Tag Archives: fitness

Healthy Goals for March

February was a month of major ups and major downs. More on that tomorrow. Sort of.

Anyway, it made me think that maybe I need to set some simple, healthy and reasonable goals for myself to focus on throughout the month of March.

1. See my friends more.

I had the pleasure of seeing all of these smiling faces last night, which in turn put a huge smile on my face. I spent so much of February sick that I ended up being holed up in my apartment for most of it. No more! I’m happiest around my friends. And gosh, they’re great.

2. Get back into my fitness routine.

Between a very busy work schedule and losing my patience with my ever-frustrating knee, I’ve been in a phase in my life in which fitness has been on the back-burner. I so miss the fitness side of myself (and of this blog!).

Fortunately, I talked to my Physical Therapist about this last night, and she decided that we’re going to come up with a consistent fitness routine for me that I can keep up even with the knee problem.

Right now, we’re leaning towards Pilates. While this would be an expensive decision to make, I also feel it would likely be one I wouldn’t regret.

3. Master the art of painting my own toenails.

Random, but it’s a solid budgetary goal. I’ve already mastered the art of painting my fingernails (you have no idea how long of a process this has been). Any pedicure tips?

4. Cook more.

Especially, cook more foods like this:

20120301-093943.jpg

Those were dishes cooked for me last night at the dinner party with those wonderful people you saw pictured above. So delicious and so healthy! Specifically, those foods are salad, Vegan Ragu, and Kale, Mustard Greens and Butternut Squash.

Amazing.

The Vegan Ragu recipe was created by my friend James and the Kale recipe was created by my friend Brian. I convinced each of them to email me their recipes. I will post them this month!

So, some sub-goals…

4a. Cook and post about the Vegan Ragu.

4.b. Cook and post about the Kale, Mustard Greens and Butternut Squash.

Now that they’re specifically listed out like that for the world to see, I can’t get lazy about it. 🙂

Oh, we also ate this delicious Apple & Almond Cake last night. I’ll be making this at some point, too!

I don’t know if that’s a March goal, but itwill happen.

5. Get more sleep.

I make this goal every month. I rarely follow through. Doesn’t mean I won’t try this month.

6. Take my vitamins every day.

See Goal #5. 🙂

6. Take some me time.

20120301-110142.jpg

I don’t know if I’m quite the type for Meditation or anything, but I do know that I need to find some balance in my life. I work a lot. I love the work I do — and all of the jobs I have — but I also stopped finding much time for myself. Not having the gym be a daily part of my life these days took away time that used to be my “me time.”

Lately, I’ve been taking my hours off to watch TV or read scripts for work. While these are great ways to escape, I think that’s exactly what I’m doing — escaping. Maybe I need to take time to write in a journal, or something. I’m not even sure how to spend “me time” anymore.

How do you spend your “me time?” And what are some of your goals for March?

2 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts, Recipes

WIAW(T) January 31

Rabbit, rabbit!

Can you believe it’s February already? Though, while I feel like January flew by, I also simultaneously feel like New Year’s Eve was forever ago.

I started my day off at 6am yesterday with exercise in the form of a (lame) Pilates video on Netflix streaming.

20120201-104619.jpg

I didn’t know it was lame til I was already in it, and by then it was too late. It might not be that lame for people who can actually adjust to the harder levels (there’s three to choose from: easy, intermediate and advanced), but I had to adjust each exercise (sometimes being forced to choose easy, sometimes being forced to choose advanced) around my knee rather than my strength or ability.

Anyway, I later had breakfast at work. It was my new favorite breakfast (seen on the last WIAW), plus some glazed walnuts that somebody had donated to the kitchen.

20120201-104638.jpg

So, into the mix went:

  • 1 vanilla Activia yogurt
  • 1 medium banana, halved/sliced
  • ~1/3 cup raw oats
  • ~1/8 cup (if that) glazed walnuts (from TJ’s — really yummy!)

All mixed up and ready to party work:

20120201-104643.jpg

I had breakfast #2 (or… morning snack) in the form of a healthy, vegan, whole wheat blueberry muffin that one of my co-workers had baked and brought to the office.

