Thursday, January 31, 2013

Feel the Power of Strength Training

This Morning

There are few things that bring me more joy than manager special yogurt

Heck yes .49 cents. I may have purchased a few of these (10). 

This is a new brand of yogurt for me but overall it was pretty good. Creamy and delicious, like other Greek yogurts and not too high in sugar. I feel a little lost without my cranberry apple butter and plain yogurt. And you can't beat that price!!!

Other things purchased:
CRUMPETS (they were delicious, different but really good)

Yeah, I go to the grocery store and purchase a crockpot...this will be necessary for Superbowl Sunday.

Adorable baby butternut squashes. What's great? So small, basically single serving butternut squash! Love it.

Work it Out

Today while working out, my friend and I started talking about strength training and how a lot of women believe that lifting weights will make you look like a body builder. I started to think about how strong and powerful I feel when I lift weights and how much I have enjoyed Tina's Best Body Bootcamp because I have the opportunity to blend strength training and cardio. 

Why should women strength train? This article from LIVESTRONG gives really good reasons for strength training for women which include: strength, metabolism, bone health and heart health. You can read this article for the specifics: Women & Weight Lifting: Why All Women Need Strength Training

Exercise is wonderful and you should find what makes you feel good but there are some things things that make me feel uniquely athletic and incredibly strong. For me those things are strength training and running. An hour on the elliptical makes me sweat, but it doesn't make me grin when I leave the gym. 

Little peek of my muscles...and then....


I don't just feel strong, I feel beautiful. Do what makes you feel good and take care of your whole self. Be Awesome!

Do you like to strength train?

Ever purchase half price yogurt?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Workout Buddy Power!

Today was a fairly busy day at work. I started off with some delicious fruit and carrots
(trying to increase my veggies).

You can tell my desk is super organized...

After a busy morning, I met some folks for lunch in the dining hall and enjoyed spinach salad with some chicken breast and oranges on the side. There may have been a peanut butter cookie involved that was not pictured.

Work out

Today was week four of Tina's Best Body Bootcamp and I'm not going to lie to you, I really wasn't feeling it. My workout buddy Katie felt much the same way. As we were going through our circuits I was thinking about how important and valuable it is to have a workout buddy. This marks the fourth week we have done this bootcamp and for the most part we have been very consistent. What's more important than the consistency of our workouts is the fact that we have challenged and supported each other through these tough workouts. 

Our workout synergy included matching workout tops...awesome!

In the end, finding someone to support you is really important. We didn't want to be there today but we got through it. Workout buddy power!

I followed 30 minutes of circuit training with 25 minutes of stationary rowing. Note to time while rowing wear awesome gloves. I may be forming blisters. Not to mention wearing gloves will make me 3 times more bad ass which is 3 times more bad ass than I am currently.

My batwings look AWESOME!

For dinner I made this delicious concoction. 

Steamed broccoli, marinara sauce, Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs and a sliced apple. Yum! I love broccoli and marinara sauce. Who needs noodles? 

Do you have a workout buddy?

What do you do when you have an off workout day?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Good Books, Good Friends and Gelato

Book Club

In December over cookies, some friends decided to start a book club. Yesterday, was our first meeting. 

Since the Phoenix-Metro area is large, we decided to meet downtown at the Pita Jungle. Downtown Phoenix restaurants are fun and happen to be right in the middle of the metro area. The food was also delicious:

Cilantro JalapeƱo Hummus with chicken 

Chicken Chipotle Lavosh Pizza

Katie and I shared these two dishes and found that it was plenty of food between the two of us. I decided to make cute party favors for this meeting and set up the table before the others arrived.

Even if your living space is too small to entertain, I think you can add something special to a party at a restaurant. You can learn how to make these bookmarks in my craft tutorial.

This month we discussed "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.

The book was beautifully written and gave the club the opportunity to discuss race, class and medical ethics. Sounds pretty heavy but it was super fun! Next month we will be reading a love story in honor of Valentine's Day. 

After our meeting Katie and I decided we needed gelato in our lives and went to The Gelato Spot.

After numerous samples we both decided on the panna cota flavor. It tasted very creamy, with a milky carmel taste. Kind of a mild version of Flan.

YUM! I really love that I'm standing in front of the bathroom...I pose for the best pictures

Have you ever been in a book club?

This is my first and I love it so far

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? Ice cream or Gelato?

Gelato all the way for me. So far my favorite flavors are panna cota and I love their lemon flavor. Super tart

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Let's Get Crafty: Bookmark Place Cards

Bookmark place cards craft project

This weekend is my book club meeting and since many of the ladies involved don't know each other I thought it would be fun to create a party favor themed to the club and encourage folks to sit next to people they might not know very well. I decided to make bookmarks that serve as place cards since our meeting was at a restaurant. 

Step One: Collect project materials: Patterned paper, scissors, glue, ribbon, photocopied book pages, a pen and a Sharpie.

Step Two: Use an existing bookmark or cut out a piece of card stock to use a reference for cutting book marks out of patterned paper. I used an existing bookmark and cut it to the size I wanted my bookmarks to be.

