About Me

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I am a former career girl and am now a stay-at-home-mom to 2 amazing little girls. Exercise and "dieting" have never been easy for me. But now more than ever, I am determined to adhere to a more active, healthy lifestyle. I am not dieting - just making smarter, more natural food choices. I want to set a great example for my girls. I starting running last year with the Couch-to-5K running program. I've lost over 35 pounds since last year and I want to lose 60 more. I completed my first race (a 5K) in October and I running a 10K by this summer. My long-term goal is ultimately to run a half-marathon in 2012. I've created this blog to put it all out there and most of all - to keep me honest. I include a tested recipe & inspiring workout song on each post. I am also hoping to inspire and be inspired by you! I would love for you to join me for this journey and become an official follower of this blog!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Man in the Mirror

When I was thinking of a title for this post I kept getting Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" in my head. But I only know a few of the words of the chorus, so the same words keep coming in my head. "Sscimon, sssimon make that change... Man in the mirror... You know it... you know"

Basically I am going to keep this post short and sweet with a few random things that I've thought of this week... and when I am saying "you" below... I am really meaning myself.

If you want to change, change. It's really that simple. You are in control. But it takes hard work. Anything worth it usually does.

Don't you want to be at least the co-author of your own life? I do.

I started Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred and I really really like it. She is very motivating to get you through each workout. The workouts are broken into 20 minute workouts. Anyone should be able to fit that in their day. So far so good - it's an older DVD of hers and it's super cheap at Amazon or Target... so check it out! 

Progress update: I am on my way to losing 18 pounds by the end of April. I've lost a few pounds this week (weighed myself this morning) but I also had a great dinner out with friends tonight. And I could have made better choices (I hope it didn't undo too much of what I accomplished this week). One area I really need to work on is the going out to dinner part. Once I have a cocktail, I am more liberal with my choices. But I am on my way to losing 18 pounds by the end of April. 

How do you control what you eat when you go out? 
(please leave comment below or on the facebook page)

Have a great President's weekend everyone!
This picture is with Israeli/Pearl couscous

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: "Firework" Katy Perry (I know this is an obvious one, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE working out to it and love the words). This song is also one of my husband's guilty pleasure songs...... so anyone who knows him, feel free to tease him about it.
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: When you want a quick, healthy, comforting meal - have a "baked" potato topped with fat free greek yogurt. Not only does the greek yogurt provide the creaminess that you would get out of sour cream (without the fat), it adds a bunch of protein making it a more filling, complete meal. The quickest way I've found to get the baked potato taste is to wash throughly - poke holes all over with fork. Micro for 5 minutes and then flip and micro for 5 more minutes for a medium to large size potato.
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Chicken with Couscous, Orange & Mint
This dish is super easy & fast. It is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. It is delicious! My husband honestly loves this and I've made it twice. It's refreshing to be able to have oranges & the mint in the winter months.

Chicken with Couscous, Orange & Mint
This time with small whole wheat couscous
1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken 
    • (remove skin & use breast meat)
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
    • I found unsalted, unroasted ones @Trader Joe's)
    • To toast just cook on low in a dry non-stick pan & toss
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • I cute the rind off & actually end up using 2 oranges
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Directions:
  • In a medium bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over couscous. Cover and let sit until tender, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. In another medium bowl, combine chicken, pistachios, orange, mint, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Toss couscous with chicken mixture. Serves 4.
  • Sorry if this post is slightly scattered - it's late and if I didn't get it out tonight, I wouldn't have had a new post this week.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If It Were Easy, Everyone Would Do It

This was by far the hardest post for me to write since I started this blog last summer. I didn't even know where to start, as there is so much I could talk about. When I started this blog I promised above all else to be open and honest. 
Next week I am going to have good/positive news to share, and I am MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER, so please stick with me. (I have also made some of my best recipes to date the past few days that I can't wait to share.)

And it starts - you think you are looking better. You fit in sizes and clothes you haven't in awhile. People are starting to notice your weight loss and you ease up a bit...
"Sure I can have a hamburger for dinner one day, pizza the next, cheese at a party, christmas cookies...I am still working out it won't matter that much."