20120201-104648.jpg
I mean, with a description like that, did you really expect me to turn it down?

No. The answer there should just be a solid no.

Lunch was the second half of the Grilled Atlantic Salmon Salad I’d ordered from Aroma Cafe (my favorite!) the day before, plus a piece of buttered (well, Smart Balanced) whole wheat toast.

20120201-104656.jpg

Note to self: salmon salads are better day of.

Lunch dessert: a mug-full of melon salad.

20120201-104708.jpg

My afternoon snack was unexpected but lovely. I’d brought carrots and hummus with me, but an office meeting (of which I was not a part) had leftovers from their Artisan Cheese Gallery platter.

So… I couldn’t help myself and made a little tasting plate.

20120201-104728.jpg

For the record, Artisan Cheese Gallery has some of the best cheese I’ve ever tasted. Somehow, even their roasted almonds are some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

On that little (“little”) plate, I had a few (small) slices of baguette, three different kinds of cheese (one gouda, one brie, and one I’m not sure of but was delicious… I think it might have been a goat cheese?), some roasted & salted almonds, some dried cranberries, some dried cherries, and one piece of dried kiwi.

It was divine. Divine, I tell you.

… Also really filling. Whoops.

Worth it.

However, I definitely wouldn’t have had that slice of toast with lunch if I’d known what was to come.

Anyway, by the time dinner rolled around, I wasn’t really that hungry (I wonder why?). I did, however, know that I wanted to make something so I’d have leftovers for lunch today and tomorrow. I’m trying to cut back on the amount of frozen prepared meals I eat, so making big meals at home with leftovers seems to be a good idea.

So, my dinner was a small serving of this big meal, which was eggs + TJ’s frozen garlic potatoes + TJ’s frozen broccoli & cauliflower in a parmesan sauce + a little extra parmesan/ romano for fun.

I also completely forgot to take a picture last night (shows how focused I was  on that dinner…), so I just took a picture of my tupperware-d lunch for today, since it was the same thing (just… more of it).

20120201-104733.jpg

I know — I thought it would be totally weird to reheat leftover eggs, too (if that’s what you’re thinking, which I assume you are) — but it actually works really well!

I also may or may not have had a handful of peanut butter chips as a dessert… which I shouldn’t have done.

Yesterday wasn’t my best day of healthy eating, but I figure it’s good to show both the good and the bad, right?

Oh, well. Today is a new day. 🙂

What are you eating on this fine first day of February?

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

WIAW: January 24 (Because it’s about Tuesday…)

I’m going to make this one quick… today is a little overwhelming at work!

I started yesterday off with a quick workout at the gym — just about 25 minutes of biking (all my knee can really handle at the moment) to get my metabolism started for the day.

20120125-120045.jpg

Breakfast: not-at-all overnight oats, which really is just more like… raw oats and vanilla yogurt with a whole banana, sliced. I have it all the time. I’m obsessed with it.

20120125-120051.jpg

Plus, all of the ingredients are free at the office, which is awesome.

Lunch: The Super Spinach Salad from Trader Joe’s, which I love. However, I replaced the dressing that comes with it with leftover balsamic vinaigrette from the salad I’d had from the day before because I am completely obsessed with that dressing.

20120125-120101.jpg

Snack #1: Cheese Stick. I am so into these lately.

20120125-120106.jpg

Snack #2: Cocoa Roast Almonds.

20120125-120118.jpg

Have you tried these yet? If not, don’t walk, but RUN to the nearest grocery store. These things are the bomb!!!

Yes, the bomb. You like it.

I also may or may not have nibbled on an amazing cookie — double chocolate pecan — made by a co-worker.

20120125-120205.jpg

Totally worth the calories. And the stomach-ache. Whatever. It was so good.

For dinner, I went out with a friend of mine to  Lala’s, which is an Argentinian restaurant and one of my all-time faves out here.

I started off with a slice of bread.

20120125-120215.jpg

I also split a small pitcher of Sangria with Tyler (the friend I went to dinner with, of course), which somehow went unpictured. I was probably too busy drinking it. The sangria, not Tyler.

