Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Packing Light

I'm feeling the pressure of waiting for a delivery guy, needing to get a school project done, my children fed, get a workout in and do some last minute shopping and packing for my trip tomorrow. I wish I was better organized at this point, but it will all be done (or forgotten about) in the end, eh? *insert deep calming breath here.*
Anyone else have a hard time packing light for a trip? I'm only going for two days, but I always worry that I will desperately need that extra outfit- that the packed pants will feel too tight and I'll want my other ones, that I might want to work out in the hotel gym (har!) and should take workout clothes- which leads to extra footwear, sports bras, etc. etc. ugh!

Anyway, I'm trying to maintain control, pack light AND pack some light snacks to counteract all that American restaurant eating. Instead of a gym workout (which we won't have time for anyway), I'm planning on doing some walking- at least a block or so for Starbucks coffee, restaurants and our hotel. After only a half pound loss this week, I'm hoping not to gain over my two days away, as I'm nearing the end of May and my May goal of reaching the 160s.

I AM looking forward to a weekend away with girlfriends, some scrapbooking and some US shopping- including some good ww snacks that you can't get here! See you all in 2 days!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vegetarian Pad Thai

mmmmmmmmmmmm...Pad Thai! I made this Pad Thai recipe last night. It's in the Cooking Light Complete Cookbook (that I bought at Costco). It was very good- even dh really liked it, though the tots were not "sold." It works out to 7 points for a fairly hefty serving. I was tempted to sprinkled more than the recommended 1 tsp of peanuts on top of my serving, so save points for extra peanuts if you are inclined. They are the best part, imho. ;)

I'm going to try more ethnic dishes like this at home now and again. It's cool to shake things up from my usual chicken choices. I haven't had tofu in a very long time and it was very enjoyable in this tasty dish.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday Night's All Right for Eating

We had a delicious dinner last night. I found this recipe for Cedar Plank salmon (we bought salmon at Costco and had planks left over from last summer) on the Cooking Light site. The salmon comes with a salsa side- "Avocado-Orange Salsa" that is super tasty, too. I didn't have the red pepper, so picture mine without the red bits. I also did asparagus on the side, but did my usual CL recipe that involves marinating the asparagus in soya sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. I heart grilled asparagus!
The fat on this dish is high, what with the salmon and avocado, but it's mainly the healthy fats (of the fat, the sat fat is 4.2g). It worked out to 10 points, so not bad for a really tasty Saturday night eating!
In other news, today my legs are tired and sore from all the exercise I've been putting them through. (Good job I fed them salmon last night.) I want them to do more today. It's such a nice day out there and next weekend I'll be sitting around scrapbooking at a convention. They can rest then, right? Have a great day, everyone!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why it's good to have a running partner

...what else would motivate you to get out of bed just after 7 am on a Saturday morning, when your bed is oh! so cozy and your dh is looking so comfy and your bed (as your Maritime dh, king of expressions would say) is "delicious?" Not too much is my answer- other than a running partner, who is ALWAYS on time, waiting for you and the foot of some very steep stairs (which we do as part of our workout).
When I get my mind set on my fitness goals, I am pretty good about getting activities in my schedule, but only friends get me going at a certain "hard-to-get-going" times and make it all a little less painful. So yeah for good running partners!
It's really nice out there today in Southern Ontario. Hope everyone is getting out for some good APs and fresh air.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wii Fit Day One

