Archive for February, 2010


Yeah, it is finally Friday, 2/26/10!!!  =) 

My morning went smoothly and even though it was chilly (43 degrees) outside the sun was blazing and the sky was almost cloudless so it was pretty nice out.  

I even managed to stop and pick up a medium cup of Hazelnut coffee at 7-11 prior to work.  The little one also got a donut and a banana. 


Once at work I toasted up some high-fiber flax whole wheat bread and topped it with peanut butter & 1/2 a sliced banana that I also got at the 7-11 (Buy 2 f/$1) for breakfast


At 1pm I was lucky enough to FINALLY meet up with my BFF, Amy, for lunch at BJ’s Restaurant.  =) 

My Best Friend, Amy!

We both enjoyed a nice warm bowl of soup.  I had the tomato basil and she had the milestone. 


I then had a BBQ chicken salad and she had a veggie burger with cheese. 


Everything was as good as it looks and I finished every bite!!! 

It was so nice to see my BFF!  

We have been friends since we were 16 years old in highschool, which was a whopping 16 years ago!  =O  I do not get to see her as often as I would like but we get together whenever we can……for coffee, at the Farmer’s Market, lunch or shopping trips.  However, most of the time our friendship is via text, voicemail or email…….though I wish it was more like it was back in the day it is nice to know that she is always there for me when I need her (& vice versa) and that we will always be friends!  

Do any of you have a BFF that you have been friends with for years???   

Do you find it tough to stay in touch/close now that you are getting older, have kids, are married, a demanding career, etc.???

Unfortunately, I had to return to work for a few hours after our lunch.  Around 4pm I snacked on a apple


Dinner ended up being a cheeseburger, no fries! 


We then rented Couple’s Retreat on Brighthouse.  It was really good, I was surprised my husband liked it….which I knew by the fact that he didn’t fall asleep while watching it.  =O



50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

9. Use smaller plates. Swap your 12-inch plate for a 10-inch one. You’ll eat 20 to 25% less—and save up to 500 calories. You won’t feel any less full, either, researchers say.

 ***I actually do this most nights at eat dinner & highly recommend it, as it helps me a great deal in only eating a small amount! 

10. Serve and sit. Family-style meals, with platters and bowls of food on the table, invite people to go back for seconds and thirds. Cut hundreds of calories by filling plates before bringing them to the table; leave serving dishes in the kitchen, too.

***I always Serve & Sit in my house!  I actually grew up this way so it wasn’t new to me and totally agree that having the bowls/dishes of food sitting on the table with you will invite you to have much more then you would have if they weren’t there.

Running Makes Me Smile!


Here I am at the Celebration 10K back in November 2009, with a huge SMILE on my face!  =) 

This picture caught my attention recently when I was updating my Running page (check out the new “Benefits of Running” tips I added) and got me thinking about all the reasons that running makes me smile

  • Running assisted greatly in my 100+ pound weight loss!  I know that without running I would NOT have been as successful in my weight loss or at least it would have taken me a lot longer than it did. 
    • Running burns more calories per minute, than any other form of cardiovascular exercise!  Research proves the fact that running burns an average of 100 calories per each mile.
  • Running gives me a goal to always reach for, no matter the day, week, month or season I always have something I am working my way towards when it comes to running……as I am either trying to improve my speed (as I am now), distance (end of last year) or race time (April). 
    • I find that I am very goal oriented and strive harder when I have one I am trying to reach.  This alone helped me in losing weight as well as I found it important to have a goal other than just trying to lose weight.
  • Running relieves stress!!!  No matter what is going on in my life I can “always” count on running to elevate some stress and make me feel better after a run, long or short.
  • Running makes me feel good about myself, inside & out! 
    • Running is known to have a  positive effect on the mind, it builds confidence & gives a feeling of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing the fact that your legs and body are strong and capable of performing this amazing exercise.
  • Running makes you “feel good”, HIGH! =O 
    • I always feel high after a run, it refreshes your mind and heart completely.
  • Running causes me to get sick less often, which in a household that has a school aged kid this is a huge blessing. 
    • Running has positive effects on the immune system. It creates a higher concentration of lymphocytes in the blood.
  • I JUST LOVE IT!  And, always have, since I was 12 years old and my father first introduced me to running!   
    • It is hard to describe if you haven’t ran yourself or feel the way I do about it but it just does something to me that no other sport or exercise I have tried has.  Others have described the same feeling before, it is like a sense of calm & relaxation comes over you and you just feel one with yourself (and nature if you are outside).  It is something I do alone mostly and it is my ME TIME, time just for myself and no one else.  I find running to be great mind & body mediation.