Awkward.

Dinner was the Vegetable Plate, which is a skewer of grilled veggies. It comes with mashed potatoes, rice and salad,  but I figure mashed potatoes offer enough starch and I just get double salad.

20120125-120210.jpg

Works like a charm. Happy belly.

What are you eating today?

7 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

The First WIAW(T)

Hello and welcome to my first What I Ate Wednesday!

So, it kind of occurred to me that it’s not really going to be “What I Ate Wednesday” if I actually want to post in a timely fashion on Wednesdays. Whoops. However, you don’t really care what day I actually ate my food on, right? (‘Cause, if you did, that’d be sort of weird…). What I figure is that I’ll post on Wednesday mornings but write about my Tuesday eats. NBD.

Well, I’ll start with my workout: I began the morning with an arms strength training set and all of my knee PT exercises. I’m getting so much stronger! Thank goodness for that.

Now for the food. There’s a lot of sickness going around my office these days, so I’ve decided that I’m jut going pack myself full of lots of fruits and veggies to naturally get as many vitamins into my body as possible right now.

To start my day off right in that sense, I made myself a smoothie — even though it was so cold out yesterday!

20120117-225326.jpg

Into the mix went: (gosh, remember when I used to write that daily?)

  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbs whey unflavored protein powder (from the bulk bins — SO much cheaper!)

I really wanted spinach, but I didn’t have any on hand.

20120117-225333.jpg

Very easy and healthy breakfast-on-the-go for a busy girl like myself!

Speaking of meals on-the-go… lunches, at least for the next three months, are almost exclusively going to have to be prepared meals (unless I happen to have leftovers). I’m so busy right now  — I have two jobs, one of which is an 11-hour/ day job and the other is before and after that work day.  So, at least for these three months, I’ve just decided to be okay with prepared lunches.

That being said, I’m doing my best to find healthy options in a variety of places (especially so I don’t get sick of anything).

20120117-225339.jpg
I got this Southwest Quinoa Salad at Fresh & Easy the other day, thinking that F&E had never failed me before. Sadly, however, this might have been the time. There’s a first for everything, right?

20120117-225345.jpg

It certainly wasn’t terrible (I ate all of it!), but I chose to warm it up (it’s supposed to be served cold) and flavor it with salt & pepper. I might not be the target audience for this meal, though — I loathe the taste of raw red onion, which was a fairly overpowering feature of the dish.

I’ve decided to treat my post-lunch sweet tooth with chocolate in vitamin form. Adora has become my lunchtime dessert.

20120117-225350.jpg
Whoever came up with that idea is a genius.

I’ve totally gotten out of the habit of taking pictures of my food. I didn’t remember to take a picture of my snack (a banana and peanut butter) until I’d almost finished it!

20120117-225356.jpg

Dinner was the most exciting meal of the day. Do you remember Parvin, the girl who gave me P90X? Well, she lives on the east coast, but she’s visiting for the week. I was lucky enough to be included in a dinner she and another friend of ours from middle school, Christine, hosted. They even made a vegetarian option for me! How nice is that?

20120117-225408.jpg

On my plate: vegetarian Thai fried rice, garlic blackened brussels sprouts and salad.

20120117-225414.jpg

I had second(small) scoops of both the rice and the brussels sprouts. So good!

Speaking of good, Christine and Parvin made these delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Their secret ingredient? Ground cloves! Though Parvin made me a little nervous when her clue to the secret ingredient was “you can smoke it.”

20120117-225420.jpg

However, that might have made it a little easier to explain why I had not one, but two. Oh well.

Here’s the group:

20120117-225426.jpg

They were all so much fun! I’d only ever met Christine and Parvin before, so I got to talk to lots of new people.

Alright, so, let’s hear it: What are you eating this Wednesday?

2 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Back in the Gym

I barely took any pictures this past weekend, which makes the whole “snapshots of my life” thing a little moot. First one, too! Oh, well.

The good news is, the one picture I did take kind of represents my entire weekend.

