Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When you need a little crunch....

I am a huge snack monster!!! I love to snack!! Come over to my house, ask my boyfriend, look at my Instagram and you will see I am obsessed with snacks. And I tend to not discriminate against types of snacks. I just love to pick and snack through out the day, which snacking is what got me into weight gain problems my life. BUT now I know what to snack and how to snack!!

Today I was traveling for work and no matter what, if I am traveling or not, I always bring my lunch and snacks with me. So today I brought a turkey sandwhich, some grapes, a plumout (plum that married an apricot, Delish!) a Dannon Light and Fit Key Lime yogurt, and Blue Diamond Blueberry Almonds mixed with Target Banana Baby Puffs. Yes, I eat baby food puffs!! They are an amazing mix in to Ice cream, yogurt, frozen yogurt, trail mix, popcorn, etc. I don't even have kids and I love them! I picked up this banana puffs because I love the taste of bananas!

Now here is the awesome part, you have 90 pieces, 90!!!! for 25 calories, which comes out too 0pp!!! Woohoo!!!! That alone makes me jump up and do a crazy, arms throwing happy dance! What an awesome way to get a little extra crunch to your snack, which really is all I am looking for, is some crunch factors!! They come in bunch of different flavors, I am seriously going to try each flavor. Now most baby food companies, carry something like this, I got Target because they were cheaper, I am frugal!

I took 27 Blue Diamond Blueberry Almonds (4pp) and mixed probably about 30 puffs (0) and shook them up in a little ziplock bag. After I had my lunch, I couldn't wait to dive into my snack! And boy did it hit the spot!! Just the right amount of sweetness and the crunch I was looking for. Branch out and try some on your own, the possibilities are seriously endless. Baby food isn't for little ones anymore ;0)

4pp!!!!
up & up™ Little Puffs - Banana (1.48 oz.)
         Almonds                                                                     Puffs

Happy Snacking!!!

End of July

July has to be one of my most favorite months. Work begins to not be so crazy in July, I usually take off to spend time with family, the weather gets super hot, which means I can lay out even more, who am I kidding I live in Florida, I lay out all the time hehe, July brings my birthday month, YAY!! I just love July, and this July has been pretty good to me.  I did go on vacation the first of the month and celebrate with my family most of our birthday, practically my whole family is born in July. I got to spend some awesome quality time, which I don't get to do at all, since they all live in New York and Indonesia ( yes my Uncle and cousin live there and that makes them super awesome). Fourth of July was fantastic and even took in firework festivities.

Running was great this month, I got a lot of time in, considering I ran every day while on vacation. I got to test out running hills while home in Catskill, here in Florida we have flat land, so the only hills we have are bridges, which I tend to avoid running, unless its Iron Girl.

My birthday was great! Even though I worked on my birthday, I celebrated it with a morning run, worked with my awesome co-workers and came home and snuggled up with my love. Then the day after we spent the whole day together and did whatever my little heart desired. After my birthday, life got back to normal with work and I have spend the remainder of the month just working out, running and sparkling!!

July also has brought me a running injury I was unaware of. I have seem to pulled a muscle or aggravated my IT band part of my cath, quad and knee. I am trying anything and everything and each day seems to be getting a little better. My foam roller and I have gotten very intimate lately. Also July has brought on a sinus problem yet again. Last year this time I had a really bad sinus infection, so fingers crossed its just something in the air and nothing serious, because I do not want to have to go on the steroid medication again.

I still cant believe the month of July is over and in just 2 hours its the month of July, I guess the saying is right, time flies when you just having fun!!!

July Running Miles: 56.72!!! Wow, I pretty happy about that!! This includes an extra walks I did just on easy days!

July Weight:
Start:150.8
End: 155.4
Not happy about that at all..Not sure what is going on, what my body is doing, really hoping that is just gaining muscle. But back to basics and really strick! I have a goal in mind and I am not giving up!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weekly Weigh In: A Weird One

As much as I don't want to throw this out there I am going too. I feel like I had a pretty good week, I ran and went to the gym every day except Monday. I got in a long run on Wednesday, did some 2:1 running intervals, went to the gym and worked out and I thought I ate pretty well. I ate over my 49 extra points, but racked up 36 Activity points. I have been drinking tons of water and other liquids, green tea, my diet soda, I know not the greatest but I have an obsession with it lol. I have ate fruits and veggies, but I noticed I was craving carbs a lot this week. Like chips and such, I found healthy alternatives, such as Special K crisps, nothing that were not at least Weight Watchers approved.

