by just taking the box of cupcake/cake mix and a 12 oz can of diet 7 UP. That's it! No eggs, no oil, just diet pop. They were a hit!

Before the hubby & I headed out of town, we went to the parade downtown. Our town does such a great job on the Saint Patricks Day Parade. Usually people head down town to free breakfast at (most) bars and day drinking. The parade starts at 12 and lasts 1-2 hours(ish). This year we went with my sister & nephew, so it was a bit more tame, and I really enjoyed it! I love spending time with the people who matter the most to me. :)

How cute is this little guy?
He loved his glasses....
And meeee :)
With my sis:
& my handsome hubby:
All in all, a GREAT Saint Patrick's Day!! Hope you all were lucky! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Changin' It Up

First and foremost, I just wanted to THANK all of my lovely fellow bloggers in this crazy cool blog-land. Your messages on my post made me feel so special and gave me the inspiration and motivation to keep on track on my road to healthy. As I stated yesterday, I took the day off of running, and as much as I hated not having that nice long run, I am pleased to report that my shin feels so much better! They still hurt today, but I was not limping around like I have been the past week. So I decided to take another day off and switch it up, thanks to your lovely advice and suggestions. I did P90X! Well, I attempted P90X. :)
Ryan bought P90X a couple years ago and has done it here & there, but it's extremely hard, so I have never even attempted. Well, I decided that I'd give it a shot and at least attempt to do the work outs. For example, I did "girl push ups" and used my resistance band instead of actual pull ups. It worked really well! I was struggling, but it was a nice struggle, and a change of pace. Will I do this work out everyday? Heck no! Will I throw it in there every once in awhile, heck yes! And who knows, maybe when I loose my final 30lbs, I'll be able to complete it? Anything can happen.
After the 60 minute arms, chest, and back workout, I completed the Ab Ripper 20 min work out. I had to modify some of the sit up exercises, but it went well and boy did/do they burn!

My husband enjoyed taking pictures of me during my first experience with the P90X.
Here I am pre work out (hence the big smile). Ha!

Mid work out. Doing the "pull ups" with my resistance band. I had to make due and connect it to our front door knob. Hey, it worked!

And a quote I found after blogging last night. How appropriate to my feelings. It's now my iphone backdrop... a positive constant reminder that "I'VE GOT THIS."
Thanks again for your posts on my "good" and "bad" days. It's nice to have people who have/are struggling with similar issues. Hey... we're all in this together!
Cheers (with water of course)

Skinny Chicken glazed with peanut sauce.

I don't know about you, but I LOVE peanuts, peanut butter, & best yet, Chicken Pad Thai.
I had five chicken breasts that were going to expire soon, so I threw them in the crock pot last night, sliced up an onion for flavor, covered the chicken breasts with water, added some garlic and cooked on low for 7 hours. By the time I got up this morning they were cooked & ready to go. It's a great way to cook your chicken and have them be ready for a quick and easy week day meal.
I had a bottle of peanut sauce that I had picked up from Target. Normally I would have assumed a peanut sauce was horrible for me, but I decided to look at the label and calculate the weight watcher points. Good news! Only 2 WW+ for 2 tablespoons. I shredded four of the chicken breasts and added 6 tablespoons and heated the meal in the skillet for about 10 or so minutes. You could also just mix it in a bowl and zap it in the microwave. It was so delicious! The four chicken breasts and the peanut sauce made A LOT of food, we're talking probably more than 5 meals. I calculated the whole meal to be 20 points; a mere 4 points per serving..... 4 freakin' points! Talk about a bang for your buck. Just to caution on the safe side, I tracked 5 points for my meal just because it seemed to good to be true. :)

And has anyone spotted these beauties at the store recently? They were originally $7 for this can so Ryan and I passed, but they were on sale for $4 this week at Target, so I gave it a shot. They are so good! There are 10 servings in this can (10? who are they kidding?) and it's 3 WW+ per serving. I will warn you that once you pop, it's hard to stop. Wasn't that a pringles saying at one time? Damn, I'm good. Ha!
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've been feeling like this all week (really since the middle of last week) and I was going to try to ride it out & see if my gloomy feeling would go away, but it hasn't. So what better way then to vent on here and express my feelings to my fellow bloggers?

