30 Day Beach Countdown

Ok, so I started counting down to the beach…somewhere about 80-90 days out from the actual vaca. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a vacation. I’m not sure if it’s because I genuinely NEED a vacation (I do), or because I’m SO EXCITED to hang out with AWESOME people, or because it’s THE BEACH, or because I get to subsist solely on quesadillas and BUD LITE LIME…it’s probably all of those…but I am way more excited for the beach than I usually am.

However, in preparation for the beach, I’ve been trying to lean out a bit, or at least maintain my current physique (that word makes me sound like a badass, maybe a better description would be ‘current body status’) … and it is NOT going as planned!! For one, I have an extreme case of Adult Senioritis. This is something I’ve just made up. And it doesn’t really make sense, since it’s not like work is ending and I’ll be out for the summer. But in my head, that seems to be the case. All I want to do is summer activities like barbecue, eat bad food, drink margaritas and rum runners and bud lite limes, and play yard games. And yet, I’m at work Monday – Friday, only dreaming of these activities. So when the weekend comes, it’s hard for me to drink water, eat well, and exercise it up. Like I said…all I want to do is eat, drink and play.

I decided I needed something that would keep me in check, so I signed up for group training at my gym (#bestgymever). Knowing that I would have to keep a food diary, and would be working out hard, I thought that would help me stay in line. OMG I couldn’t have been more WRONG. Pretty much as soon as I was starting to track my food, the Stanley Cup Playoffs started. Well, my husband and I have no cable, so we have to go out to bars to watch. And then my teams started losing. So clearly, I drank like a fish and ate wings like a boss. Fail #1. Then, husband and I went on a weekend trip to Chincoteague & Assateague Islands, in VA (you know, with the wild ponies). We had a GREAT relaxing and fun weekend. But it involved fried seafood and mimosas and ice cream sundaes for dinner. So basically the best weekend ever, although clearly not helping me on my goals to fitness before the beach. Fail #2.

When we started the group training program at the gym, we were supposed to write down some goals for ourselves. Mine were drink no more than 2 glasses of wine per week and no other alcohol (fail), stop eating cheese (extra fail), drink 100 ounces of water/day (semi fail). Clearly there is work to be done in the inhaling of food department. However, my lifting goals are going well. I wanted to increase my weight on Turkish Getups, which I’ve been working on diligently, and I wanted to make my way to 25 pushups (real ones) in a row, which I’m SO CLOSE to. So, overall I guess everything isn’t a wash, since at least I’m making strength progress.

I’ve gotta get it together in the nutrition department, though. Unfortunately, as much as it is annoying to hear, it’s incredibly true when ‘they’ say “Abs are made in the kitchen.” For sure they are. And I can tell you they are NOT made at the liquor store, nor at the chinese buffet. But wouldn’t it be AMAZING if they were?!

So, since I’ve been real lazy about blogging as of late, I’m gonna try and up my game in both nutrition AND blogging, and try to keep up my progress as we near beach week. OMG beach week WHERE ARE YOU, I need you now.

Did I mention I want to buy a skim board to use at the beach? Probably a bad idea, as I will most likely end up with a broken something or another, but they are SO FUN.

Here are some pics of my epic fail meals. Not only do these delicious treats keep me from my goals, but they make my body punish me in a hardcore way. I certainly paid in pain for all of these. But sometimes, the pain is worth the snack delight.

 

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Fried clams, fries, and hush puppies…what?!

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Pineapple sundae with almond joy icecream. holy yum.

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Is that a Ledo’s Pizza with sausage and bacon and a gluten free crust?! Yes it is.

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The Slippery Slope of Hangover Snacks

Who saw my pics on Facebook from my friend’s wedding last Saturday night?! Omg so much fun. Unfortunately, it was also so much FOOD AND DRINK!!! I swear it took me until Wednesday to recover. Not just from the hangover, either…well…maybe, but also from all the snacks. Attending a wedding, drinking the bar dry, and stuffing my face that night, as well as the entire next day, in hopes of alleviating the feeling of death I caused myself, is not really the smartest decision. Yes, I was living in the moment and having a great time and creating some awesome memories, but damn I’m just too old for that shit now. The alcohol seriously makes me SO ANXIOUS. For at least three days afterwards I’m bothering my husband every five minutes asking if he’s mad at me. (hint: when you bother someone with this question every five minutes…they WILL eventually be mad at you, even if they weren’t before!) (in all seriousness, my husband could win awards for putting up with my bothering, he’s pretty awesome.)