So today when I got on the scale before my meeting tonight, I had full hope I would have lost something or stayed the same. Boy was I surprised!! I had gained 4.4 pounds. I literally had tears welling up in my eyes. The manager said by your reaction I am assuming you weren't expecting that. I said no so quickly, and all honestly I had no clue!! 4.4 pounds in a week! I didn't do anything crazy, I didn't go anywhere weird, it wasn't like I was on vacation or having a cheat week, I was shocked. During the meeting I couldn't pay attention to the topic, which so happened to be slip ups. I felt like this was a slip up, but didn't know where the fall came from.

Maybe it was my extra cups of coffee or the goldfish I was having an attack with haha. But none of that matters but what the scale showed. Let me take that back, nothing mattered than how I feel. The scale doesn't always reflect what is going on in your life. I look in the mirror and I do not see someone who gained 4.4 pounds, I see someone who is toning and shaping their body. Someone who is working hard every day to better myself. And after a good hour or so of self pity, I decided to pick myself up!

I laced up my running shoes, got my gear ready and got in a 3.1 mile run. It was a tough run, it was extremely hot, I was wearing the wrong clothes and my mind was definitely distracted, BUT I got the run in. I wanted to at least hit 4 but there was thunder and lightening and I really did not want to get caught in a downpour, no matter how hot I was. I made it back to my apartment, sweaty and satisfied. I started dinner and vowed I was going to be really great this week.

Maybe the gain was due to gaining muscle. Or due to the fact I have been taking a lot of Tylenol for headaches I have been having, this actually happened to me last year the same time, who knows and who cares at this point. I have to own it, look at the bigger picture and move on!!! A gain will happen, its part of the progress!

I cant wait to see it drop off next week though :0)!!

Fingers crossed and toes!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Motivation Monday- 7/29

Fitness Motivational Quotes | HASfit BEST Workout Motivation, Fitness Quotes, Exercise Motivation ...

I really wish I took my own advice today!! This morning I had full drive to go for a run after work tonight, I brought my clothes, water bottle and gym boss to make sure I was fully prepared. Well, lets just say the case of the Monday's! I woke up in a funk, I had a really bad dream last night that set me off. While getting ready for work I just couldn't get it going and then when I got to work, I was all over the place. The phone was non-stop, the orders were coming in and I was busy, which I was very happy about, but it knocked me out and didn't help my mood.

So after work all I wanted to do was put on my yoga pants, an old tee-shirt and veg out on the couch for a bit. I literally did that when I got home, I curled up on the couch and just unwind.  I haven't had much alone and me time, so I was really needing this, even if it was just an hour. I know I should have just sucked it up and put on my running gear and went outside, but mentally and physically I just couldn't do it.

And that's okay!! Some days there just might be an off day. I will own that day, I needed the rest day, I needed to just sit back and relax for a bit. I will own this, I regret it a bit, I know I should have put on my running gear and got some miles in. I know that running improves my mood and would have put all my day behind me and start fresh. I know this for next time and next time I will fight through it, but today was really a carrot and hummus veg out night after work!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Quest

So from the title you can imagine I would be talking about a new quest I might be venturing out on or a new quest in life, but believe me that is far from it, I am just clever haha. Actually I would like to review the new Questbar that is out in stores and online right now. I love Questbars!!! I mean I really really love Questbars. If you haven't heard about them by now or have tried them, please do yourself a huge favor and go and get some. I have found them at Smoothie Kings, GNC (my main source) and Vitamin Worlds. They are also online at Quest  and even can be ordered through Amazon. I like to go to GNC and pick them up because I can buy them as singles rather than committing to a whole box when you order online.

I was introduced to them from a daily email from Hungry Girl, she had mentioned them in an email about their awesome flavors and their fantastic stats. These stats are impressive, at least 21 grams of protein, 1gram of sugar, 170-190 calories, and about 4g of carbs. A high protein, low sugar and low carb bar!! FANTASTIC! I was looking for something different and these were right up my alley. I researched the flavors and heard Apple Pie was the best at the time. I picked up a couple and yeah I was hooked, I started with Apple Pie and Banana Nut Muffin. I loved them. They were a little bit dry at times, but when you drink with water and a piece of fruit it is quite filling. The points plus range from 4-5 points. Out of the ones I have tried, Apple Pie & Chocolate Brownie are 4pp and the rest tend to be 5pp.

After my obsession with Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough came out and it was all over for me. My absolute favorite. It seriously tastes like a Cookie Dough, a fresh cookie. The best way to eat them is heated up for 8 seconds, they come out warm and gooey. It seriously is like a piece of heaven for me.  A real cookie ranges from 10 pp and up, this little gem, is only 5pp. I also have heated it in the toaster oven for a baked feel and smeared PB2 on top of it before the Color Run for some added goodness and protein.

So yeah you can say I love my Quest Bars, but now they went ahead and added a new addition to my growing family and obsession, White Chocolate Raspberry. I love anything White Chocolate, seriously seeing the words White Chocolate in a recipe is a win for me and a given, BUT I am not a big fan of raspberries. I never was a huge fan of the red color blackberry looking fruit, the seeds always seemed to get in my teeth, but because I value Quest Nutrition so much, I figured I had to give it a try.