Do you run?  If so “why” do you run and does it make you SMILE too? 


On to my EATS for today, which I am happy to say were much better then earlier in the week…… that made me “smile” too!  =) 


Late Morning Snack


*I have to mention that I really was not a huge fan of the Whole Wheat Bagel Thins until I had them toasted with tuna, both went great together, unlike when I tried peanut butter or deli meat with them. 



Prior to having dinner I hit the pavement instead of the gym as my mom could not pick my daughter up after school so the gym was missed for tonight, however I still managed to get my run in at least! 

I ran 3 mile run in approximately 30 minutes (didn’t have a watch on).  Wish I could say my run was GREAT, especially after my statements above, however today was a tough run for me for the following reasons:

  • It was COLD (by Florida’s standards), in the 50’s but felt much less.
  • It was WINDY, so I kept getting blown back by cold air.
  • My toes started to get very cold, guess my socks weren’t keeping them warm enough.
  • My nose kept running.
  • I ran in the shade mostly and when I happened to get some sun it was blinding me.

Other than the above the run was good and completed in a good time to my surprise…… I left the house at 4:55pm and got back at 5:33pm, so if you account for the walking time before & after my run I was close to a 30 minute run.

I have to say I do not know how you all up north or in cold places run outside in the winter.  I used to do it in Colorado in the winter when I was a teenager but I don’t remember it being as tough as today’s run was however???



 50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

7. Limit salad toppings. A big salad might seem healthy, but all those goodies on top can make it more calorie-laden than lasagna or fettuccine Alfredo. Cheese crumbles, caramelized nuts, bacon, avocado, dried fruit, croutons, and vinaigrettes can add lots of calories. Save 500 or more calories by having just one topping, adding flavorful but lower-cal veggies (roasted bell peppers, grilled onions, or mushrooms), and using half the dressing. 

***This one will be hard for me to do as I LOVE all the extra goodies on my salads but they are correct they add a lot of extra calories!


8. Don’t clean your plate. Leave 25% of your food on the plate at every meal, says weight-loss expert James O. Hill, PhD, author of The Step Diet. If you normally eat 2,000 calories or more each day, you’ll cut 500 calories. 


***I actually follow this tip most nights at dinner!

Rainy Day!

It is amazing how a Rainy Day can affect your mood and not always in a bad way! 

If it rains on the weekends I just want to cuddle up on the couch with a cup of coffee (or tea) and a good book, however if it rains on the weekdays I usually dread it as I know I am going to have to drive in it and that is never fun. 

How does the rain affect your mood??? 

Today, it is making me tired and dreading my drive home as I have to make a few stops along the way.  =( 

I did slightly better on my EATS today! 

Yes, I did manage to hit what I am now calling the “Pesky M&M’s”, however fewer times then yesterday so that is good and I am also telling everyone in the office about them in hopes of them disappearing soon……….=) 

The usual was eaten for breakfast today, can you guess what it is?  If you said instant maple brown sugar oatmeal with 1/2 a diced apple and a dash of cinnamon you are CORRECT.  


A late morning snack came into play a few hours later and it will be no surprise to you to see that I had……..a toasted piece of high-fiber whole wheat bread with peanut butter & 1/2 a sliced banana on top.  

Late Morning Snack

Lunch ended up being a bit later (3pm) then I had planned as I got sidetracked with a few things.  Once I managed to get to the kitchen I heated up the last of my hamburger veggie soup I had left in the office. 