Ok-DAY ONE of the Wii Fit Program...the message from EB Games was WRONG the other day- it wasn't available for pick up until today. So, after being disappointed yesterday *sob*, I did get to pick it up today after work and since my running partner cancelled on me (it WAS pretty cold and yucky out), I got to check it out (with only minor interruptions from my family)!
First of all, my favourite part is the personalized weight measurements/ BMI stuff. I think it will be motivating to see a progression (hopefully) on the screen. The scale is actually in line with my scale I've been using, too. You can also put a little password on your Mii, to hide your weight and stuff from prying minds (who would tell all their friends, cause weight is interesting to them and not embarrassing, as it is to big people.) :D It's also amusing that your Mii gets chubbier (or skinnier) based on your BMI results. Mine suddenly got wider hips. Sorry little Mii! ;)
I did all the available activities. ((In a nutshell...)) I enjoyed the running part. The screen makes it look like you are running by stuff, etc. I wonder if you could do it while on the treadmill (as opposed to running on the spot)? hmmmmmmm...that might be cool. lol. The running part was pretty short, but it probably gets longer as you go along? or maybe I have to adjust it. (I didn't notice.) The skiing made me dizzy. I'm easily made dizzy by video games though. It's a curse. (Amusement parks make me dizzy, too.)
The yoga was very cool, as was the strength training part- you feel like you are getting a good leg workout. kwim? Some were doable, some I wasn't so hot at. I also like how more exercises open up as you progress. All in all, I'm going to see if I can follow it to goal. (or at least finish the 2 weeks programmed in and then take it from there.)
In other weight loss news, I was down another 2 pounds this week- woo hoo! I'm hoping to see the "60s" before month's end. I think I might be able to do it...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wii Fit arrives tomorrow!

I got a message on my answering machine that the Wii Fit is available for pick up on Tuesday! (a little birdie asked me the other day if I knew about it coming out...the answer is YES!) Ever since my friend Karin mentioned that it was coming out I've been looking forward to it. Plus, I've been getting all the Nintendo emails (dork, I know), picking up pamphlets, reading reviews and getting more excited.

Why I'm excited about it?

(1) I love anything that seems like it might spice up my exercise routine. Boredom is the enemy.

(2) I'd like to incorporate some yoga moves into my workouts since my core muscles are what I REALLY need to work. I feel like I'm so much less flexible than I used to be AND I'd like to work on my balance. I'm very tippy when stretching out the quad muscle. kwim?

(3) I like that it has the BMI built in and shows your progression (hopefully) in decreasing your numbers. That is likely to keep me working at it.

(4) I'd like to work at improving pushups (I'm terrible at them) and adding other strength moves into my workout and this "game" has a section on that.

(5) It looks like a step and I'm all about the step aerobics.

(6) I also love to shop. I admit it: I'm a shopper. It's new and shiny and I'd like to own it. ;)

What I'm concerned about.

(1) Ok, you know you're getting old when you are worrying about your feet, BUT I don't like working out without my shoes on and all the pics and videos with this board show people without their shoes on. I feel ok about doing the yoga parts without, but anything impact-y, I need my shoes! (I do Dance Rev with my shoes on, btw.)

(2) I'm not sure about how accurate the BMI stuff will be (if it can ever be accurate anyway outside a huge lab with tubs of water- possibly in outer space- that apparently, accurately measure your BMI rate) ...and will the scale be accurate? Seems crazy that something from a video store could be. (I guess at least all the ww people will "know" where they are from their usual wi, but it will bug me if the numbers are really off...unless they are lower than my calculations. har.)

(3) I also do not want my kids stressing about their weight and body fat percentages. (Our local paper just did an article on the Wii Fit in this regard.) My kids will want to play it though. I wonder if you can play without registering your weight/bmi results? Hopefully!

I'll post and lyk how I like the Wii Fit after I try it out! Gotta love a new toy! :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Getting Exercise

I was thinking of signing up for a race for exercise motivation. The race route pictured here is for a local race that I've never done- partly because the locale is super hilly and starts off with a pretty big hill (and I'm always at my worst before the 10min warmup time) and partly because- back when I did races, there was a race in my own town (that was flat, overall).

I'm not sure about signing up cause the whole thing is in a few weeks and while muscles supposedly have memories and though I've been exercising more lately, my muscless seem to be mainly remembering lying on the couch and walking over to the fridge.

If I don't do this one (I WILL attempt training for it- run walking at least 3 times a week), I think I'll sign up for one later in June and not stress the time I do it in. (Whenever I say that, I always start feeling competitive and try to better my running time. :P) I don't want to give the impression that I was ever fast though! I think my fastest 5k was 28 mins?