I'm in a lull. I haven't lost more than a loss of .2 or .6 here and there for the past month AND I've been struggling with my physical activity ever since this shin splint decided to make it's way into my life. I've been eating "clean" other than this weekend, which really wasn't that bad. We went out to dinner with two other couples on Saturday and I got a grilled chicken breast sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. Now I know that those aren't healthy, but come on. Was it worth it? Not at all. Should I have done the impulse order of that? Absolutely not. But, I did it, and I should move on, learn from it, and not repeat in the future.

I am having the feeling of "it's just not fair." Other people, it feels like most people, eat horrible. Fried this, fried that, booze, etc. I have to budget into my calories light beer, or even a grilled chicken breast restaurant style. I have to work my butt at the gym just to maintain the weight I am. Well, I want to loose 20-30 more lbs. Really, 30, but I am feeling so darn discouraged that I feel like 20 is too much to wish for. But I can do it... right? I hope.

I've been pushing through this shin splint, even though I'm literally limping throughout the day. So today, I skipped the gym all together. I didn't run, do the elliptical, or lift weights. It's ok to take a day off, right? Well, probably not when I didn't go to the gym on Saturday or Sunday. Ugh.
Another thing I want to "vent"about is feeling like I'm slower than molases when I run and I have been catching myself thinking why even do it?
I have friends that run miles anywhere from 5.0-8.0 and faster. It's frustrating when I'm busting my butt to literally run at a 5.2-5.5 pace. Somehow on my birthday I ran about a 5.8-6.0 pace, but that was when I wasn't experiencing this darn shin splint. One of my friends texted tonight and she said she ran a 10 minute mile tonight. She just started running last week. I just feel..... discouraged! It's the only way to put it.
I really enjoy the quote of "no matter how slow you go, you're lapping the person on the couch" and that usually makes me feel better, but after hearing about my friend that just started running last week 10 minute mile tonight and seeing how others are running these long miles while it takes me fifty freakin' seven minutes to run 5 miles...... I am just down.

I know some people may say "it's ok you're having shin splints" or "at least you're running" or make some other excuse for me, but I just don't want anyone to feel sorry for me..... I just want to be better and continue on this road to a thinner and leaner me, but I feel myself slipping and I'm scared.
Really, I.. am.. scared!
I am in it for the long haul, but is what I have enough? I sure hope.

Sorry for the "pitty party," but when I originally set up this blog it was my intention to blog about my path to a healthier lifestyle, including the ups and downs. And this is definitely a down part of my journey. I feel like it wouldn't be fair to truly express my feelings and to sugar coat my journey. This is life. It is HARD. It SUCKS. It's just NOT FAIR. But, it is what it is, and I need to accept that.
I am usually very up beat and am proud of my accomplishments and look on the bright side of things, but I am really struggling with that mindset this week. Hopefully next post I'll have a more uplifting or lighter (no pun intended) blog post.

Monday, March 12, 2012

3 * 12 * 12

Today was BEAUTIFUL outside! It was a true Spring day, so what other way do I celebrate the day than a nice long run outside? I ran 5 miles in 57 minutes! Hey... slow & steady wins the race :)
Like I blogged about in a previous post, on my birthday (March 3) my dad & I ran 4.2 miles together in the park (hills and all). So I called him up & said get dressed, we're going running! Today I ran a bit slower, and my dad ran a bit ahead of me, but stuck around to help motivate me. However, I couldn't help but feel discouraged by my dad running without struggling a bit (probably wishing he was running faster) and me struggling to keep my foot going one foot in front of the other. I was running with a shin splint on my left leg that has overstayed it's welcome. BUT, I pushed through and did it, and felt great after.... but I just wish I would've gone a bit faster. Oh well, there's always tomorrow, right? I will keep babying my shin at night and hope that this shin splint will LEAVE ME ALONE! :)

Spring Break is officially over... today marked the first day back in class! Tomorrow is clinical bright & early. I love meeting my patients and learning more about the body, medicine, and being able to implement all of the skills nursing entails. We had our last dosage quiz of the semester and I got 100%, so that was a nice start back. Now I'm a couple tests and our huge mid curricular test away from officially being half way done (1 more year)!