The alcohol causing anxiety thing is not really new news, I’ve known for awhile that if I have a good bit of wine, I’m going to regret it in more ways than just craving McDonald’s the next day. I’m going to get that McDonald’s and then feel anxious about eating it. And then feel anxious about feeling anxious about it…anxiety is so annoying like that. I really need to remember to remind myself this before I start imbibing, and not the day after.

However, as of yesterday, my body seems to have fully recovered. Sadly, my bathroom scale says otherwise. What a pesky little thing it is. It’s all flashy and red, it calls out to be stepped on, which is when it snares you in it’s trap. It’s not really friendly at all. In fact, it’s really only there to say HA! I KNEW YOU HAD NO WILLPOWER AND WOULD STEP ON ME THE DAY AFTER EATING HANGOVER FOOD!!! Which I did, of course, and of course I should have known better, because the number was ridic, and shouldn’t be a number that the scale is allowed to display.

For me, letting myself have a night like I did on Saturday is such a slippery slope. I definitely am like, “It’s just for tonight, it’s a special occasion,” in my head, and then the next day when I feel like poo warmed over, I think, “well, it’s just cause I feel so awful today”…and then I feel awful for two more days…and then being bad becomes a bad habit again! Slippery slope…more like icy ravine where healthy eating goes to die.

I’m so clever with the metaphors. I just had to google ‘metaphor’ to make sure that was the right word…

Here are some pics from Saturday night. Such a pretty bride!!! As I ate the food, I thought to myself that I should take a pic of it for the blog…but then I ate it all. IT WAS AMAZING.

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Whole30 DONE, (face plant into plate of cheese)

As of last night, I officially finished my Whole30!! I was pretty excited, and basically went face first into a heaping plate of cheese enchiladas, which were accompanied by a few hard ciders. What? Can you blame me? A month without cheese and alcohol…I was clearly deserving of these things.

Let’s do a recap of my 30 days…since I didn’t keep the blog updated AT ALL! I really am trying, but every time I get the computer all to myself…I start watching some crap show on Netflix (have you seen Pretty Little Liars?? DON’T WATCH IT! IT IS SO BAD…and by that I mean I love it and can’t stop watching it….it’s a problem).

Anyhow…recap:

I got a lot of “sooo what are you eating during this thing…??” Here are some examples of the yumminess I consumed:

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Yummy avocado stuffed, bacon wrapped, jalapeno peppers for Super Bowl snacking

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The beginnings of a roast that would end up braising in the crock for the whole day.

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Check out that steam! Beef chili with broccoli and pineapple thrown in for extra goodness.

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Even kitten wanted some of these wings…bad cat

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Sugar and nitrate free ham, baked with a spicy mustard sauce, along with some zucchini fritters I fried up.

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Post workout, pre grocery shopping breakfast from the Wegman’s salad bar. I wish I could live there.

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Plates picked dry after a tasting of different meats and veggies at a paleo author’s book release party in DC…yes there are fries, no, I didn’t try them. Heard they were good though!

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Breakfast of champions…few eggs scrambled with some of the ham from before, and green veggies. YUM

During these 30 days it wasn’t all smooth sailing…especially when Chris went away, and I was alone in the house for a weekend…alone in the house to me usually means: if nobody sees you eat it then it doesn’t count….so I had to find things to occupy my time so I wouldn’t order a pizza or go out and buy wine!

So I redid some furniture!

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Then it snowed…

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It was sad having a 5 day weekend that was awesome snack and booze free, so again, I had to find things to do to occupy my time. Like making macaroons that I couldn’t eat, and brushing kitty…which was a dangerous job…that cat can swat.

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When I went out with friends to a bar, I did a lot of this: (hint, there’s no alcohol in that mug)

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So that’s the sum of my 30 days! A lot of eggs, meat, and veggies.

I’m working on another post that will actually delve into what I learned, what the results were, etc…(Preview: the results were awesome)

 

St. Charles 10 Miler

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This race was HARD. I think part of that was most likely due to a few unfortunate factors combined…

1. I hadn’t really been able to eat much the week before.

2. I hadn’t really been MOVING much the week before.

3. I HATE running in any heat (which is why I signed up for Tough Mudder Virginia Beach on June 8??? Sorry team, I should have mentioned what a wimp I am in the sun!!!)

