Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All About Food & Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!

I'm so excited, it's my first Foodie Pen Pal reveal!! But we'll get to that in a minute, I have other food-related things to discuss first.

I wanted to add a bit in here about G and how she's doing with her big girl eats. Let me tell you, she is almost to the point of rejecting spoon feeding! And yes, she really will eat all of that veggie burger (although it's really on half a patty), garden squash and sweet potatoes.

She does pretty well with the plate, but at some point it usually ends up getting tossed around; the puppies sit and wait for that moment!

Turkey sandwich: deli turkey, whole wheat bread and avocado. This pic totally reminds me of Munchkin Meals, I never actually participated but had to give a shout out since I totally stole ideas from those that did! *wink* They were so creative that I couldn't help it.

Before I move on to Foodie Pen Pal I have to mention the host-Lindsay's- awesome adventure last week to Survive on 35. Dollars that is. For one week that's all she could spend on food. It was inspirational to follow on Instagram, I haven't even had the time to read all the goodness on her blog. I think everyone should give this a shot, talk about creative-and healthy!

Now for the most fun I've gotten in the mail in a long time-Foodie Pen Pal!! 

The Lean Green Bean

My box came all the way from California from a spunky gal named Maren of Maren's Morsels. Check out her blog where she finds a balance between healthy eats and midnight treats (I just love that tag line!)

Maren showered me with both. 

Well, the peanut butter cups didn't last long and her warning that the pretzel chips were addicting was totally true. I'm loving them with the hummus I managed to make the other night!

She also sent the cutest card and some fruit leather, which if you read her blog you will see lots of :-) It's like grown-up fruit roll ups-deeeelish! The rest is in my 'snack drawer' at work so when I'm feeling a craving I have something good to fall back on. 

I also have to thank Maren since the idea for trying out dairy free came to me after reading her struggle with digestive issues. She has some great thoughts on the topic and always yummy eats for even sensitive tummies! My biggest food addiction has always been ice cream, but that probably needs to change now.

I'd love to hear: What food are you addicted to?

Here is some more info on Foodie Pen Pals, I highly suggest it...getting fun food in the mail and making new friends. Does it get better? I say, NO!
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp-Week 1

I had meant to do a few updates throughout the week, but a lot of planned things went down the drain with the computer crash. The Macs are up and running (obviously!) and other than some learning on the file downloads things are going well. It's amazing what a difference in speed there is when compared to our ancient outdated ones!

Anyway-Week 1 is in the books!

I really enjoyed the strength workouts, and by enjoyed I mean sweat and grunted for every last rep-especially the moves we did to fatigue. I've never completed circuits where you fatigue the muscle first and then do a second complementary move directly after. And man, did I feel the burn :-) 

There was an upper, lower and combined workout like this. Can I just say how much I hate working lower body? I know you burn major calories doing it and that it's uber important as a runner to get those muscles in tip top shape, but squats and lunges really suck. And wall sits? I'd rather watch paint dry. But I fought through it and I'll be better for it. Maybe I'll learn to like them through boot camp? Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!

Speaking of lower body, I got this cool new piece of equipment at Dick's last weekend (on clearance!!!) SCORE!

I'm using it in place of a Bosu ball, which I've been wanting for a long time, but they're pricey. This bad boy is similar in that the base is made of air chambers so you can leave it as soft as you want, challenging your balance and core. I've been trying to stress the importance of core work to the hubs for-well, forever. This is a step (pun totally intended!) in the right direction.

Bootcamp calls for doing cardio after circuit work, which is tough, but in a good way. I'm using our elliptical for that since I spend too much time on the treadmill already. I also completed two cardio-only interval workouts (running) and one cardio of choice workout (again-running!)

This is probably the last picture of my sweaty self you're going to see-ugh!
I'm just not making the headway I'd like to with what is supposed to be my 'long' runs. I'd love to blame it on those wall sits but the fact is, I'm pretty sure it's all in my head. I'm at a complete plateau and I know I need to get my mind out of the way of my body. Easier said than done, eh?