20120116-122941.jpg

I went back to the gym.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

I had this really wonderful moment over the weekend. I was walking around and I noticed that my legs felt strong. This is a feeling with which I was, for a long time, very familiar. It was a feeling that I associated with my definition of myself and was one I thought I’d always have.

But then, I went and I hurt myself and then I had to get surgery. My muscles atrophied and I lost all ability to work out — especially my legs! So, for a long time, I lost my strength in my legs and simply forgot what that felt like.

Between my recent pilates classes, my PT exercises, the fact that I’m running around on my feet for 11+ hours a day for work (no exaggeration, seriously), and my return to the gym, my muscles are working again… which means I’m getting strong again.

It’s so good feeling like me. Here’s to a continuation of this trend, huh? I can’t wait until I’m working out for real again. It’s a slow and steady process. My PT tells me I won’t be back to 100% until April at this point (so much further out than December, am I right?) but honestly, just knowing that there is an end date to all of this is enough to keep me going.

What are the muscles on your body that make you feel strong? Mine are definitely my quads. Definitely.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Running Envy

I miss lacing these guys up for fun reasons.

20111114-112023.jpg

You know that feeling of excitement and anticipation and a little bit of dread (I even miss that part)  before a run? Because you know it’s going to take you at least a mile to get into it but that once you’re in the middle of mile two you’re going to feel amazing and by mile three, you’re going to feel like a superhero.

Or, at least, that’s how I feel when I run.

Well, ran.

I love that feeling — the sense of a strong body and power and the feeling that I can do anything if I can run six miles and still feel like I could keep going at the end of it.

Of course, it’s now been over a year since I’ve run six miles, and it’s been almost a year since I ran at all. December 11, to be exact.

(Which, yes, DOES mean my birthday is coming up, thankyouverymuch for noticing…)

Anyway, it’s been almost a year, so I’ve obviously had running envy for a while now. I’ve mentioned it. However, I’ve noticed my jealousy even more than usual lately. I think it’s the whole “mobilly-challenged” thing.

(Side note: mobilly challenged? Is that right? I just asked the entire office at work how to spell that and nobody knew. I swear I’m smart. Sometimes.)

Anyway. Running Envy. It doesn’t take much.

Honestly, all I need to do is look down at a sidewalk and I get a little sad.

20111114-112011.jpg

However, I’ve done this before — I get a little too wrapped up in what I can’t  do that I end up not even doing the things I can do.

Stupid.

I’m so predictable, too. Because, for the past few weeks, I’ve been sort of slacking off on my PT exercises (predictable) and haven’t picked up my weights once (also predictable).

There’s nothing wrong with my arms, friends. Nothing.

Anyway, I decided to get my act together today and change that. So, this morning, I woke up at 6:30, went to the gym, did my 15 minutes on the bike, came home, did my leg PT exercises once (I’m supposed to do them four times a day), lifted weights for 30 minutes (woohoo!), and then did my leg PT exercises again.

20111114-112017.jpg

It’s ridiculous how much better I already feel. And it’s not like this is a new lesson, or anything. This is a lesson I’ve learned before.

Anyway, I think I’ll easily slip back into this routine, so I’m not worried about this whole feeling-sorry-for-myself-and-not-doing-anything-to-help-myself thing continuing. I think the trick is waking up early to do these things, just as I used to do for my workouts. I have to think of this as my new workout because otherwise I get lazy about it.  I never (well, very rarely) get lazy about working out, so it’s just going to be a matter of a little mind trick.

That makes sense, right?

I do, however, want to mix up my arms & abs  routine a bit, since I’ll clearly be focusing on them. So — What are your favorite arms & abs exercises?

 

4 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts

Post-Surgery Update

So, as I’m sure you know by now, I got surgery on Wednesday. My first Post-Op is later this morning (and by “later this morning” I mean at 8:45… and I can say “later” because I’ve been up since 5:00…). At the Post-Op, I’ll (hopefully) learn a lot more about what happened during the surgery, but all I know for now is that it went well.

I don’t remember much in the hours after my surgery, so it’s very fortunate that Mark was there with me to hear everything that the nurses had to pass on. I thought I was completely with it (I remember making jokes and everything!), but Mark has recounted numerous things that were discussed, of which I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever.