Friday, May 16, 2008

TGIF and the Fattoush Salad (with a side o' Falafel)

Happy Long weekend everyone! *sigh* Isn't Friday the happiest of long weekend days? with it all still in front of you and endless seeming? :)

I had take-out today at lunch. I looked up the points before ordering and took the higher "estimates" from the food tracker points listed, cause, hey! who does their salads and stuff the same when it comes to mom and pop restaurants? We have an amazing Lebanese restaurant near where I work and sometimes on Fridays we run over there for a quick lunch or do takeout. I LOVE their Fattoush Salad. It's so fresh and delicious. It looks a bit different from the one pictured here as everything is cut up more and theirs has stuff like cauliflower and more herb sprinklings. I love the lemony, olive oil dressing and the pita crisps (of course the most fattening part is the stuff I love best!) The falafel that came with the lunch special was very good, too.

The whole deal wasn't low pointswise, but that's what I like about WW. You can plan for it, count it and happily move along. A few of my co-workers are doing a wacky starvation diet right now. Think they could get a falafel with fattoush? no, I tell you! They only get dizzy heads on their starvation menu. Me, I'm dining internationally! ;)

Sidenote: I've been thinking of cooking more with beans, chickpeas (as in the falafel) and stuff. I hardly ever do that. Must look up some recipes...! and earn some APs- I'm still full from lunch! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Food Find (enjoyed by me anyway)

It's a nice summery day out there and I'm down an official five pounds down! Woo hoo!
Anywhoooo...I discovered this tasty ham at the A&P that has a bacon-ny flavour which I very much enjoyed (and it's only 50 cals for 3 pieces).
It's called "Better Than Bacon" and it's by Piller. It's perfect for those times when you want bacon, but don't want to spend the points for it. (This only costs you 1.) I followed the package directions and cooked it for a bit (4-5mins) in a non-stick pan, so it looked browner than the picture shown here.
I should mention that my fussy dh NOT enjoy it, but my fussy children thought it was ok, overall. I put it in a wrap last night with scrambled eggs, greens, olives, tomato, avocado and low fat mayo. I lurved it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shrimp with Sizzle

"knock! knock!" is this thing on? I think members of my blog group have gone on holiday. er well! I hope to see everyone back soon and hope that everyone is out earning APs or eating great food. :)

I tried a couple of new recipes over the weekend. (woo hoo!) I did the cover recipe ("Shrimp with Sizzle") from the new Cooking Light magazine (May 2008) and it was very good. It was Chai Brined Shrimp- involving brining the uncooked shrimp in a tea mixture for 20 minutes and then grilling with mango. I didn't get the lovely charred lines across the mango (as pictured here) and I'm not sure if dh cooked it all a little long (we need more fish grilling experience), but it was quite delicious anyway. The recipe also calls for Naan bread served on the side and we also heated that (after rubbing with olive oil) on the BBQ also. It was very yum. The shrimp and bread counted for 306 calories, 5.3 g of fat and 5.1 fibre.
I served it with a salad from the Cooking Light Complete book- the "Simple Green Salad with Vinaigrette" and rice.
Here is the link for the shrimp recipe at the Cooking Light site.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Wall on Mother's Day and exercise

Happy Mother's Day to any mothers reading this (and anyone having a mother)! :) We are getting ready to go out for a Mother's Day brunch. I plan to not use all my points in one sitting- lol. Pancakes, perhaps? Then maybe an afternoon round of Dance Revolution or a walk or (if I have a lot of maple syrup, a run.) Kidding! kind of.