Week 2 has already begun and I'm running a 5k on Saturday in MI...wish me luck!

Have you ever hit an exercise plateau? How did you break through?


Sunday, July 29, 2012

And the verdict is...

Dairy light is the winner!

So I made it a full week without any major dairy; milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese. It was a bit of a struggle at first but a few days in I realized I wasn't craving missing much. *now if only I could do the same thing with sugar I'd be all set!*

Turns out that was the easy part. The hard part has been adding it back in and trying to determine it's effects. I started with some chobani-I'd never had it before, but it was love at first spoonful, so of course I was hoping I would be able to enjoy it time and time again. I didn't notice anything major. Except deliciousness! :-) A sprinkle of kashi cereal for crunch and mm, mm good to go.

The next day I decided to splurge on a non-fat latte. Ugh-it hit me right away. Bloating, cramps, I was so hungry but couldn't bear to eat. Surprisingly this feeling stayed with me most of the day and even made my evening run tough. I also had a wedge of laughing cow cheese on my sandwich so that may have compounded things but I can't bear to blame it. I do wish I had remembered before I bought the latte, but I didn't want to have to go buy a different lunch too so I chowed down.

I had a little ice cream tonight with a milder version of the effects. I guess this will forcibly solve my ice cream addiction. So sad.

I don't think I have any sort of allergy, and I don't know what it is exactly that I'm sensitive to, but I do know that I'm paying much closer attention now. Unfortunately for my taste buds, and fortunately for my wallet, no more lattes. I'll stick to my iced coffee with vanilla soy for now. And I'll take it easy with the yogurt, leave the cheese off my sandwiches (unless it's extra flavorful like pepper jack-my favorite!)  and salads and in general, be more conscious when I'm not the one preparing my meals. I think that's good advice all around.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ain't technology grand?

Hey there! I'm one frustrated chica right now...our desktop and laptop computers both crashed this past week. We braved a storm and went to Best Buy on Thursday but we're still not up and running yet. Mostly because we switched to Mac and I can't figure a darn thing out!!! All I wanna do is get a few pics off my phone so I can update you on going dairy light last week. Not to mention the first week of boot camp!

Oh well, at least I know we have something to use. I just have to climb the learning curve...hope to catch up soon :-)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

No More Moo 4 U?

Is dairy free for me?

Lactose intolerant, dairy sensitive, vegan-whatever the reason, there are a lot of people out there living without the Moo. I've been noticing a sensitivity myself lately, at least with any larger quantity. Bloating, nausea, and, ahem, other things (TMI much?). I wondered-could this just be my body's way of telling me I'd overindulged in ice cream?

So, does it really do a body good? Some say no, that with all the growth hormones and poor treatment of cattle we're better off keeping it out of our refrigerators and out of our bodies. I do not disagree with the fact that it is not essential. Dairy definitely has it's benefits but ones that can all be gotten from other food staples.

So, I had to ask myself-would I even miss it? I knew I wouldn't miss the apparent trouble it was causing. After a little more research I decided to give it a shot for a week as a sort of cleanse. That way when I add it back in it will be easy to tell just how much of my troubles stem from the moo juice.

I thought it would be easy, but when I actually started reading food labels, much to my surprise....it's hidden in everything!

I have been using vanilla soymilk for quite awhile, so the plain milk part shouldn't be a problem. I make my smoothies and oatmeal with it and sometimes bake with it too. There are also some issues with soy and its potential affect on fertility, and that is certainly something I don't want to worry about, I already have issues of my own but I don't use that much. But what about yogurt, cottage cheese, laughing cow wedges and string cheese? What in the world would I snack on in the afternoon?

I think my choices (snack-wise) have been very carb heavy, but I've been going with what was already in my house. I should have planned better and made some hummus and bought more easy to pack veggies. I also made the decision to go 'dairy-light' and only cut out the obvious sources (listed above) and not worry about dairy products hidden deep in the ingredient list. It's already Saturday, so only a few more days and then I'll add a little dairy back in. Check back next week to see how I did!