Being back into the "swing of things" is nice because it really keeps me focused. I went into Spring Break with the plan of working out at least twice a day and eating really healthy. Well, well, well my shin splint had another plan and being bored brings on the hand mouth disease that I hate. So, I am officially back at it and focused and determined on continuing on my healthy lifestyle!
Do you have a routine that you enjoy & get knocked off track when your routine is disrupted?

And here's an adorable quote that I stumbled upon and it sums up my feelings for my handsome hubby.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and remember... nothing tastes as good as skinny feels! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Springin' Forward

Spring forward, why do you do dirty things to me? Like make me sleep until 10am (9am) and then not be tired at 9pm (8pm)? Confusing? I know!
Anyways... Sorry I've been SLACKING on blogging this week. I was on Spring Break and focused on working out, relaxing, and studying. It was a much needed "break."
So the last time I posted on my "sizzlin sunday," I was at 270 miles to reach my goal... I'm now at 240 miles!!! Woo Hoo!!
I have been experiencing a painful shin splint on just my left leg this week. After one of my runs last week, I pushed myself that last two minutes on the treadmill and ran 7.5mph, and to be honest, I think I just pushed myself too hard. Depending on the day, I run anywhere from 5.2-5.5 mph and then I'll increase it to 6.0 or so the last couple of minutes (maybe).
Naturally at heart, I am a very competitive person and I always push myself, sometimes too far. I know that this shin splint isn't the worst thing that could happen, but it sure opened my eyes to continue to take things slow and take care of myself. So I have been good to my leg by icing it after runs and running at a slower pace this week, 5.0-5.2. But, I didn't let it stop me from workin' it. :) One day, I did the elliptical, which was fine, but I just love the feeling I get after a great, long, sweaty, run. Any suggestions on how to kick this shin splint to the curb, quick?
On my goal board, I don't count the miles walked/elliptical... strictly the miles I have run.
I had to jump on the wagon and try out the broom trick at Walmart.

And I'll leave you today with two extremely motivating quotes I found off of pinterest. What did I do before pinterest?

I promise to pay more attention to you this week, my sweet little blog. It makes my day to see the sweet comments from my fellow bloggers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Oreos!

My husband has been working really hard lately. I'm talking staying late at work and then coming home and working on production issues until late. I am so proud of him and really look up to his strong work ethic. He stayed late at work tonight and then went Sangamon Valley Dot Net User Group meeting and didn't get home until 9pm. Talk about a long day! After my amazing work out tonight, I picked up these oreos for my hunny and had them sitting out for him when he got home.
By the way.. I ran a hard 3.5 miles (finishing up with 7.5mph the last two minutes) & then finished my work out with a 40 minute swim in the pool all to myself... talk about therapeutic! I feel so rejuvenated.

It's the little things in life. :)

DIY painted wine glasses.... Epic Fail

So I found an adorable DIY project off pinterest that involved painting a champagne or wine glass with glitter paint. The ladies turned out really cute and it looked simple & easy, so I figured I'd give it a shot.Well, I tried it today and totally nailed it........ NOT!

I bought 5 wine glasses from the dollar store. I also stopped by Michaels and bought letter stickers, Martha Stewart glitter paint in gold and silver, and Martha Stewart sponge brushes. I already had painters tape and chalkboard paint at home.

My first attempt was a wine glass for my pregnant friend, Natalie. My hope was to have a wine glass that said "Moms Sippy Cup." The lady said to apply the stickers, tape around where you want your paint to be, apply one layer, let dry, and then apply the second. Once it all dries, you peel the tape and stickers off.

Well, I am not very patient, so I may or may not have painted several layers all at once. (Maybe that's where I went wrong) :)
Annnnd.... Fail
Since it already looked HORRIBLE, I snapped a picture for all of you to be able to have a laugh. I also decided to test out chalkboard paint since this was already going in the trash. I liked the chalkboard paint on the bottom of the glass.
So I decided to paint two others with chalkboard paint. One more coat & they'll be ready!