They released them  online first, but I waited until GNC had them because I didn't want to commit to a full box, god forbid I didn't like them. Well my GNC finally got them in yesterday and I ran down and stocked up. I got Cookie Dough and the new one. I had planned to have a Chocolate Brownie flavor for lunch, but the new one pumped that right out of the water. It was awesome and tasted delicious. Just like the cookie dough where there is real pieces of cookie, there was real pieces of raspberries and chunks of white chocolate. Awesome and it tasted way more than guilt free.  Yup, I am a fan!!!



I give the new flavor a thumbs up and a new flavor I will be frequently indulging in with the rest of my crew. The white chocolate is 5pp, same as Cookie Dough. I eat these as a meal replacement or a snack, depending on what I have going on that day. I also plan to incorporate these into my training for my half, either as a before meal or a snack after the mileage to build myself up again.

The bars speak for themselves. The reviews are in, they are Hungry Girl approved and I take her advice very highly! Try them for yourself, believe me, once you do, you will be on your own Quest!!

Crock Pot Favorites: Buffalo Cluck Cluck

I am new to the crock pot love, well for the last year or so. I was given one as a hand me down and I love it. I totally didn't realize what I was missing. I thought it was made only for roasts haha, but with the joy and love and obsession with Pinterest, I use that bad boy every week, at least once or twice a week and continuing to branch out with it. This week in my crock pot favorite section of life haha, I chose to make Buffalo Chicken. The best part of all is all it takes is 3 ingredients. Frozen or defrosted chicken breasts, 1 bottle of hot sauce and 1 packet of dry ranch dressing!!! WHAT!? How amazingly easy is that!!

Pour it all together in the love machine, or crock pot, whatever you call yours and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Then when all done, inside the crock pot shred the chicken if you so choose. I shred mine but first take out my boyfriends, he is not a fan of shredded chicken. And that's it!!!



 I ate mind this time over lettuce with some tomatoes and Fat Free Chunky Blue Cheese. Its hard to count points for the chicken, so I usually round up to 6, counting it has 2 breasts, a cup or so. It is so delicious, spicy and extremely better than eating a basket of chicken wings, PLUS it is super easy!! I work retail, so I love anything on nights I close I can just come home to and dive right in.

6pp for the chicken
1pp for the dressing
EVERYTHING ELSE 0pp
Yum!!!

Enjoy!!

Link from where I got my recipe from:
Buffalo Chicken Goodness
Once directed search her blog, is dated , Friday, January 27, 2012

No Stopping Me

For the past couple of weeks, I have been having some pain in the upper, side left part of my quad. Its a weird pain, very tight muscle, it just feels like I have overworked the muscle. I have been running most of my time, and I do work out at the gym and do weights on my legs and have designated "leg days", so I know I am pushing my body. Ever since I have started running, I have not had any issues, I was blessed. My knees are holding up, no feet issues, I haven't lost any toe nails, the most I have had was some scrapes and bruises from falling or tripping over lips in the side walk. I have had to ice my knees and legs because of over working, but this pain is different.

My friend Jacke has experienced the same pain and took her out of running for a while, so she has been my go to person with how to handle this situation, plus she is studying to be a nurse, its a win win for me. She has given me some great tips on the foam roller, what weights and stretches to use to help this muscle work its way out of my leg. I have google and researched everything.

I am glad this pain is happening now, not in November a couple of weeks before the Women's Half Marathon. So for now I am attacking this head on. I will rest when I need too, strengthen my quads and legs to improve the muscle tendinitis and blood flow, I will hydrate and roll out these knots, even get a deep tissue massage to help the pain.

One thing is for certain, I will not give up. I will find a way to work through this and fix the problem. I will not let this discourage me, I will use it has a learning experience and a stepping stone. Nothing stands between me and my running and goal, nothing will let me down.

I am not a quitter! I am a fighter and its mind over matter :0)!!!

Special K Nourish Part 2: Cranberry Almond



So I believe a couple of posts ago I mentioned the new Special K nourish hot cereal items. I had tried the Maple Brown Sugar Crunch, it was tasty, not great but not bad. I had picked up a second one also, Cranberry Almond, same concept, just different mix-ins. The hot cereal part was still a combination of quiona, barley, wheat and oats. The only difference was instead of just almonds to mix in, it was almonds and cranberries. I loved the cranberries part. It was perfect as a mix-in. It made me think about picking up some craisins to keep in my house so I could add them to my own oatmeal from time to time. The hot cereal mixture was a little bit bland because it didn't have that brown sugar scent or taste to it. I would definitely sprinkle in some cinnamon or splenda to sweeten it up a bit. The almonds and cranberries were portioned out and I thought they were just enough. The texture between the soft cranberries and the crunchy almonds were perfect. I ate it for breakfast this morning and kept me full for quite some timed, also paired with my coffee and a banana.

