Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clean Food Challenge Day 3 and a Hill Workout

Well I must have just needed that one day to kick me in the pants and give this challenge a real try! Day 3 went MUCH better than Day 2 and so far so good on Day 4!

Here's what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon and honey

Lunch: Banana and leftovers from Monday night's dinner (so there was a little bit of cheese in it)

Pre-run Snack: Fruit salad from Wegmans (watermelon, honey dew melon, cantaloupe, grapes, pineapple and kiwi) and a brown rice cake with tahini butter

Dinner: (Thank you Jen for using this during an earlier CFC!) Brown rice pasta with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, olive oil, onion powder and garlic powder (Mike had this too!)

Tastes almost the same as regular pasta!

Dessert: Green smoothie and a handful of almonds

Nice green color

The green smoothie was AMAZING! I do have to tweak it a little bit to try to figure out how to get rid of the leaf chunks, but other than that it was great! I found the recipe on Pinterest yesterday and knew I wanted to try it.

1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1 pear
1 1/2 cups orange juice (100% juice with no added sugar)
1 frozen banana

Really funny story about the banana, I put it in the freezer with the peel still ON! After our run I opened the freezer and when I couldn't get the peel off (duh) I put it back in the fridge to let it thaw a little bit. I peeled it later and put it back in the freezer. Lesson learned.

I'm looking forward to tonight's smoothie!

I also drank 60 ounces of water yesterday. Overall, I would say I had a 99% clean day!

Mike and I also did our first hill workout yesterday. We headed out to Cobbs Hill and decided to run up the monster hill there and then loop around the reservoir and back out to the main road, just to do it all over again!

We ran up that dirt/gravel path

You can even see the path on Google Maps!

We did a .3 mile warmup, it should be longer next time, and then we started a "lap". We actually set our watches so that we could control when a lap started and ended. We did three laps around Cobbs Hill:

Lap 1 (1.01 miles): 10:05 minutes (10:00 pace)
Lap 2 (1.01 miles): 10:10 minutes (10:03 pace)
Lap 3 (1.02 miles): 10:14 minutes (10:00 pace)

Mike actually ran ahead of me the majority of the time and he turned around after the third lap and met back up with me. We did a cool down of .21 miles (at 9:08 pace) and the entire run averaged at 9:56 pace. Not bad for such a monstrous hill!

Next time we want to do more laps, but the park closes at 6pm at this time of the year so we would have cut it close if we tried to do a fourth lap!

We saw so many runners out and about in the Cobbs Hill area, it was crazy!

Have you had a green smoothie before? Do you like hill workouts?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CFC Day 2 and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Review

Well if you read my post yesterday, you know that day two of the CFC did not go as well as planned. After my episode in the shower my day did not start off on the right foot, I had a bagel with some butter substitute, but overall it wasn't the worst food day I have ever had.

Sorry no photos of my food!

Breakfast: Bagel with butter substitute

Lunch: Two brown rice cakes, a banana and almonds (later I had the pop-tart)

Dinner: A brown rice casserole with pineapple, organic chicken, salsa and a little bit of cheese on top and apple juice

I cooked the brown rice first, we buy the instant kind, and then put it in the bottom of a glass baking dish. We cut the pineapple and chicken up into chunks and topped everything with the little bit of salsa we had left in the jar. Everything was cooked in the 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. We took it out and topped it with some Mexican cheese blend and put it back in the oven for five minutes. It is so good! We have had this before, with slight variations, and it always turns out amazing.

Dessert: Oops! Starbucks and some mini dessert treats

I only had about 40 ounces of water yesterday, but other than the apple juice and Starbucks it was all I drank.

Now on to the review!

Some of you may remember when I said that I wanted to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred the entire month of December. Well that totally didn't happen! I haven't even done 30 days of the DVD yet, but I am close! I only have 9 more days until I have done each level 10 times.

Jillian, you may annoy me at times but you are amazing!