I then managed to sneak in one final late afternoon snack of the day, not because I was hungry but because I knew I needed my “calcium” for the day since I didn’t have it this morning.  So a nosugaradded low-fat strawberry yogurt with granola was eaten just before quitting time. 

Late Afternoon Snack

Once I finally got home (as I had a few errands to run after work) I got cracking on dinner because both my husband & daughter were HUNGRY and grumpy cause of that fact so I needed to change that quickly of course. 

We dinned on pork chops, baked potatoes and broccoli……that is a regular occurrence in our house every Wednesday. 


I added some cheese to my broccoli as I love it that way and ate on a “small plate” too.  A handful of corn chips & peanuts was eaten while dinner was being prepared and later in the evening. 

The rest of the night was spent on the couch watching a documentary on Channel 2 (PBS) called The National Parks: America’s Best Idea that was REALLY GOOD, so good that the desire to channel surf that usually hits me never came and I was glued to the TV until bed time several hours later! 

I highly recommend seeing it if you can, check out the website they have dedicated to it at PBS: 

It was not only very educational but also very “heart warming” to see that America was the 1st country to establish a National Park (Yellow Stone) and begin the movement towards preserving nature & wild life!  =)



50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

5. Limit dinner guests. Eating with seven or more other guests can make you eat 96% more food, says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. That’s like doubling your dinner! Dine with fewer guests to save 500 or more calories.




6. Simple tricks to fill up (with less!). For breakfast, eat 2 boiled or poached eggs. (You’ll feel fuller and eat about 416 fewer calories the rest of the day.) Before lunch and dinner, enjoy 1 cup low-cal soup. (You’ll eat about 134 calories less at each meal.) And save a total of 684 calories for the day.


Can’t Stop Eating….

…….CARBS on this Tuesday, 2/23/10

And, I am un-happy to say that it isn’t because I was hungry but rather because my work day was SLOW and the thought of eating just kept coming to my mind.  So of course I would then venture to the kitchen and do what you may ask???  


Luckily, I was able to keep my CARB eating semi-healthy as the only bad carbs I had were a few handfuls of those darn M&M’s I hid on Friday but keep finding & remembering about. 


Check out all my CARB HEAVY EATS for the day! 



Late Afternoon Snack




So as you can see lots of CARBS were eaten today, however at least I ended my eats with a nice healthy bowl of hamburger veggie soup that is loaded with “9 vegetables” a/k/a “good carbs”!  =) 

Do you ever have days were your body just seems to be craving CARBS??? 

Oh and let’s not forget today was a GYM day! 

I did the following toning (Iron Pumping Challenge) & running wise:

  • Sit Ups
    • Bicycles
      • 3 sets of 50 reps
    • flutter kicks
      • 3 sets of 25 reps
    • frog crunches
      • 3 sets of 25 reps
    • knees up crunches
      • 3 sets of 25 reps
    • oblique v-ups
      • 3 sets of 10 reps each side
  • Shoulder, Chest & Triceps 
    • Bench Dips
      • 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Lateral Raise
      • 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Overhead Press
      • 3 sets of 15 reps
    • Overhead Cable Triceps Extension
      • Missed (Machine Broken)
    • Plank
      • 3, 1 minute poses
    • Stability Ball Leg Lift
      • 3 sets of 5 leg lifts each side
    • Stability Ball Push Ups
      • 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Treadmill
    • 3 Mile Run
      • 30:40 minutes
        • Mile 1 – 5.7 to 5.8mph
        • Mile 2 – 5.8 to 5.9mph
        • Mile 3 – 5.9 to 6.0mph (last 2 minutes 6.2 to 7.5mph)



 50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

3. Don’t eat in front of the TV. You’ll eat up to 288 calories more, according to research from the University of Massachusetts. Instead, eat at the table, and trade 1 hour of TV for a casual walk. Together, that’s 527 calories burned.


4. Get in tune with your tummy. Pay attention to how full you feel, and put down your fork when you’re satisfied. Listen to your body’s cues—instead of looking at whether the plate is clean—and save up to 500 calories a day.