While I don't think I will buy the Maple and Brown Sugar Crunch one again, I might just purchase the Cranberry Almond one from time to time or if I was going out of town, etc. If not, I will definitely be trying to mimic it with my own creations and oatmeal. You be the judge, if you try them, which one do you like best???

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fit Friday

Never give up

Flashback Friday!!! Always remember and embrace how far you have come!!! Sometimes it is slow and steady, but it is worth the wait!! Keep Going and never give up!! Make time for yourself, it may hurt, but in the end you will never regret the way it makes you feel!! Have an awesome FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fab Finds: Vanilla Coke Zero

First off I love anything and practically everything Vanilla. In High School, I loved  Vanilla Coca Cola, geez it brings back a lot of memories of summer. They took the Vanilla Coke off the market for a long time and now its back even better than before and totally right up my alley! Vanilla Coke Zero, zero calories, taste like the first one but not feeling so guilty. LOVE IT!! I need to find this in diet vanilla coke and I would be in even more heaven.

This would also make an awesome ice cream float..ooo yum, I think I might go do that now!!

Enjoy!!

Comfort Foods: PB&J Sandwich

I know a lot of people complain when they are "dieting" they cant eat anything, just lettuce and air. Well I can tell you I eat everything and anything. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want and however I want, BUT I choose to do it in a healthier way and on my terms. I have not given up anything I loved before, I have just made it a different way and found ways to make it fit my new lifestyle now. Case in point, PB & Jelly Sandwiches.

Growing up and throughout life I loved comfort foods and believe me, you will see lots of posts of comfort like foods from me. The difference is how I go forward with them now, instead of how I used too.

For instance my PB and Jelly Sandwich is made with the amazing PB2, Sugar Free Strawberry Preserves and Light 45 Calorie Bread. My PB&J is only 3pp, where a typical one can run you about 11pp!!! Are you kidding me??? I could have 4 of my version for 11 regular one. WOW!! Its amazing on this journey, I have looked back on how I used to eat and where I am not and the difference is crazy. I have no desire to go back, not because of the calorie content or the point difference, but because I have seriously no desire or urge, I love powdered peanut butter and sugar free preserves, my taste buds adjusted and I let them because I am motivated to make this my life and keep it that way.
3pp!!! 

3pp sandwich and 3pp Chobani Yogurt! Yum!

Afternoon Delight: Chipotle, Laziness & Naps

I am sitting here on a day off and absolutely bored, not just bored but a tad bit worn out, tired, zapped of energy, etc. It is uncommon for me to not have something to do on my day off. Usually I am running, working out, shopping, etc. Today though, I set my alarm for 8:30 and just woke up tired. I got out of bed because I had originally had planned to go to the gym and work out for a bit, but I had no energy to do so, BUT I did decide to do some weight training. I had just bought a small kettle bell, 5 pounds at TJMaxx and wanted to use it. I know a lot of people use kettle bells and I am very interested in the methods and training of them. So I used the exercise guide that was in the box, I got 30 minutes in, even doing some weighted crunches and using a resistance band on my legs. So even though I didn't get up and go to the gym, I did do an in house fitness regime. After that, my heart was racing and I even had a bit of sweat, I felt good. Made myself a nice fruit filled breakfast. Some honeydew, banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, with a BetterOats Oat Fit Cinnamon Roll oatmeal and a Dannon Light & Fit Banana Blend Yogurt. Then exhaustion started to set in, went to Chipotle for lunch with my Boyfriend. A little bit high in points, but hey that's why, we have those extra 49 points and I gain a lot of activity points.
 Chipotle Chicken Salad
Chicken
Lettuce
Tomato Salsa
Black Beans
Guacamole
12pp- plus 5pp for 1/2 of a serving of their awesome, salty delicious chips
17pp lunch, but did have lots of protein
2.5 oz
10
0
0
0
0
5
2
1
1
1
80%
30%
2%
4%
Delete
4 oz
190
6.5
2
0
115
370
1
0
1
32
10%
2%
2%
8%
4 oz
120
1
0
0
0
250
23
11
<1
7
2%
2%
4%
10%
3.5 oz
20
0
0
0
0
470
4
<1
3
1
12%
6%
2%
2%
3.5 oz
150
13
2
0
0
190
8
6
1
2
4%
20%
2%
2%
TOTALS
490
20.5
4
0
115
1285
38
19
7
43
108%
60%
12%
26%
Chipotle Nutrition Calculator


And now I am back to being tired and lazy, but its okay because I am participating in a fun run tonight with some friends tonight. So I am going to listen to my body and just relax because sometimes that is all you need to do is rest!!