Yesterday I did my first day of Level 3 of "The Shred" and it was really hard! This is the first level that I think I am going to have to wear sneakers while doing it because there are a lot more jumping moves involved. (You probably should wear sneakers the entire time you do it, but I would get lazy sometimes).

How did I feel about this entire DVD? It is AMAZING! It is short enough that you don't feel like you need to block off too much time to get a workout in, but boy do you work up a sweat!

Level 1: Well, I did this so long ago that I don't even really remember the specifics but I do know that this is my least favorite level. The moves are pretty basic once you get the hang of it and I actually started to memorize the routine. I probably won't do this level on its own in the future, but I will combine it with level 2 or level 3 for a longer workout.

Level 2: This is probably going to be my favorite level (I have to give level 3 a few more days until I can have a solid opinion on it)! It was challenging enough, but easy enough to follow along with what Jillian was saying. One minute plank twists is really all I have to say about this level!

Level 3: Since I have only done it for one day I don't have a full opinion on this level but it is level 3 for a reason! You do some of the similar moves as level 1 and level 2 but there is added resistance and/or jump moves. The first circuit is definitely the most challenging, or at least I thought so, and then it does get a little bit easier. As I said in the beginning, I am going to have to wear sneakers for this level so I don't injure myself!

Moving forward I would like to increase the amount of weight that I use, 3 pounds is pretty light now, and I will probably combine levels in the same day. This is a great DVD for that!

Have you wanted to get "shredded" but haven't coughed up the money yet? Well if you are signed up for my virtual race you have a chance to win the DVD! Not only will the randomly selected winner of my race win a pair of Tommie Copper calf compression sleeves but they will also win a copy of the 30 Day Shred (plus some other fun goodies, like Nuun, etc.)!

You know you want to help celebrate my birthday with me!

Make sure you get yourself signed up in the original post, here. It is coming up quick (I will have a post with the bib and final instructions before the day of the race)!

Have you done Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred? Do you love any of her other DVDs (looking for suggestions for my next one!)?

Note: I purchased my own copy of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, as well as the prize DVD for my virtual race. I was not compensated in any way for this review and the comments and opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Clean Food Challenge Day One and Done

Well it's not surprising from the title of this post, but I made it through day one of One Mom in Maine's Clean Food Challenge. It might not be quite as obvious, though, that I already had to cheat, more on that later.

I first wanted to do this challenge, or something similar, because I know that I am sensitive to certain types of food, namely dairy (I was lactose-intolerant when I was a baby). I don't feel horrible when I eat the foods that I normally eat but I know that I could feel a lot better. Mike and I are both busy twenty-something year old individuals and we do cut corners here and there. If anything I would love to give up over-processed foods (almost any food is processed unless you get it in its natural state, even frozen vegetables) and start to make more things from scratch.

In addition, I want to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet. We do eat fruits and vegetables daily, but not as much as I would like.

What I have learned through the one day that I have done this challenge is that it is extremely difficult for people to buy healthy food that is reasonably priced. In addition, it takes so much more time going through the grocery store checking labels and back-tracking through the aisles to make sure you didn't overlook that one item you want. I do not envy people with severe food allergies!

This took me quite awhile to find and buy!

Yesterday I ate really well and the food I ate is not to blame for me "giving up" on this challenge. I am disappointed in myself, though, and I had to make sure that Mike still loves me even though I gave up. He does.

Here's what I ate yesterday.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with cinnamon, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries (I made so much of it that it started to bubble over in the microwave, oops!)


Lunch: Brown rice cake with tahini butter (sesame seed) and a banana

I like almond or peanut butter better, but this was still good!

Snacks: Handfuls of almonds and kale chips with olive oil and garlic powder (so good!)

Mike even liked these!

Dinner: Salad with spinach, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and olive oil and an omelet (no cheese of course) with mushrooms and broccoli

Eggs for dinner? Don't mind if I do!