After having a headache of a DIY craft, I just left the last two plain... Maybe I should have filled one up with wine. Ha!

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY Deco Mesh Saint Patrick's Day Wreath

I love making wreaths, especially deco mesh wreaths. So I made one for my parents.
All you need is a wreath backing, a roll of deco mesh, a roll of ribbon, and any other accessories (I added shamrocks).

Steamed Broccoli

You may think it's simple and self explanatory to "steam broccoli," right?
Well, not for this chick!
I really like broccoli, but my husband doesn't, so I never make it. Well, when we were at our friends house the other week, she made steamed broccoli and it was so good that I went back for seconds! Needless to say, I called my friend and needed to know how to steam... some.. broccoli!
So for all of you folks who are in the same sad boat as I was... here is a simple way to make a delicious side of broccoli!

Prepare your broccoli by washing them under the water and cutting the stems. Fill a pot with 1/2 to 1 inch of water and boil. Once the water is bowling, add the broccoli and cook until tender. The longer it's cooked, the more tender it will be. I cooked mine about 15 minutes and it was perfect. Add 1 to 2 tbsp of light butter and it's prepared. Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your asparagus by cutting off the bottom 1/2 to 1 inch. Layer asparagus on a cookie sheet sprayed with non stick spray. Drizzle asparagus with 1 tsp of olive oil and top with 1 tbsp of reduced fat parmesan cheese. Bake asparagus for 10 minutes or until tender.

Skinny Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

While browsing pinterest, I found this recipe for "melt in your mouth" chicken. I then figured how to make a "skinny" version and tried it out tonight.

*4-6 boneless chicken breasts
*1 cup greek yogurt
*1/2 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
*a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic salt

* Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine yogurt, parmesan cheese, and seasonings in a bowl. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray & place the chicken on it. Top the chicken breasts with the mixture. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes & enjoy!

They turned out delicious! I had my husband guess the ingredients, and he guessed that I used regular (not fat free, like usual) mozzarella and feta cheese. Good guess, honey, but not quite. ;)

What are some of your favorite "skinny" chicken dishes?

Birthday Re Cap

I began my day with the morning run with my dad, went to Weight Watchers weigh in/meeting & lost :), and then went to one of our fave breakfast spots (charlie parkers) & got the whole wheat pancake. Sooo Yummy!
Next, my sister's friend put on my side mirror (thank you!!!):

Remember me blogging about how my wonderful husband makes a theme cake every year for my birthday? He gets really geeky about it and gets really excited to surprise me? Well here's the 2012 birthday cake!

Not what you expected, huh? :) I had told him about the "healthy" way to make a cake. Just one box of cake mix & a 12 oz can of diet soda. Well, he did that and somehow and it was super moist and crumbled on him while he was adding the "strawberry mix layer" and icing. So it ended up being my birthday cake in a bowl! Ha! It was really cute and the thought that counts.
He ended up buying a cake & I forgot to snap a picture before we all dug in, so here's the aftermath with my mommas cupcakes, too! Delicious!

We went to dinner & then bowling. My nephew was getting a bit fussy at the bowling alley, so they headed home, but my parents stayed with us to bowl! We all got at least two stikes & had so much fun!! Ryan got 199....... 1 point away from 200, really???

Birthday Pose
Hubby & I at dinner. My sister and I split the ahi tuni and it was delicious!
My adorable nephew & sister. Yes, those are matching jackets :)
All ready to celebrate 26 years of my awesomeness! ;)
I had to share my husbands card to me:
So true:
I got new running shoes!!!
And a coach purse
And a new under armour running shirt & my skinny recipes for the crockpot.... my favorite way to cook!
And one of my favorite presents--- this BEAUTIFUL dress. I tried it on when my mom and I went shopping out of town and fell in LOVE, but I didn't have anywhere to wear it soon & it was expensive, so I passed. Well, my mom talked to Ryan and gave him the idea and he called the store and had them send it. Needless to say, I was super surprised and thankful!
As for a re-cap, all I can say is THANK YOU to my wonderful family; my husband, parents, sister, and nephew. I am so thankful & appreciative for all of you. Each year that goes by, I remember the true meaning to life.... and that's family.