Well, what can I say… is Monday, 2/22/10!

However, it was another BEAUTIFUL day here in Central Florida so that made the fact that it is Monday not so bad, especially after I ventured outside around 7:30a.m. to walk the dog and was greeted with a warm cool breeze, sunny semi-cloudless sky, chirping birds and playful squirrels that just gave me the most amazing feel good feeling inside!  =)

Does nature ever do that to you? 

I love the POSITIVE ENERGY I get from nature… is amazing how just a simple ray of sunshine, a cool breeze, salt smell in the air by the sea or the sound of chirping birds can put you in a “good mood”! 

I have always been a nature girl at heart!  I was born and raised most of my life in Colorado and exposed to nature on a regular basis by my parents that took me camping, hiking, fishing, skiing (snow & water), etc. all the time.  We also visited more Natural Parks then I can count on two hands and I remember every visit in great detail…….down to standing at the ledge of the Grand Canyon taking in the amazing view to hiking up the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

I have to admit that I miss it (out west) greatly, however I am coming to enjoy all that Florida’s nature has to enjoy and can’t wait until the day comes that I will smell the “salt air” of the sea every morning when I wake.

What is your favorite kind of Nature?  Or your favorite place you have visited in Nature?

Mine is Moab, Utah

I find it to be one of the most AMAZING places on earth, not that I have been to all the amazing places on earth now but it is one of the most amazing places I have visited and I am very lucky to have family that lives there that has allowed me to visit several times in my life, a tradition that I continue today. 

Discover it for yourself if you can…….you will not be disappointed I promise:

OK, I think I got a bit carried away on the “Nature” topic, let’s get to my EATS for the day:



Late Morning Snack


Late Afternoon Snack


I ate quite a bit today as you can see!   However, I am happy to report that my “cravings” (a/k/a SNACKING) has finally dwindled  so I was able to stay away from the cookies and such……but I will admit I had a handful of those M&M’s from Friday as I just happened to open the cabinet I hid them in!  =O



Yesterday, offically completed all the TIPS provided in 20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free article that I found in my Jan/Feb 2010 Health Magazine ….so I now will be offering for your reading pleasure the tips I found in a Dec 2009 Health Magazine article called 50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

Since there are so many tips listed in this article I will be providing “2 tips a post” this go around, hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

50 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

The most basic way to lose weight is to slash calories. That’s Diet 101. But how many do you really have to cut or burn to see results? It’s simple: You can drop a pound a week by trimming 500 calories each day. (Calories burned are based on a 150-pound woman.)

In fact, do a couple of swaps a day and you can drop 10 pounds in 5 weeks! So try these 50 easy tweaks—and get the slim body you want in no time.

1. Shake your groove thing. Dance for just 2 hours and torch 500 calories. (A little air guitar will burn a few extra calories, too.)




2. Get enough sleep. A lack of shut-eye can make you snack, new research from the University of Chicago shows. People who got only 5 1/2 hours of sleep noshed more during the day. Snooze more and save about 1,087 calories.



We finally had a BEAUTIFUL weekend here in Central, Florida!!! =)  

I hate to rub it in to those of you that live in others parts of the country and are not experiencing the same, however as I have said before Winter is “usually” one of our best season’s here in Florida so when the weather is BAD (cold, windy & rainy) it is very upsetting as we only get a select few months of “beautiful” weather….a/k/a none hot & humid weather…..down here that we can actually venture outside and enjoy! 

So when the forecast was for 70 degree temperatures, minus wind & rain, we all were very excited and outside enjoying the BEAUTIFUL weather! 