Mantra Count:
Thursday-satisfied (HIIT run)
Friday-very satisfied :-) (Relaxed, and finally watched Captain America, I say watched because we could barely hear it over G's play talking!)

Family movie night!!

Saturday-determined to complete "necessary" housework and then enjoy the fact that it's the weekend!
*satisfied: clean clothes, floors, bathrooms and baby!
Sunday-determined to get back outside for a run, too much treadmill can really drag  you down!

G rides on my shins while I do reverse crunches!

Then it'll be time for bootcamp! I read about this during round 1 and am really excited to be participating in Round 2. We start Monday :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daily Mantra

Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.

Ok-so I may be the last person on earth to discover Pinterest...and I haven't quite "gotten" it yet but I do enjoy all the motivational sayings and slogans and thought this would make a great daily mantra for me. Plus, this chick has killer legs-even more motivation :)

I'm planning to say it to myself each morning and night for a few weeks adding a specific goal:

Wednesday: I am determined to-Complete a Core Workout with the hubs (heading to bed satisfied very soon!)
Thursday: I am determined to-Complete a HIIT run and eat 'dairy light' (I'm working on a much longer post about that!)
Friday: I am determined to-Give my body a rest and spend some QT with G!

You get the idea. The goal(s) could be fitness, food, career, social, etc. Just a little something you want a push to ensure you do. Sometimes my to-do list gets too long and I find myself frustrated. Stripping it down to a few core things that will let me go to bed satisfied just may help with that work-life balance issue!

What are you determined to do today? Will You go to bed satisfied?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gwyn's World: 9 Month Update

Holy Moly! My baby girl is 9 months old...3/4 of a year...ALREADY! I know I'll say this continuously as she grows, but my oh my the time is going quickly!

I've been watching her sleep lately and one day it dawned on me that I am suddenly the mother of a little girl, not a baby. I am starting to be able to envision what some of her mannerisms will be as a toddler. And I'm pretty sure she's gonna be a looker :-)

She still isn't crawling, or pulling up. She does however love to use my (or anyone's!) hands and with a little help gets herself to standing. This is her new favorite game, she could play it all day, and sometimes tries. She uses whatever she can get her hands on-this is how she entertained herself during my shower today.  
Operation Childproofing must be completed ASAP!

She's also getting quicker when it comes to the puppies and has started to catch a tuft of hair now and then as they stroll by her. They have no idea what they're in for!

We don't have any new teeth this month either, but we continue to add more solid foods. She gets very distracted during spoon feeding sessions and would much prefer to do it herself. I'm trying more to feed her something similar to what I'm eating-it's just easier for both of us. Plus, she hates it when you eat in front of her and don't share. Stinker.

Scrambled egg yolk & avocado
She is certainly a character-or a monkey as we all affectionately call her! She plays a game with her Daddy when he's in another room and they call back and forth to each other. We also have lot of fun with mimicking different motions and sounds. She made her first clap sound this week so she is totally obsessed with that now too. Well, sound in general.

We have made the (smooth) transition to her real crib upstairs. It was a littlle harder for us than her I think. She still falls asleep most nights in our bed and then I walk her up, but hey, we're getting there! Who doesn't love cuddling with a baby, but I don't want to end up with a toddler between the hubs and I every night. We need mommy & daddy time too!

Mandarin oranges-yum!
We have our 9-month check up next week and I have some lingering new mom questions. Poor girl has some tummy troubles that I hope she'll grow out of and I just don't know at what age you can get them allergy tested; I'm pretty sure she has some.

Classic strawberry shortcake shirt-couldn't resist a childhood favorite!
9 Month Update:
  • Added Mandarin oranges, wheat bread and veggie burgers 
  • Put away 6-9 month clothes
  • Wore shoes in public for 1st time, while attending 1st family reunion-won youngest in attendance prize!
  • Sleeping like a champ in her own room
  • LOVES: standing, clapping, feeding herself and splashing
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I already know what her birthday cake is going to be (I have to practice the decorating ahead of time!) and now that I've gotten suckered in to Pinterest I'm sure I will have far too many ideas for other cute party ideas.