6+ Mile Morning

I figure on my longer runs, I can post the details here. Usually my shorter ones I wont post, unless it is a milestone in the making sort of run.

This run took place on Bayshore Blvd. Awesome place to run, same place as my second half marathon. Close to the water, awesome breeze, lots of people out doing the same thing as you. Its hard to not stay motivated in Florida, there are so many awesome people out in the morning, day, night doing the same thing as you, trying to be better.

The run was good, I struggled a bit in the end, around mile 5, I have a sharp pain in my upper thigh. I was feeling a bit run down and tired. I had to walk for a couple extra seconds. I did stay hydrated but my legs did start to feel very heavy. I hadn't ran that long of miles in well over a month, so it was just adjusting to a longer time frame. Managed to get through and keep my time at about where I want to be. Really shooting for a 10:30 or less mile, determination is the key!

All in all a great run, day off, morning run. It was nice to go back to a place that means a lot to me in my running success. This area is definitely a do again in my training process or just fun run schedule.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Running Essentials

When I am out on a run my mind is running also. At times my mind is running faster than my own feet. While I am running, I'm thinking about the day, work, friends, cleaning my apartment, what I will make to eat, my grocery list, what I will be wearing for work that day, when I can get a nap in, I thinking about what other people may be thinking, thinking about keeping my eyes up so I don't trip, thinking about what song will be coming up next, TV shows I am watching, things to do on the computer, my blog and topics (like this one), I think about my family and a lot of times my dad, but all in all while I am running, I am thinking about life and how much I love running.

So today while I was running, I was thinking about what I can post today. I came up with my favorite running essentials. I guess what prompted this topic was I thinking about all the stuff I pack up when I am going on a long run. Usually when I plan my long runs, I have a mapped out area when I can get a lot of miles in, different paths and routes. I usually drive downtown, but today I went over to Tampa and ran actually some of the course I did for my 2 half marathon. Its gorgeous over there and the area is full of runners. That is why I love it, seeing so many people out there getting healthy and fit and clocking miles and paces, inspires me and pushes me farther and faster.

Okay, again I got off the topic at hand lol.

Back to what I originally was getting at, when I clock my longer runs in I use my fuel belt, which holds 2 10oz bottles and has a little part to it, to carry my sports beans, GU, keys, Drives License and my Credit Card. I use my head phones, these awesome ones that I got at Target a year ago, they wrap around your ear and never fall out. I have small ears and these fit perfectly. My arm band to hold my phone. And I also have a wrist band that holds my car keys, plus it works fantastic for when I am sweating, it helps to get the sweat out of my eyes and burning my contacts.

Then my favorite item of all time for my long and I use on my short runs, is my GymBoss interval beeper. It clocks my running into splits. I do 8:00 minutes of running and 1:00 minute of walking. The device counts downs and beeps and vibrates at each split. I LOVE THIS DEVICE. My friend got me hooked when she helped me train last year for my first half and then she bought me my own for my birthday this year. It is an amazing tool. It not only helps me with my running and keeping a decent pace, but helps with recovery afterwards because I don't feel tired or weak, I feel strong and not beat and worn out.

Music is another big favorite and essential of mine. I use my iPhone as my music player. I don't use iTunes, I use Pandora, most of the time. I also have a free music app I downloaded which I made play list with and I have found apps that offer free running music, such as Rock My Run and FITradio. When I am using Pandora, I subscribed to the app so I didn't any interruptions, I love certain stations, Top Hits, Top Adult Hits, Pop Fitness, Workout Radio and Glee Cast (total Gleek). They have great variations and keep me going when a song I love pops up, usually when I am running I don't feel the need to skip the songs and this helps there is a different style and song each time. Rock My Run and Fitradio are pre-set play list, some better than others. I use these apps on small runs so I can get used to them or when I am working out in the gym. The Free Music App I use is just for fun. I download any new song I like and add to the list, right now it is a lot of Glee, not sure why, but Glee puts me in such a great mood, I can't go wrong with their songs. A dork I know but hey it gets me through the miles.



These items are the key to my success and I try to never leave or run without them, especially leading up to my half marathon. I have to run the same way I would on race day when I am training so I am used to it. The single water bottle displayed I use on days when I am clocking 4 miles or less. It is also a 10oz water bottle, but this one I hold in my hand with the wrist carry. I use this one for short runs to make sure I am staying hydrated. I also bring it on my walks I do on opposite running days. Running in Florida is brutal at times and staying hydrated is extremely needed, maybe I don't need to consume water at times, but to spray myself with or just to get my mouth wet and spit it out, sounds weird I know but running sometimes drys out your mouth.