I took FULL advantage of the beautiful weather by doing the following: 

  • Taking longer walks with the dog.
    • Were literally only going out and back in with the recent temperatures as our Chi (Peanut) does not like the COLD at all!  =O
  • Getting my Saturday morning run done early as it wasn’t too cold to venture outside at 8am in the morning. 
    • I did 3 miles in just over 30 minutes and enjoyed every minute of it….=)  I even got a little sun burned on the way home as the sun was blazing brightly in a semi-cloudless sky.
  • Opening up all the windows in the house so we could “finally” air out the house and get a nice breezy flowing.
  • Hitting some stores with the family.
    • TJ Max & Ross
      • I found a pair of black Adidas running ¾ pants for $19.99 that was originally cost $45.00 that I love!!!  I will show them off soon.
  • Volunteered at my daughter’s troop Girl Scout Cookie Booth for a few hours on Sunday that was located outside a local grocery store.
  • Visited my mom and enjoyed watching the ducks swim around in the pond behind her house, while my daughter fed them bread and laughed as the fought over it.

So let’s check out my EATS for the weekend!  I will say I had a lot of “repeat” eating so don’t be surprised if you see the same thing a few times below. 

Breakfast (Saturday)

Lunch (Saturday)

Afternoon Snack (Saturday)

Afternoon Snack (Saturday)

Dinner (Saturday)

Breakfast (Sunday)

Late Morning Snack (Sunday)

Lunch (Sunday)

Afternoon Snack (Sunday)

Afternoon Snack (Sunday)

Dinner (Sunday)

So that about wraps up my EATS for the weekend!  

I did sneak two (2) coffee coolers as well that aren’t pictured……one French Vanilla from 7-Eleven and another Hazelnut from Dunkin Donuts!  

AND, I did eat some left over Thin Mints I found in my pantry too!  =O 



20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free

19. Sign up for a free pedometer, a healthy-lifestyle-information site from the company that makes Tylenol, will send you a pedometer (while supplies last) if you register. Studies show that using the simple gadget is an effective weight-loss tool.


20. Talk it out
There’s a free self-help group out there for what­ever is bothering you, whether it’s physical or mental. Check, a searchable database of about 1,000 support groups for people dealing with acne, addictions, allergies, breast cancer, headaches, infertility, eating disorders, OCD, parenting, and many more issues.

M&M’s all over my desk!

However, I did manage to wrangle them all into their glass jar!

I then took a few handfuls of them before removing them from my office so I hopefully wouldn’t eat anymore.  A sugar rush soon followed by a sugar lowNow I remember why I do not eat “candy”!

PRIOR to the M&M incident…….I actually ate some “real food”, check it out below:

Coffee (Hazelnut)



Today’s lunch was enjoyed at the cafe in my bldg. with one of my good friends.  I had a turkey & cheese pressed sandwich on whole-grain bread with the most AMAZING cranberry mayo ever (love this sandwich), a side of chips & broccoli cheddar soup.  It was so nice to get out of the office, even if only for an hour.




20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free

18. Give and get for free
Loads of useful items from babyGap, Science Diet, Tempur-Pedic, Love My Belly, and more great brands are available for free on the grassroots network, a smart online location for secondhand giveaways. The site’s goal is to keep good stuff in use instead of letting it get thrown away and end up harming the environment. Keep in mind: available items change daily.

And, the WINNERS are!?!

Girl Scout Cookies

With the help of the WINNERS of the “Girl Scout Cookie” GIVEWAY are:

  • 18 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
    • Kelly Ann T. (Thin Mints)
  •  1 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
    • Jenny (Peanut Butter Patties)

Congrats, Kelly & Jenny!

I will be in touch soon to get your info. so I can send you the cookies!

There were a total of “20” entries in all, which isn’t bad for my 1st Giveaway, thanks again everyone for entering!  =)

Pasta Anyone!?!

Yes, please………I will have some!  =) 

Here is a little secret of mine…….I LOVE PASTA (& BREAD)!!! 


However, during my 100+ Pound Weight Loss Journey I stayed away from them as much as possible as I followed a “Low Carb” diet in the beginning and even though I stopped dieting around the middle of my journey that way of eating pretty much stuck with me throughout the rest of my 4+ year journey….and through today! 

I found through the years that I have a difficult time saying “NO” to carbs (pasta, breads, baked goods, etc.) and found it was best for me to stay away from them as much as possible, especially in the beginning.  