Dessert: Strawberries with honey

The biggest shocker was that I drank the entire 1 gallon (128 ounces) of water yesterday. I think I got a little bit of a water headache because my body is NOT used to me drink that much water. I made sure to space it out throughout the day, 40 oz in the morning, 40 oz at lunch and 48 oz with dinner so that I wouldn't constantly be in the bathroom.

Now for the bad news. Today I ate a bagel and a pop-tart because I realized that this challenge is too much for me. While I was in the shower I was thinking about everything that I had to do for the challenge this week and I noticed my heart started to race. Then I felt sick and everything started to get dark, which signaled to me that I was about to pass out. After sitting down and trying to get Mike's attention, he was downstairs with Bernie, I finally got out of the shower. I called Mike upstairs and I just realized that I was stressing out too much about this challenge.

As I said earlier, I do not blame what I ate yesterday for what happened to me AT ALL. I ate food that gave me more energy than what I normally eat and I definitely had enough of it! Clean eating, in Emilie's words, does not mean that you are only eating celery or salads.

I realized that I still want to somewhat participate in the challenge, but in moderation. I am going to try to eat clean as much as possible, drink as much water as I can (but definitely not 128 oz worth) and avoid over-processed food. I want this to be a lifestyle change for us, not just a one time thing, so easing into it will most likely be the better choice!

I hope that I didn't disappoint anyone and don't worry our new recipe this week will be clean, most likely something with quinoa since I'm dying to try it!

How do you incorporate a healthier diet into your busy life? Any tips on how to make it affordable?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pizza Party Series Finale 10K (GRTC Freezeroo Series #6) Race Recap

Yesterday was the last race in the Freezeroo Series hosted by GRTC! Mike and I really enjoyed this series and we are definitely planning on doing it again next year, hopefully we can do all six races instead of just the last five.

I had been checking the weather throug
hout the week and I was worried that it was going to snow. We were actually supposed to get snow Thursday night into Friday morning, but when we woke up nothing had happened. Friday it rained most of the day and on Saturday morning there wasn't much snow on the ground! Perfect for a race.

Unfortunately, the race was in a different town and as we got closer we started to experience white-out conditions. As cars pulled off the exit that we had to take to the race, I knew that they were all runners! Who else would be out in those conditions?

I was a little concerned about the weather and I wasn't sure if I was goin
g to be able to accomplish my goal of officially breaking an hour in the 10K. Luckily, right before the race started the snow diminished and the roads were pretty clear!

Right at 10:00am we took off and I tried to pace myself. My first two miles were 9:08 and 8:44! I really don't know where that came from but I'm glad that I pulled that time off.

Still doing pretty good

The course was an out and back and as we neared the turn around the road conditions worsened. The road was covered in snow and it was hard to keep up a fast pace. Mike and I saw each other and, of course, cheered each other on and waved.

Mike "hearts" sweat too!

Snowy roads

I was a little bit disappointed th
at there wasn't any water at the turn around! I had been expecting it and in the end I really needed it, I think I was a little bit dehydrated at the end of the race. This was the first race in the series, except the 5K, where they didn't provide any water.

When I turned around I just kept telling m
yself to get back to the clearer roads and I would be golden. I knew that if I could speed up the last two miles that I would get a PR.

The weather had other plans. The wind was horrendous! I h
ad to push really hard to even feel like I was moving! I kept looking at my watch and I was so frustrated when one time it was above 11:00 minute per mile pace! I did lower it, but I wasn't so confident about breaking an hour anymore.

After 5 miles, I knew that it was going to be close. As I neared the end of the race, I saw Mike on the sidelines and he cheered me on because he knew that I had to push to break an hour.

Giving it his all!

So ready to be done!

As I crossed the finish line the clock was still under an hour! My final time was 59:54 and I was really happy that I accomplished my goal. I know that if I had gone 1 second slower per mile (average pace) that I wouldn't have accomplished it!

Mike's final time was 51:28, he did amazing!

After the race we went in and got some water and food. We waited around because they were going to hand out the series age group and overall awards and I knew that I might win something.