All these items can be found on Amazon, Dicks, Sports Authority, running stores, TJMaxx, Target, etc. Find what works best for you. I have mastered what works for me all the way down to the socks I wear, the headbands I use, the underwear I wear and the hair ties I use to tie it back, but that will be another post haha. But seriously find what your comfortable with. Be invested in your running, it is you who is clocking the miles, research, ask other runners, that's how I found what works for me, hopefully it will help it work for you!

My Love For Diet Soda Cake

First off I have a wicked sweet tooth, which was a big, HUGE problem of my weight gain and life in general. I love sweet and salty, but lean heavenly on the sweet side. Dessert in my family was always and option. There was always cake, cookies, ice cream, pudding, candy, etc available at any reach. And I am not saying it was my families upbringing that made me fat, not at all, I could have controlled myself when I got older. Believe me I am sure I didn't need the doughnut with every coffee or dessert every time I went out to dinner or candy at the movies. I made my own choices!! And my choices got me over 200 pounds!

The beauty is now I can make a choice to find lower calorie and points plus choices. When I started WW I was interested to the beautiful world of Hungry Girl, if you haven't heard of her or have been living under a rock in my world, here is her amazing website www.hungry-girl.com! Sign up for her daily emails and research her cookbooks, they will change your life, they did with mine, seriously without her help and tips, I would never have lost as much as I have. So back to what I was saying, I was introduced to hungry girl land and I have never looked back. She has amazing tips for my sweet tooth and saved me. And here we are..her diet soda cake. Now maybe it didn't start with her, but in my world she is the God of this cake recipe. And it couldn't be any easier than this: 2 ingredients!!

1 box of ANY flavor cake mix
1 can of ANY flavor diet soda
Mix together, bake according to time on box. Cool. Enjoy!

You can make this as cake or cupcakes. I have done so many variations.
Funfetti Cake with diet cherry 7UP
Yellow Cake mix with Diet Soda
Chocolate Cake mix with Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Cherry Coke
Funfetti with Diet Sprite
Red Velvet Cake mix with Diet Dr. Pepper

Its so quick and easy! And if I want to make frosting, I use Fat Free Cool Whip mixed with sugar free pudding mix, vanilla or chocolate. I have even used the single serve of Yoo-hoo mixes (great find, I found at the Dollar Tree). So I can make a complete cake or cupcake and not feel guilty about eating them.

The points plus points do depend on how you are making them. Most cupcakes (24) serving size will come out to 2pp, maybe 3pp. If you cut the cake into 24 slices, 2pp, and 12 sliced, 5pp. Either way I think that is a plus and a win.

Tonight I made:

1 box of Coconut Cake Mix
1 can of Vanilla Coke ZERO
A tsp of coconut extract 
1 tablespoon of roasted coconut chips (amazing and awesome FYI)-found them at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and TJ Maxx: Score!

 


I am going to top it with some pineapple and a cherry and enjoy!
Get out and experiment.
Indulge that sweet tooth!!

Hungry Girl's Diet Soda Cake Email

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weekly Weigh In

Tuesday's are a crazy and mixed feeling kind of day for me. I usually head into work early on Tuesday's, so I can get out on time to go to my Weight Watchers meeting and weigh in for the week. I really do not fear the weekly weigh in, I actually look forward to it every week. In the last 2 years since I have joined WW, I have never missed a weigh in. I weigh in every week, maybe not always on Tuesdays, maybe Monday or Sunday, depending if I will be out of town that week. I weigh in before I go on vacation and weigh in after I come back (I even raced to my last weigh in from vacation the minute I got off the plane), even if I have to stay late at work or my schedule changes or if there is an emergency in my life (such as the day my father died, I went in weighed myself in so I could have a sense of control and normalcy after getting that horrific phone call) I make sure I get on that scale, well now that you get the point and I don't want you to feel bad for me, the point is I hold myself accountable no matter what kind of week I have or what may be going on. Even though sometimes my weight is out of my control, example that loving time of the month, retaining water, etc. I have control on getting on that scale.

Also I do not own or have my own scale here at our home. I will not buy one! I only weigh in once a week, I weigh in with my shoes off and wear the same light clothing every week. I don't want a scale in my home for the fear I will become to obsessed. I like the fact of weighing in once a week, it gives me a sense of accountablity, control and tradition.

For the past couple of months, I have been on a roller coaster ride with my weight. One week I am down a pound, next week I am up a pound. Anytime I do a long run,  for instance the week of my half marathon, I am up usually 2-3 pounds, you would think running 13.1 miles, you would drop the weight and have no problem, not when you are retaining water and drinking all your body weight to replenish. I am still fine toning that process. The inches are coming off, but the weight not as fast as I had hoped. And I know slow and steady and it will come and I am fine with that because the scale does not reflect what I see in the mirror. I do love what I am seeing too these days :0)

Anyway, for the last couple of months I have been sitting at these roller coaster weigh ins. The beginning of the month I weighed 150.8 then I went on vacation, I wasn't horrible, but I ate things I don't normally do, but I ran every day and tracked all my morning and afternoon meals, just not dinner and drinks. When I got back from vacation I put on 2 pounds, not a big deal, but I was back to the yo-yo! Last week I dropped .4 off those 2 pounds, at least it was something.