89 days and counting...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WILT...Work-Life Balance?

I read an article recently that, while really no surprise, still fascinated me. It was a study on working parents and how the stress they experience can impact the nutrition of their entire family. According to it, working mothers (especially those experiencing stress at work) reported less family meals, more reliance on take out, and less fresh food. The Debbie Downer part to me is that they also report less encouragement of their family's healthful eating.

As a full-time working mom I hate to hear these things, but I experience it every day. The challenge of squeezing 25 hours worth of stuff that 'needs' to be done into a mere 24 hours. And I only have one kid!!!

Squash from my garden anyone? Soon to be baby food!

I try to be mindful every day of how my actions may influence G and how she will grow to view her world. I want her to know that no one is perfect, especially her momma! But I do set goals for myself, alot of them health and fitenss related, and work toward them in the best way I know how.

I've been doing fairly well in July with meeting those goals. I got 3 good runs in (Goal #1) and a couple of total body workouts last week and am off to a good start this week with a run tonight. Clean eating (Goal #2) is a struggle, but I'm getting better. I did take one day of pics in an effort to hold myself accountable (Goal #3), and through some glitch G ended up in the collage instead of breakfast-since I think she's so cute I just left it!

I had overnight oats for breakfast, shared a cranberry chicken salad wrap for lunch (see the remaining crackers from my Habits post?) and a spicy back bean burger, sauteed kale and quinoa salad for dinner. We won't discuss the snacks as a few were a little less desirable. Maybe one day I'll take only pics of the things I'd rather not show-that should teach me a lessone!

But see, that's just the point-I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be-AT ANYTHING. I want G to understand that. I want to be able to let the little things that used to stress me out go. Here are some rules I'm learning to live by to make sure I don't fall into the category of the working mothers in that article.

My family needs to be:
  • clean
  • fed
  • clothed
  • loved

They/I do not need:
  • a spotless house
  • three course completely homemade meals
  • a stressed out mom/wife because the shower didn't get scrubbed!
For real, is anyone going to love me more because I stayed up late washing counters and picking up every last toy G decide to throw? Am I going to love me more? Of course not. Life is meant to be enoyed, our families and friends are meant to be enjoyed.

And that work stress thing-I'm learning real quick to check it at the door. There is no room for that in my house.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hand in Hand Habits-Love or Divorce

Some things just go together: Baseball (Go Bucs!!) and hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly (or chocolate!), BBQ and beer...

Hiaw about bad habits-do you have any that go hand in hand? Or maybe you have one that isn't a bad habit, but goes a little too well with one that is? That is just plain tough because you almost have to give up an innocuous thing to rid yourself of the demon it's made friends with. I have a few of these:
  • Coffee and baked goods-
  • Salad (or sandwiches) and chips-Let's not fool ourselves into thinking just because the word Veggie is on the front of this package that these are anywhere near healthy. And sometimes my choice is more on the side of Doritos (they have so stinkin many flavors now!) and even though these are the "snack" bags, and I rarely eat an entire bag in one meal, the point is that I'm drawn to them every time I have a salad-or sandwich. I can't give those up...


  • Any celebration and food-For real people, we're not dogs and shouldn't "treat" ourselves with food. But every celebration somehow revolves around it, why is that?

We're not technically begging, but you know we want a treat!
So the trick is to find ways around the 'traps.' Do you avoid one thing to make sure you're not tempted by it's "mate?"

I've talked about the coffee issue before and have started to find suitable subs for all the deliciously white, loaded with sugar baked goods (protein pancakes anyone?) it makes me crave. I've also subbed fake creamer with vanilla soy milk and honestly barely noticed. I'm loving my coffee iced now too and that somehow makes a difference. So, progress made on this one.

The chip problem is a texture thing for me. I'm the one who will put chips in her sandwich and crumble them in my salad instead of croutons! I think I'll always have a chip/cracker problem but making better choices in that area is still a goal.