Step Three: Trace shape using your guide and then cut out patterned paper. I chose different paper for each bookmark. 

Step Four: For text accents, cut a smaller guide to create uniform text accent pieces.

Trace shapes with guide. I decided to trace vertically.
Cut out the strips.

Step Five: Fit text accent over patterned paper as desired.

Paste in place and trim off the edges

Step Six: Add complimentary paper for name

Step Seven: Punch hole and add ribbon 

Thread ribbon through punched hole and bring ends through loop to make a slip knot.

And you're done!

So simple! Remember everyone can be crafty!

What's the best party favor you've ever made/received? 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

100 Push-ups, Affirmations and Last Chance Work Out

Today was the Endurance work-out C from Tina's Best Body Bootcamp. After my pep talk this morning, I was feeling ready to tackle this 100 reps endurance workout. I also decided to wear my heart rate monitor to get a feel for how hard I was working.

As I was waiting for my friend Katie to arrive at the gym, I decided to jog a little to test out my knee and warm up. I was able to run 3/4 of a mile with minimal pain so I think my IT band issues are improving. I am feeling pretty optimistic and think the strength training and stretching I have been doing is helping out.

Katie and I are considering running the Kiss me I'm Irish 4k race on March 9th. I think I should be able to run 2.5 miles by then.


The Workout

My weigh-ins are on Sunday and so, inspired by the Biggest Loser, I decided Saturday work-outs were going to be "Last Chance" workouts. I love the message of giving it all you got. I'm trying not be so scale focused but I found the "Last Chance" workouts on the BL to be pretty inspiring so I wanted to give it a chance. Before we started I decided to write down some affirmations to motivate me through the reps. Here were mine. *please excuse the curse words

This workout was organized in supersets and took us almost an hour to finish. I made Katie take some embarrassing pictures of me after we were done. more.

Please excuse my form, my legs were jello from the workout.

I bought that awesome stripy top last night as my reward for finishing three weeks of boot camp. I'm pretty proud of myself and loving all the strength training. I was able to do 20 regular push-ups and did the remaining 80 assisted on my knees.

After our workout Katie and I were ecstatic! Can't you tell?

We went to lunch at Chipotle and I decided we need to get ice cream from McDonalds as our treat. Katie passed but I love their vanilla cones, and at only 5 Points Plus it's a sweet that doesn't do too much damage.

I know, I look so awesome without makeup.

It's been raining here in Phoenix the past couple of days and you can tell the city wasn't really built for the rain.

The water was pretty deep.

Who says you don't need rain boots in Phoenix? You can use them at least 3-4 days out of the year.

I spent the rest of my evening in my Pro Compression socks working on homework.

What's your perfect Saturday?

Do you love strength training? 

Pep talk for Last Chance Workout

Hi Folks,

Hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday morning! I was in need of a pep talk this morning before my awesome Last Chance Saturday workout. Here's some words of encouragement for those who need it!

My favorite? "I wanna be on the road that leads to awesome!" and "we were all made to be awesome".

Whatever you're doing today remember "create something that will make the world awesome!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Official End of the Holidays and Pizza Friday

This Morning:

Well it's official, the holidays are over. This was marked by the completion of my favorite holiday treat this morning, Trader Joe's Cranberry Apple Butter.

It's so sad, I'm not going to lie to you, I looked on Amazon to see how much it would cost to purchase this stuff out of season. Unfortunately $12.00/ bottle is a little out of my price range. I love this apple butter on top of plain greek yogurt. Simple, low sugar way to sweeten plain yogurt.

RIP Cranberry Apple Butter...I will see you in October. Marty was kind enough to remind me that it's "only ten more months"...thanks Marty.

Every Friday we have PIZZA! So happy Pizza Friday!

I decided to make my personal favorite, pineapple cheese pizza. Here's how you make it happen:

First, start with pizza dough. I buy Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough. It's only $1.29 and honestly, less expensive to buy than it is to make. I buy a couple and freeze them. Flour your dough and rolling pin and roll dough into the shape of your pan. This Friday Marty elected for square pizza.

Transfer your dough to your pan and then roll your crust. You can do this like a pie crust or just fold it over while pinching.

Spread the sauce evenly over the dough. We like lots of sauce in this place.

This sauce is awesome, flavorful and has large chunks of vegetables. YUM!!!

Go ahead and throw on your remaining toppings. I used 1.5 cups of cheese. A mixture of low-fat mozzarella and parmesan cheese and one cup of pineapple. Bake in a preheated oven set at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. This will produce a crispy bottom. If you like your pizza softer, check on it around 20 minutes.

Ours ended up like this. Delicious! 

This is what my portion looked like. I added this up to be 8 Points Plus. I love pineapple on pizza, not really sure why :). Salty cheese and sweet pineapple. YUM! Generally I avoid meat toppings like pepperoni because they are high in fat and points. But that's the great thing about making your own pizza, you know what's going into it and can have a lot of control over the toppings.

What's your favorite pizza topping? 

Anything you have a hard time living without after the holidays are over?