4. I dislike running up hills just about as much as I dislike running in the heat…and there were many of these:

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This picture doesn’t do the hills justice…I was unpleased! (Yes, I used this blog as an excuse to stop and take a pic!! Like I needed an excuse for a break…) I definitely had a few moments at the tops of hills where passing out seemed imminent…but thankfully, I was able to power through and finish. Yay for finishing, although NOT my best time for a 10miler at all. Oh well, I’ve got two more lined up for this summer anyhow 🙂

On Monday night a friend and I planned a healthy dinner night, which was a lot of fun. She made curried sauteed chicken with spaghetti squash, and I made meatloaf and green beans.

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Everything was SO GOOD. I started buying grass fed beef from Evermore Farm and it is amazing, plus I feel good about eating it. Seriously, if you can spare the money, it is a great investment. If the additives in commercially sold meat isn’t enough to turn you off of it, then the treatment of the animals might change your mind 😦 Eat happy animals!! They taste better, for sure.

Here’s a pic of my workout buddies from this morning! I did 3 sets of:

10 pull ups (ok so I can do 1 full pull up with a jump start and then 9 hanging pathetic 1/8 pull ups)

10 push ups

10 tricep dips

10 bicep curls

10 tricep extensions (think this is what they’re called…)

5 lateral raises (this is pathetic, I know, but 10lbs is heavyyy!)

10 rotational dumbbell presses

Not so bad for a get up too late to gym it so have to work out at home workout!

 

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Failed Lamb Shanks & Tough Mudder Excitement

This morning I tried the plyometrics disc of P90x. OMG. That shit is not easy. All that jumping about. I like to workout with no shoes on, which made it a teensy bit more difficult, as I was attempting to not twist the eff out of my ankles. Next time: sneakers.

Want to hear about the lamb shanks I made this weekend?! I thought so. Doesn’t that sound so fancy and yummy?? Lammmbbbb shanks. Either shanks aren’t for me or I sucked at cooking these shanks. It was suggested to me that I just bought bum shanks, but I’m gonna go with these other two options, cause these shanks were BAD. The sauce was good, but the shanks ended up kind of like shanky shoe leather that tasted…interesting. As Chris said, “Well, they aren’t BAD…” Right. But they aren’t good either!! Here’s a peak…they look good!

This is right after I bought them from the farmer’s market! Don’t they look pretty sitting with their good buddy brussel stalk?!

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This is pre-cooking, shanks browned and put in the crock with onions, garlic, beef broth, and spices.

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Unfortunately by the time they were done, I wanted to eat them so badly that I didn’t take a final picture. Anyhow, kind of a failed attempt at something different, but we still finished them. I made Chris some rice to go with his, and I made sauteed brussels for myself. YUM! I do love me some brussels like whoa. Crisped up in olive oil…or baked, whatever they are SO GOOD!

So this weekend I’m volunteering at the Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic in West Virginia. When I volunteered to volunteer I didn’t know where it was going to be. Had I known that I would have to get up at 3am to drive 1.5 hours to West Virgina…I may have no volunteered. OK so I probably still would have. I’m actually REALLY excited about the whole weekend.

Upon arrival I’ll be able to choose an area to volunteer in, and I’m hoping to be able to volunteer along the course, either at an obstacle or at a water station. I want to spend quality time cheering people on!! I know a few people participating in the event, so I’m hoping to be able to cheer them on. My volunteer shift ends around 12:30, at which time I’m going to find myself some food somewhere in Martinsburg, and then check into my hotel. Why did I get a hotel you ask?? Because I’m going to run the TM on Sunday!! Obviously. I have no team, so I’m going to have to force some tall meaty men to throw me over the walls and such, but from my experience at the last TM, everyone is always working together.

If anyone wants to join me, if you volunteer on Saturday you can run it on Sunday for only $60!!! You know you want to!

Whole30 Challenge?!