Throughout the years however I learned that I could eat carbs but that I just needed to do it in two ways

  • Eat “Healthy/Good” Carbs
    • Whole-grain cereals
    • Whole-grain wheat bread
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Whole-grain rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Dried Beans
    • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Eat “Bad Carbs” in MODERATION!!!

This approached helped me a great deal during the last part of my journey and today as well!  I do not feel deprived this way and benefit from eating healthy (good) carbs that are not only good for me but also taste really good!  I now prefer whole-grain/wheat breads & pasta’s over their white counter parts, eat fruits & veggies on a daily basis and oatmeal almost every other day. 

What is your take on Low Carb vs. Healthy (Good) Carb eating!?!?! 


Onto my EATS for this fine Thursday, 2/18/10! 


Late Morning Snack


The above, Baked Ziti, was YUMMY and courtesy of my mother-in-law and the reason I posted about “pasta” today….I swear I could eat twice as much as I ate above!  =O 

Afternoon Snack



I almost didn’t make it to the gym tonight as my mom had to work late and couldn’t pick up my daughter, however I was able to get out of work a bit early so I was able to hit the gym for about an hour…….so I was in a mad rush to get everything done and I “almost” made it!  =) 

Here is what I did Iron Pumping Challenge wise on Day 2 (Thursday) of Week #5 and Running wise as well: 

  • Sit Ups
    • Seated Leg Tucks Off Bench
      • 2 sets of 20 reps
    • Stability Ball Crunch
      • 2 sets of 20 reps
    • Straight Leg Pullover Crunch
      • 2 sets of 20 reps
    • Toe Touch Crunch
      • 2 sets of 20 reps
    • Weighted V-Sit Twist
      • 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Legs, Back & Biceps 
    • 21s
      • 2 sets of 21 reps w/10 pound dumbbell
    • Hammer Curl
      • 2 sets of 20 reps w/10 pound dumbbell
    • Hamstring Curl
      • Skipped, ran out of time!
    • Lat Pull Down
      • 2 sets of 20 reps @ 60 pounds
    • Leg Extension
      • Skipped, ran out of time!
    • Lunge & Lift
      • 2 set of 10 reps 
    • Stability Ball Back Extension
      • 2 sets of 20 reps
    • Stability Ball Ys & Ts
      • Ys & Ts
        • 2 sets each of 10 reps each
    • Step Ups
      • Skipped, ran out of time!
  • Treadmill 
    • 3 Mile Run
      • 30:45 minutes
        • Mile 1 – 5.7mph
        • Mile 2 – 5.8mph
        • Mile 3 – 5.9mph (5 min.) & 6mph (5min.)




20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free 


17. Try a new sport
You’ve always wanted to try cross-country skiing, right? As part of its anniversary sale Jan. 9, will help you try it for free at a location near you. 



Girl Scout Cookies


The “Girl Scout Cookie” Giveaway Winners will be announced Friday, 2/19/10 in the afternoon!!!  =) 

Ok, I’ll admit it….

……….I had “2” Girl Scout Cookies today!  =( 

My willpower is not very strong recently, which I think is a combo of two things: 

  • Lot’s of goodies (cookies, cake, chocolate, etc.) in the house!
  • That time of the month!

Other then that though the rest of my EATS were pretty good for the day, tell me what you think of them!?!?! 



Late Afternoon Snack


I also had a handful of “chips” and “peanuts” while making dinner as I just had the munchies! 

Do you find yourself SNACKING more often on some days/weeks then others!?!?!


20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free

16. Tweet for discounts
Follow your favorite stores on Twitter and get hot sales alerts and great advice. offers new discounts every day on items like vacuums, healthy cookware, and bedding. brings you deals like 25% off eco-friendly makeup applicators, $10 off purchases of $40 or more on vitamins and supplements, and other discounts on products like diabetes tests. And features all kinds of useful free tips like this one: to give parched skin a dewy look, mix foundation with a drop of moisturizer in your palm and smooth over your face.

Girl Scout Cookies

P.S.  Don’t Forget to VOTE for your favorite “Girl Scout” Cookie for a chance to win a free box!


It is so nice to see such a great response to my 1st Give Away…..=)