So today when I weighed in I was hoping for the same or staying and not moving up or down. To my surprise and pleasure I was down 2.2! Even after 2 years of losing weight seeing that number go down is amazing!!! My leader was there and congratulated it  me and I felt great. I know 2 pounds isn't much, but it means the world to me. I yo-yo a lot and seeing that number gives me just the motivation I need to keep it going.  So I now sit at 151 exactly, which I can't even tell you when I was ever that weight growing up!! Its great. I can see it and feel it.

So a small victory but even bigger results. That's my weekly weigh in for this week. Something to take way from all of this is, hold yourself accountable. Weigh in every week, even if you think it is good or bad. If you attend meetings, go every week, hop on that scale and hold your head high. If its bad, shake it off and move on. If its good, high five, smile big, and remember what you did to get there and do it all over again!!!

Oh and treat yourself to a 14pp, good options Taco Tuesday because I totally did!!! ***( In case your wondering, 2 whole wheat soft taco with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, black olives and salsa with a side of tortilla chips and a diet coke)

Yum!!!

So Weigh In...When do you weigh yourself and how do you hold yourself accountable??


Monday, July 22, 2013

Motivation Monday

A little motivation goes a long way...

So, will you????


Hash tags are all the rage now. Not sure when they began or where they began but they are everywhere. I admit, I am a hash tag addict. I love it, I wish I could hash tag my life everyday, believe me more days more questionable then others. Think about it, what hash tags would you use for your life? Hmm for me, runner, sparkly, bubby, tired, boss, funny, fitness, weight watcher, sweet, now blogger, lol. I could go on and on. But one hash tag that I have grown to love on Instagram and Facebook is motivation Monday or motivational Monday, which ever you choose. Poor Monday gets such a bad rap. Its the start of the new week, most people have had the weekend off and back to the grind bright and early. I don't work a typical 9-5, so Monday's don't tend to bother me much. I do however, love motivation because I think everyone needs that here and there, something to kick start their day. And if I can do a play on words, then so be it. So on Monday's I will try to take part with Motivation Monday's here by posting a picture or quote of some sort to kick start every one's day. My motivation this morning was to get out of bed and just go and work out. I had no energy and no ambition, but I put my big girl panties on and hopped out of bed, 20 minutes after my alarm originally went off but I did it. It took a lot of coaxing but the voice in my head telling me to do it was louder than how my body was feeling. Once I got up and went to the gym I felt great! I did 40 minutes of resistance of 10 on the cyber Arch and then 20 minutes of weights, focusing on my legs and arms. And then I was done. An hour of working out and done before 9! I didn't stop there, had a good breakfast and now a little relaxation before my closing shift. See even an hour can make a difference, I burned close to 500 calories and earned 4 activity points, I wouldn't do that sleeping for an extra hour. And my motivation...knowing I am changing myself for the better! Have a great Monday!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sleepy Sunday

Today was just one of those dragging kind of days. I had a wonderful two days off from work, I got a good work out each day, and including the one I put in on Thursday, so I thought for sure I could get a run in before work today. I set my alarm for 7 and planned on a short quick run, maybe 2-3 miles. But when that alarm went off my body shut down. I just had no energy and motivation. I had a slight pain in my thigh and my body felt like bricks, just heavy muscles. I took that as a sign that today would be a rest day. I had to work at 10:00, which in my position we never sit down, so I knew I would be running around most of the day anyway. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body and read the signs it is craving a little relaxation. I know I should push it and fight through fatigue, but it gives me the strength to just fight a little bit harder the next day. Also after work, I picked up some more of B12 sub lingual vitamins, to help give me a little pep in my step. They have worked great in the past, but I ran out. Well the alarm is set and lets see how this week will pan out.