Since I completed the half marathon a few weeks ago, I’ve had to lay off the gym/running a bit due to my knee being a little off. I figured giving it a break would be the best idea. You know what ISN’T the best idea?? To eat like a wolverine while you aren’t exercising at all!! I’ve totally gained like 5lbs back in about three weeks, which is really annoying. However, it’s all my fault, so I’m not about to get bent out of shape about it. Most of those cheats were in alcoholic form, which means I had a good time cheating, and I like good times. But, the ‘hey, let’s party and eat like we have 21 year old bodies with crazy fast metabolism’ days are over for the time being. Time to get serious again for a while (until the bachelorette party I have the first week of May anyway!).

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would commit to no alcohol during the week of April, which would help me get my health and fitness back on track again. However, when it comes down to it, I have to get even more serious, and need to also focus on the food I’m taking in. When I was at my most strict, and eating almost completely paleo, I felt my best. That’s where I’d like to get back to.

So, after long deliberation, I’ve decided to commit to completing the Whole30 Program, which can be found here: http://whole9life.com/2012/08/the-whole30-program/. This program is outlined thoroughly on the website, and is completely free, so really, the commitment of finishing is all to myself, and nobody else. However, now that I’m broadcasting it here…I’d look pretty bad if I gave up!

Here is the basic outline of the program:

For 30 days, none of the following:

  • No added sugar, including maple syrup, stevia, splenda, etc.
  • No alcohol of any kind.
  • No grains whatsoever.
  • No legumes.
  • No carrageenan, sulfites, or MSG.
  • No dairy.
  • No white potatoes. (sweet potatoes = A OK)
  • Also, no weighing myself for the duration, as this isn’t the point of the program…this is a tricky one for me, I like to check in!
  • No attempting to make “paleo” desserts/breads/treats…there go my sweet potato brownies!!! 😦

Basically that’s it…super strict paleo eating…I think it’s gonna be hard, but I’m committed!! To all my friends…be supportive! Don’t offer me wine and yell at me if I start to slip up! Wish me luck!!!

Paleo Bashing

I’m super proud of how well I’ve been doing in my attempt to adopt a more paleo lifestyle. I allow myself a cheat every week, but other than that I’ve been very strict, and what’s great is that I feel awesome, both emotionally and physically. It is amazing what a difference putting good food into your body can make. I guess I never really realized it until I really buckled down and made an effort to plan out my meals and choose not to give in to my carb cravings. Once I got over the first couple weeks, the cravings were less and less, and then once my body started feeling so great, it didn’t seem worth it to put any processed food into it anymore. I’m even LOVING drinking my coffee black now! So yummy.

Mostly I've been sticking to decaf, but today I treated myself to some caffiene!

Mostly I’ve been sticking to decaf, but today I treated myself to some caffeine!

I’m NOT bashing anyone’s way of eating AT ALL. Let me just get that outta the way. People tend to act offended and/or defensive when they hear that someone is paleo or primal. Why? We aren’t attacking your way of eating. If you feel good in your body then by all means, eat whatever you want!! I will be jealous of you, because if I could eat whatever I wanted, it would be amazing. But when I go down that road, my body is sad. Anyhow, I guess I just wish people’s reactions were different…The hardest thing about sticking to this lifestyle is dealing with other people. Isn’t that ridiculous? Yeah, it is hard to not eat my favorite foods every day, but after a while that struggle goes away, like I said. But people don’t go away. Which is annoying, because everyone always has something to say about eating paleo or primal. “Oh…you eat that way…” and “well what DO you eat?!” or “But whole grains are HEALTHY!!”

Don’t get me started on what is ‘healthy’. I feel very strongly on this subject since I’ve done more research and really tried eating a variety of different ways. It bothers me that America’s version of healthy is simply slapping a label on a product that says LOW CALORIE, or 100 CALORIE PACK!!! Sweet, those over processed mini cookies filled with a hundred ingredients nobody has ever heard of, only have 100 calories…THEY MUST BE GOOD FOR ME!!! I mean, they aren’t poison. And they aren’t BAD for you, but if you’re looking to put something into your body that is healthy, don’t put preservatives and processed sugar and who knows what else in…chop up some veggies, eat a salad, scramble an egg, shred some chicken! …. uh oh, I’ve gone off the deep end a little! But I think it is important to understand what you’re putting into your body, where it came from, and how it affects you overall. Definitely something worth thinking about.

Who wants to see my lunch yesterday?! I knew you did…

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Shredded crock pot chicken, seasoned ground beef, and spring mix it up!!