Before they started the awards, I saw the paper with the results and I came in 2nd in my age group overall! Good thing I saw the paper because when the announcer called my name, he totally butchered our last name!

Want to know what I won? $15 or as Mike said, "cash money".

Now that I have accomplished my year goal of running a 10K under 1 hour, I have my sights set on a 55:xx 10K. I've got this!

Edited to add: I did this as my 10K for Livin the Fit Life's Grandma Lill's Happy 95th Half Marathon/10K Virtual Race! I did have pink on, my hat, but I had to take it off a mile or so in, I was too hot!

You still have time to enter the virtual race if you want!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Clean Food Challenge Planning

I just had a moment of panic in the grocery store.

Tomorrow I am starting Emilie's Clean Food Challenge (CFC) and I wanted to purchase everything that I would need for the week. When I realized that I was going to have to buy dried beans and soak them before cooking them, I freaked out and Mike and I put everything that we had in the cart back. I was also worried because I didn't really know what I was going to be able to eat this week.

When I got home I regrouped and decided that soaking and cooking the beans in our crock pot wouldn't be so bad. I'm going to head back to the grocery store tomorrow and pick up everything that I planned on buying, as well as some extra stuff.

During the CFC I can't consume sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol nor any processed foods. (I am going to allow 3 grams of sugar and whatever else is in my gummy vitamins that I take every day). In addition, I can only eat organic and lean meats, like chicken.

The easiest part of this challenge is going to be the no alcohol part. I don't drink very often and the last time I had an alcoholic beverage was the Super Bowl and I probably wouldn't have had any this week regardless of the challenge!

The hardest part will probably be the no dairy and no sugar, but I know I can do it.

Here are some ideas that I have saved on Pinterest for clean meals (some will need to be modified and certain ingredients will need to be omitted):

I also found this article and it says that canned beans as long as they are drained and rinsed are alright, but I'm not sure if they would be acceptable under Emilie's challenge rules.

My plan for the week is something like this:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit or a green smoothie
Lunch: Bean salads or fruit with almond (or sesame) butter and rice cakes
Dinner: Baked sweet or regular potatoes, eggs and rice, soups (I might buy some organic chicken)
Snacks: fruit, vegetables, rice cakes, nuts

I am also going to have to drink 1 GALLON of water everyday! Wish me luck on that one since I barely drink 32 ounces of water a day (1 gallon of water is equivalent to 128 ounces)!

I will keep you posted every day throughout the challenge!

Any recipes or suggestions for me?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

Well it was bound to happen eventually. After two months of trying new recipes, I finally didn't like one! However, this was entirely my fault and we will try the recipe again sometime with a slight modification.

No blue cheese crumbles next time!

So evil

I HATE blue (or bleu if you worked in a restaurant and that's how it was spelled) cheese and I don't know why I thought I would like it this time, but I went ahead and bought the crumbles anyway! Not smart, Jamie, not smart.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, surprise, surprise, and I was really excited to try it since Mike and I LOVE wings! When I first saw the recipe I was concerned about the blue cheese crumbles but I decided to give it a try since that is what this personal goal is all about, trying new things! I really should have just gone with my gut on this one and either just used ranch dressing instead or nothing at all. Lesson learned!

Here's the recipe:

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

The final product

Large pasta shells (we used the entire box but we had a lot of unused ones left over, luckily for me)
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup diced celery
6-8 tablespoons Frank's Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons blue cheese crumbles

We preheated our oven to 350 degrees and at the same time brought a pot of water to boil for the shells. Once that was ready we followed the instructions on the package and cooked the shells accordingly.

While that was going, we added some olive oil to our skillet and browned the ground chicken over medium-high heat (as the original recipe says you could use ground beef or turkey instead). This didn't take very long, maybe about five minutes, and then we added the garlic powder and the celery to the chicken. After cooking for about three minutes we took the skillet off of the burner in order to add the rest of the ingredients.