That's how it started for me in December. I knew it was a slippery slope, but I avoided the scale as "it was the holidays and all." Then I was much better in the beginning of January doing a 10-day serious detox of sorts, but that led up to a crazy weekend of a black-tie affair with great dinner and a crazy concert the next night with lots of drinks (and corresponding food). I think that weekend single handedly undid everything I had done the previous 10 days. I am not making excuses - it didn't have to - I could have approached that whole weekend differently, but I gave myself license to do whatever I wanted, as I thought I had deserved it after the detox. I was not the friend to myself that I should've been.

Ok, so now we're up to late January, and from my last post you can see that I had frustration with the whole return of the running injury. What I didn't mention in the post is that I was leaving for my first vacation alone with my husband since having kids. We went to a beautiful place with warm weather. I also gave myself license there - "it was vacation and all and I deserved a break from my routine." Sugary pool drinks every day and big dinners every night. It was a great time, but I did pay for it. I am up 4 pounds since December. Which puts me at -16 since I started keeping track.

Needless to say, recently I haven't been following my core principals that I had laid out in July/August. And I can tell you for all that "fun" I thought I was letting myself have - I was more depressed than ever about all of it especially in January. (only the vacation part was worth it for me).

I got back from vacation this weekend, and since Sunday I have been 100% dedicated to changing my life to be healthy for good. 

I am working on slowly building up running again every other day, and not pushing it too hard. I'm letting go and trusting the process as it is very hard for me not to run more. To make up for the limited running cardio, I have been religiously doing the stairmaster (and those who have been following the blog for awhile know it's not my favorite)! And let me tell you, after a few weeks off it was SO hard to get through an hour workout again. I wanted to stop about 1/4 into my stairmaster workout at 6AM this morning, but I pushed through it. And on alternate days I have been doing yoga and strength training.

MY TWO-WEEK GOAL: lose 4 pounds.
MY LONG-TERM GOAL: lose 17 pounds by the end of April.

I know the goals are aggressive, but I am really committed. I wanted to lay out a big goal to work for in public because I know I can do it. 

I am getting back to basics following my core healthy eating principles that helped me lose the original 20 pounds:
 1.Eating more natural, healthier foods
 2.Eating reasonable portions
 3.Eating well balanced meals
 4.Eating a variety of foods, with lots of vegetables.
 5.Only eating when I am hungry

Thanks for your continued support.

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: Little Lion Man- Mumford and Sons
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Chicken Lettuce Wraps (delicious!!!!)
A friend of mine brought these to my house for a get together and I had to get the recipe. Apparently the original recipe is from Jennifer Aniston's trainer. I wanted to cook something healthy for Superbowl Sunday and this is what I made. Thanks for the great recipe Kate!
*next week's recipe will be a quick weeknight dinner.

These took a fairly long time to make. I would recommend cutting everything in advance and then cooking separately. Also - you can make ahead and simmer on low until you are ready to eat. They make great leftovers too!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
This picture doesn't do these justice! 


2 T. peanut oil
2 t. sesame oil
24 shitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- I used a combo of shitake & gourmet mushroom blend.
2 large carrots, very finely chopped
4 scallions, very finely chopped
2 t. minced ginger
1 t. minced garlic
2 lbs. ground chicken
1/2 t. pepper
2 small cans water chestnuts, drained and finely diced

1 cup soy sauce
4 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
4 T. orange juice
4 T. brown sugar
4 T. water
3 T. cornstarch
1 t. chili flakes
4 T. oyster sauce

2 heads iceberg lettuce (I used leafy red romaine for a bit more nutrition)

1) For the sauce, mix all ingredients together, set aside.
2) Heat large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  When pan is hot add peanut and sesame oils.  Saute mushrooms, carrots, scallions, ginger and garlic for 4-5 mins.
3) Add chicken and cook, stir to break up the meat.
4) When chicken is almost cooked, add pepper and sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook 5-6 minutes.
5) Remove pan from heat, stir in water chestnuts, spoon into lettuce cups and serve!