I know there are people who get offended by people who seem to work out strictly to earn APs. I exercise for a number of reasons: I enjoy it (mostly), love the difference it makes on how my body looks and how I feel, I love my proud feeling of accomplishment and I love getting together with friends when working out- BUT I don't think it matters why you work out, if it's getting you moving and being more healthy. Hopefully it will start an exercise habit and build up confidence and a love (or at least a liking) for your body shape NOW. kwim? Exercise helps you love your body a little more, I think. What with its ability to walk over to the sofa after all you put it through with that workout. ;)

A note for my mother in spirit (as she doesn't have a link to this blog): Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Thanks for never worrying about your weight in front of us. Thanks for all the freshly grown vegetables (that I sometimes hid, but that's not your fault!) and healthy, home-cooked meals. Thanks for never obsessing about food and making wonderful cookies. Thanks for always making us feel loved. Thanks for your colourful wall of pictures.

Friday, May 9, 2008

At least I only had one...

I had a work party after school today (for one of our secretaries who got married recently in Vegas). Anyway, it was a lot of fun, but of course there was all the bar food there and I'd "paid" an admission to have some. Besides the whole, I paid and this is my dinner thing, something about having a drink or two does weaken one's resistance to greasy food, eh?!

Anyway, I was pretty good overall and could have been way worse. I discovered a new, flavourful beer, Rickards White- not that I'm a beer expert or anything. They serve it with a slice of orange. It made me think of summer coming. *sigh* (though maybe NOT of being seen in a bathing suit ;))

For the food, they were, of course, serving the usual pub grub. I did manage to fill my plate with a lot of fresh veggies ( yeah for raw veggies being a part of pub menu) , but I also took one chicken wing, a mini spring roll, a couple mini somethings and a couple slivers of thin crust pizza (they cut these super thin). I thought the chicken wing was 4 points. Can you believe one of those suckers is 6 points?! Hard to believe how many a person can "normally" eat of them, eh? (a lot of my co-workers had mounds of them- har. just kidding! kinda! ;))

Anyway, I'm way over my daily points now (and dipped into the flex), but I'm feeling good about my will power. I am going running/ doing stairwork tomorrow morning with one of my running partners. I'd do something tonight, but the beer has made me sleepy. So footnote: new beer flavourfully fruity, but= bad. water=good

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Working out for rewards and with my Children

I was just posting about my love of Lululemon workout clothes as a "reward" for good AP work and weight loss, so I thought I'd add a pic of one of my favourite workout tops/bras by Lululemon.

Lululemon stuff is so comfy and flattering. It isn't cheap, but it washes and wears so well, that their clothes survive many, many washings and look good. This top (pictured below) is nice since it flatters the pear shaped woman (such as myself) and flows away from the belly (muffin top area- lol) at the bottom. When I teach my Girl's Fitness step class at school, I wear a cool max t-shirt over this kind of top. I like the belly coverage that this layered look adds- when confronted with facing uber-skinny teens- if you kwim. ;P It still flatters the shape (even layered with a cool max tee) more than those super large t-shirts we all own.

Thanks to Wendy for her fitness tip about family workouts! I am definitely trying to do those more and want to find fun stuff to do together. I've been playing Dance Revolution with my daughters (we bought 2 mats) and we've been bike riding together lately. One thing about working out with them though- though they have boundless energy at times, kids can't getting into the "longer workout". kwim?

On our super long hike through the woods and downtown last weekend, the only thing that was keeping my youngest daughter (who insisted on coming) going (marginally) was the promise of Tim Hortons as the halfway point. lol. We ended up having to call my husband to pick us up cause there was no way she was making it all the way home. He kept calling himself "our hero." :P Next time we'll make it a shorter distance or I'll go back to the run/walk alongside their bikes. They are sweet about "waiting" for me when we do that.

On a final note, my wi day is today and I'm down 1.5 pounds for the week. Woo hoo! :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Feeling Tired and Favourite Snacks

One of my biggest blocks to getting in workouts is feeling tired. Anyone with me on that? Isn't it so easy to settle into a sitting/horizontal/passed out (assuming I don't have anything on the schedule for after school) position after work and not get up?! Anywhoooooooo...I'm pledging to do SOMETHING to get the heart rate up after supper tonight. I'd like to start setting AP weekly goals. (I'll have to investigate that later- maybe on our ww group blogs?- and pick a goal that sounds right.)