We stirred in the hot sauce, we did about 6 tablespoons because that is all we had in the bottle but in the future we will probably do a little bit more, ricotta cheese and blue cheese crumbles. (This is when everything went south for me since I could tell just by the smell that I was probably going to be disappointed in this meal. Prior to adding the blue cheese crumbles it smelled DELICIOUS and then it just smelled like feet).

Looks good, smells bad

After everything was mixed, we took the shells off of the stove. After draining them we should have run them under cold water (or the original recipe says to put them in a bowl of ice water) because they were HOT and burning our fingers a little bit.

Our silly oven mitt

We used spoons to stuff each of the shells and arranged them in an 8x11 pan, we also used a smaller pan for four other shells that wouldn't fit in the first pan. The recipe calls for you to sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of blue cheese crumbles on top of the shells but we only did that for some of them since I was already nervous about the blue cheese.

Ugh blue cheese

After cooking the stuffed shells in the oven for about 25 minutes it was time to eat!

Unfortunately, I could only get through three shells before I had to call it quits. I so desperately wanted to be able to eat them because I know that I would love them without the blue cheese but I just couldn't get past the strong taste. Mike loved them though! I'm glad that we had some leftover shells because I reheated them in the microwave and put some butter on them.

We will make this recipe again, but as I mentioned before we are either going to substitute ranch dressing for the blue cheese crumbles or skip it altogether!

How do you feel about blue cheese, do you love it or hate it? Have you ever tried so desperately to like a meal when deep down you know you hate it?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"New to You" Cross Training Challenge: Turbo Kick

Yesterday I did my February "new to me" cross training activity for Just Trying is for Little Girls' New to You Cross Training Challenge.

2 down, 10 to go

My friend Marissa and I promised each other that she would come running with me and I would go do Turbo Kick with her. Marissa is not a runner and I have never done Turbo Kick so I figured it would be a perfect opportunity for this challenge!

By the way, I just have to say that Marissa is pretty amazing. She is a spectacular sign language interpreter, she plays the fiddle in a great band and she teaches Turbo Kick. Not only that but she works crazy hours (she only sleeps four to five hours EVERY night) in order to help pay for her and her husband's adoption of two Deaf children from Ethiopia. Not babies, kids. Most likely 7 to 9 years old (they could be younger but from what she has told me most likely not). I can't wait to be "Aunt Jamie" (that's "awnt" not "ant") and I know that Marissa and Abe can't wait to be Mom and Dad! They are two years into this thing and if you could just think good thoughts for their referral I, and they, would appreciate it!

Rant over, now on to Turbo Kick.

Let me just say that it is tough! Marissa and I went to a class that is offered to students at the college we work at and since she knows the instructor we were able to go in without having to pay! I did try to get out of it but Marissa wasn't having it, I really was worried about being lost but she told me I was going to be lost regardless of if it was the LAST week of the class or not.

From what I gather there are different "rounds" (not sure which one we did yesterday) that you can do. I have seen it described as a combination of hip hop dance and kickboxing (if you would like to see a video of Mike and I hip hop dancing at our wedding check out this post).

Here's a video of what Turbo Kick can look like:

Well, I may not have burned 1,000 calories but she is definitely right about one thing, I didn't master it the first time! I got confused about which side I was supposed to be punching, if I was supposed to do something with my arms at the same time as my legs and I definitely had to stop and just stand there a few times! I still had a lot of fun though!

There was one funny thing that happened. About 25 minutes into the class the instructor all of a sudden yelled "TURBO" and I had no idea what was going to happen. I said to Marissa "we haven't been doing the hardest stuff, yet?" and she just laughed! I actually caught on to the "turbo" part quicker than the other stuff that we had been doing.

I also liked that we did some core work at the end of the workout.

Will I do Turbo Kick again? Yes, I definitely will! I'm actually going to look into taking a class next quarter and hopefully I will catch on quickly! I also want to take a class when Marissa is teaching sometime soon.

Have you ever tried Turbo Kick?