I say go ahead and be the foodie health nerd that brings the veggie tray or the latest healthy blog recipe you printed to the potluck, if you go home with leftovers all the better (note to self-don't make that cookie pie you were going to take to the reunion this weekend!) UPDATE-I held strong and didn't! Now I have a huge bowl of quinoa salad!

I do have a few habits that will have a long and fruitful *wink* marriage in my life.
  • Running and stretching-duh!
  • Fruit and Yogurt-hate yogurt w/o it!
  • Any celebration and my family-hate most things w/o them!

Celebrate the things you do right and look for little ways to change the ones you don't. Habits are hard to break, but it can be done, and I'm right there with ya. Dorito fingers and all!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WILT...Interval Training

Happy 2nd Monday of the week!!

So-back to What I Learned This...Interval Training session. In meeting my new goals I did Run #2 tonight. I thought it would be good to add some speed work to try and increase both my cardio threshold and my PR for my next 5k. Plus, don't we all get a little bored just running sometimes? Especially on a treadmill-blah!

But first, I was also pretty successful in the clean(er) eating today. I started with some pumpkin overnight oats (they do not make for a pretty picture!), and had a chicken-cranberry salad for lunch. I even caved and bought a candy bar...but ate only ONE bite. The hubs calls that sandbagging, but it'll be there waiting for me when I want just one more bite. On another day.

I still haven't eaten dinner, but I'm thinking scrambled eggs with spinach, feta and salsa?

Ok, back to the interval training and what I actually learned...tonight I did the following treadmill workout:

5 minute warm up walk
Intervals (3x through)
90 sec @ 7mph
30 sec @ 4mph
60 sec @ 8mph
60 sec @ 4 mph
30 sec @ 9mph
90 sec @ 4mph
7 min @ 6mph
5 minute cool down walk
3.06 miles, 35 minutes

I don't really know if this counts as HIIT (high intensity interval training) but who really decides what is high intensity if not the person training? So-I vote yea as my legs were on fiyah! I didn't wear my heartrate monitor so I don't know how many calories I burned but I do know that through the interval portion, even with walking in between, it worked out to just over 10 minute mile pace. But I was WAY more scorched than if I had just run that pace for 18 minutes!

Basically I learned that HIIT=a huffing puffing good time workout :-) And that it will make it's way in to my rotation on a regular basis.

Some random fun pics-G and I went 'swimming' on the 4th of July. Babies in swimsuits is just too cute not to share! And I think I figured out some sort of pic ture collage that works better. Now bring on Friday!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Time to Hit Reset!

I feel like maybe I've been hitting the snooze button lately on the old 'healthy living thing'. You know, where you eat well, exercise and keep a positive attitude. Since the whole semi-hurt ankle deal I kind of just haven't felt like it. So here is my re-commitment, out there in (virtual) public to Reset and get back in gear!

I thought it would be a good idea to start with some goals for the month. My only new blogger friend Sabrina did it and I think it's a good way to get back in gear.

1. Run 3x per week-not setting time or distance goals right now, just get out (or on) and do it
2. Clean it up-the diet that is. It's hot. Ice cream is cold. Enough said.
3. Spend time each Sunday preparing for the week. This one is huge, I know just how much it can help me, but I still don't do it...a meal and exercise plan would be a great idea. Even if the plan goes to crap at least there was one to begin with!
4. Hold myself accountable for these few simple things through the blog.

Sounds easy, right? I sure hope so! In an effort to start of right, let's talk about goal #1. Tonight I ran my first consecutive 3 miles since being prescribed to take a few weeks off. It went ok, not great but I made it.

PS-I have to figure out this whole photo collage thing, not liking this format!
I felt good until about mile 2 when my legs got heavy. I think that is due to the pretty awesome 5-4-3-2-1 Workout the hubs and I did Monday night (props to Carissa!). Switch jump lunges? Yeah, those'll getcha every time. Every time.

So 1 out of 3 runs down, already 33% of the way there for the week. Yay! Time to start celebrating the small victories...and not with ice cream :-(

Happy and safe 4th of July!!