I couldn’t feel much, either. My entire left leg was numb from a nerve block, so I had no feeling in that leg at all.

Just a couple of hours after my surgery was over, Mark and I arrived home and I attempted my first venture on crutches — while still pretty heavily drugged, with a numb leg, and on a bumpy concrete hill. Within three steps, I fell. I went straight backwards. I’m pretty sure I took at least a year off of Mark’s life in that moment. Fortunately, I fell in the best possible way — on my butt on the right (AKA non-surgical) side. I feel so lucky that I fell neither on my head nor my just-operated-upon leg.

I’ve been in bed since I got home on Wednesday, other than getting up to go to the bathroom. I’ve been keeping my leg in the brace (as I have to) and elevated.

On Wednesday, I wasn’t in much pain at all because the nerve block was still in place. I took the painkillers (Percocet) they gave my preemptively (as they’d told me to do), though. They made me drowsy, nauseated, and SO ITCHY! Being itchy from the meds kept me up for hours.

I woke up on Thursday and found that I wasn’t in much pain at all. I was also under the impression that the nerve block had worn entirely off. I let myself have a lot of false confidence that I was going to be this pain-free for the duration of the healing process and decided that I’d go without painkillers from there on out.

Wrooooong! As the day went on and the nerve block actually disappeared, I found out just how much pain I was in: a lot. Unfortunately, it’s only gotten worse from there.

Yesterday afternoon, I tried Norco (a version of Vicoden), a new painkiller my doctor gave me when I called and explained how itchy the Percocet made me. I found, however, that it didn’t do much of anything for me. I’ve decided that the itch resulting from the Percocent is worth dealing with since it relieves so much pain, so I’ve been on that ever since. Happily, the side effects have lessened with more use.

I’ve also been icing regularly, which relieves a lot of the pain.

I’ve also been watching tons of TV — mostly, so far, The O.C. (I get to focus on other peoples’ drama instead of my pain) and The Big Bang Theory (laughter is the best medicine!).

But you know what’s been the most effective in making me feel better? The amazing people in my life.

I’ve gotten so many emails, text messages, facebook posts and phone calls from friends, family and blog readers, which has made me feel so loved.  Thank you so much to every single one of you!

My Mom and Dad sent me these beautiful flowers:

And my Grandma and Grandpa sent me these beautiful flowers:

I love that the colors of the flowers match. I guess orange, coral and yellow are “get well” colors? Either way, I love how bright and gorgeous they are. They make me feel cheery.

My physical therapist and friend, Leigh, went absolutely above and beyond. She came over last night to check in on me, chat, massage my leg, reduce my swelling, and calm my nerves.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, it hurt like a bitch (though I am not actually crying in that picture — I’m fake pouting). I could not, however, have been more grateful. Seriously, she is the best friend and physical therapist, ever. She did that during her free time and out of the goodness of her heart. I am very lucky.

Speaking of lucky, I need to send the world’s biggest shout-out to Mark right now. He has taken the BEST care of me and I can honestly say that I don’t even think I’d be alive without him. He has waited on me hand and foot and has been so kind and giving that I haven’t been able to stop thanking him.

I mean, first of all, he’s been there to help me physically. You can see him here massaging my leg on my first day home to help me avoid blood clots (apparently one of those things that the nurses told us after my surgery, which I don’t remember at all).

He has also hovered over me as I’ve hobbled on my crutches.

But it goes beyond that. He washed my hair for me yesterday, he has fetched me every single meal and drink and random request, he has picked up my medicine, he has communicated with my family, he has soothed me when I’ve cried, and he has even made me ridiculously delicious homemade meals… like  blueberry muffins:

and French Onion soup:


I am the luckiest girl in the world. I don’t know how I landed this guy as a best friend and roommate.

THANK YOU, MARK!!!!!!

Seriously, guys, do I have the best friends ever, or what?

So, who’s had surgery before? Who wants to share their stories? I need something to entertain me as I lie here in bed!

13 Comments

Filed under Blog Posts