I'm also all about the snack rewards- especially to fuel the upcoming large AP weekly goals. These are some of my current favourites:

*Cravings mini cheesecake cups from Zarky's (only 1 point! woo hoo)
*BBQ rice cakes (8 for 1 point)
*Cadbury Thins (I have a box of the Almond ones from Costco- so good!)
*Chapman's frozen yogurt (cappucino is definitely my favorite. I get mine at the A&P)
*various types of Thinsations cookies and crackers (for when you feel like a cookie...)
*Skinny Cow sandwiches and sundae cups (They lost the transfat I just discovered!)

I also like to have a cup of herbal tea as part of the snack- to make me stop eating during my snackiest time period (mid- evening). It's usually enough to make me feel satisfied or calm enough to get a hold of mysef (before I fall face first into mindless eating).

Monday, May 5, 2008

Recipe Reviews

I managed to cook 2 recipes yesterday (and one today) and got out for a walk yesterday afternoon with my girls (for an hour or so). So yeah for me! The muffin top is wearing off-- well, starting to rub anyway. ;)

Anyway....I did two recipes yesterday from the new Cooking Light (May 2008).

"Summer's Best Garden Salad"
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup yellow pear tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup) *This I didn't have.
1/2 cup chopped avocado *Don't you just love avocado in anything?!

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk.
2. Combine lettuce and the next 6 ingredients (through squash) in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over lettuce mixture, and toss gently to coat. Top with avocado.

6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup salad and 4 teaspoons avocado)
Nutritional Information CALORIES 64(52% from fat); FAT 3.7g (sat 0.6g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 1.6g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 28mg; SODIUM 123mg; FIBER 2.4g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.8g

The salad was really good. I'm really going to try to make more interesting salads. Following a recipe like this totally makes me add stuff I wouldn't ever think about adding...and speaking of that, I couldn't find the yellow squash at Fortinos. I'm thinking they didn't mean a big spaghetti squash- right?!

I also made the Jamaican-Spiced Chicken Thighs from the same issue. It was super easy and good, too. I replaced the thighs with boneless chicken breasts (they didn't have boneless chicken thighs and I didn't feel like I had time to debone). We also did it on the BBQ instead of on a grill pan. Here is the link for the recipe:

Finally, tonight I made Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes from the CL Complete Cookbook (partially motivated by the fact that my litre of buttermilk was about to expire). We all really loved them. I think I've bought pancake mix too many times. The made-from-scratch ones are so much better.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Getting Cooking

One of my goals for this time on WW, is to try more recipes. I definitely find that if I take the time to make meals rather than heat and serve, I (a) enjoy my food/points more, (b) stay on track so much better AND (c) feel proud of myself and stuff. I find it hard through the busy week to get motivated to do this though and I end up doing the same "quick" dinners. Anyway, I'm going to try to get better on planning on meals and TRY to do more through the week, too.

Yesterday, I bought the new Cooking Light and the new Cooking Light Complete Cookbook. The Complete one is in a jazzy binder and has a Dinner Tonight bonus cd in the cover. (Warning: I am a cookbook junkie.) I'd been contemplating getting it at Coles, but it was almost $40. Yesterday I found it at Costco for almost half of that. Today, my goal is to try something for dinner. (I will post the results tomorrow.)
My other goal for the day is to get outside and move. I got a new, shiny red bike for an early Mother's Day gift, so I plan to do that this afternoon OR go for a run/walk alongside the girls riding their bikes. :o)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Big Plan

Coming out of my winter of crazy, uncontrolled eating (why? oh why?), I'm recommitting to WW on-line again. This will be my journal of accountability. har. I've got a goal and this time I'm going to stick to it until I reach it (rather than peter out just as I'm approaching success). Why do I do that?!

I plan to get back to working out everyday (at least do something!) and eat interesting, but healthy foods. I will not focus on having a perfect body, but try be happy with a healthy, somewhat strong one.

more later....