Fab Find: Special K Nourish Maple Brown Sugar Crunch

First I would like to say I am a big fan of a lot of Special K items. I love most of their cereal, especially Red Berries and the pastry crisps are a perfect 3 pp snack. I have noticed this new line on display on my BzzAgent website but also in ads on the Internet, but haven't dug into it. My bf and I were picking up some items at our local Winn Dixie and I saw an end cap with the Special K Nourish items sitting there and on sale for 1.99. I picked up the two flavors they had displayed. Special K Nourish Maple Brown Sugar Crunch Hot Cereal and Cranberry Almond. This morning I decided to try the Maple Brown Sugar Crunch. I was in a hurry for work and wanted something quick and easy and try something new. The top of the lid holds a mixture of almonds and then you pour in 1/2 cup of hot water in the cup which holds the oat mixture and I microwaved it for time purposes rather than steeping the water into the coop. It cooked up just like oatmeal does, like the Weight Watcher Oatmeal I have and the  Quaker Oats brand. The smell of the maple brown sugar was heavenly. You have to let it set for a good 1-2 minutes because it is extremely hot and the mixture thickens up. This is a description I got from the website Special K Nourish Maple Brown Sugar Crunch
     "A multi-grain hot cereal with superfoods like quinoa, oats, wheat and barley, it’s also a good source of fiber* and protein. And of course, is lightly sweetened with maple brown sugar and almonds. "

After I let it cool, I dug in. It was very tasty. I couldn't really distinguish the flavors of quinoa and oats and wheat and barley. It tasted just like oatmeal to me. The almonds definitely gave it a nice almond touch. This item is very convenient. The price was right at 1.99 per two pack, but for 5pp, I would rather make my own oatmeal or stick with my current brand of quick and easy oatmeal I use, which range at 3pp. But it was worth the try and the taste for sure. I still have the cranberry almond also to try :0)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

S'Mores In The Morning

Some mornings you just crave some chocolate and something a little special.

S'Mores In The Morning


1 cup of Fiber One 80 Calories-3pp
10 mini marshmallows-1pp
1 half of a full square of low fat graham crackers-2pp
1 banana-0pp
2/3 cup of fat free milk-1pp

Fab Finds: Fuel and Recover

For my run today I used 3 different items to help push me through the miles. I try to try out different products to really find what works for me. Then when it comes to the last month of training, I will stay with those items for each run, especially when I do the long miles. For example, when I run 10 plus miles, I will wake up and have some water with a multi grain waffle with PB2 on top and a banana, then some flavor of GU. GU has been my go to item, but I had a hard time getting it down, so I am branching out. In this months Bulu Box, I received Power Bar Performance Energy Blend in Banana Blueberry, so I had that before my run, also had a Good Run cookie from Whole Foods. Good Run cookie is filled with nuts and goodness. The Power Bar Performance Energy blend was really tasty. I love those fruit filled squeeze packets and anything that deals with banana and blueberries. During my run, I just used good old plain water. I took my fuel belt and filled the bottles with 10oz of water, it sure was well needed. And after my run I recovered with Zico Dark Chocolate Coconut Water. Let me tell you Zico coconut water is the absolute best! I am in love with the Dark Chocolate flavor. It is the perfect recover method. It helps put what I lost back in. It's packed with potassium and the most delicious chocolate flavor. I highly recommend going out and finding this product, good news, Walmart, Target and most grocery stores now carry it. When I am drinking this product, I don't count the points, yes I know sip, bit, chew, track, BUT there are items I will cheat with and this water is one of them. I really felt great after this very hot 5 miles and very impressed with these 3 items. Tell me if you have tried them!!


So delicious. 2pp. Perfect for before and recommended for during also. I loved the flavor, great combination of my two favorite fruits. www.powerbar.com

Fully packed with nuts and seeds which is also fueled with good energy. These are made locally and I will going to find more of these, but I did purchase them at Whole Foods in Tampa. 1pp. I think I will use these more for working out at the gym then my longer runs or for my shorter runs. www.goodrunusa.com

This water is great for before or after running or work out. They sell them in single bottles or as a carton, which I purchase now more because it really really is great. 2pp and full of great taste. They have a plain coconut water flavor and a new tropical flavor. www.zico.com

Running Through Insecurities

I tend to live my life through moments or experiences, I find little milestones in my journey everyday. Well, today was one of those little, Big moments for me. Yesterday while I was shopping, I picked up a couple of running shorts. Living in Florida and during the summer months the heat is unbearable at times. I run with carpi's, but being that I am 5 foot nothing, they tend to look and feel more like pants. So it can get really hot and nasty, even if I wear the wiki drying fabric. But the big problem is I don't work out in shorts. I try to avoid it at all cost because being honest I don't like my legs. My thighs are big, they jiggle, they have pockets of fat, my calves are bulging and big, I am just not comfortable in them to run because I feel everyone can see them move in a very unflattering way. Plus I know my legs rub together, so the idea of doing that for miles and miles, just makes the matter worse. As a new change to my new year, I figured, I am going to branch out and learn to impress the shorts. I picked up the brightest ones I could find, bright pink and bright yellow, despite how my legs looked, I would still be bright and cheery. Today on my run, I wore my bright yellow shorts. Putting them on was a new feeling. Growing up I was made fun of a lot! I was never comfortable in my own skin, because I wasn't made comfortable. I was called a lot of hurtful names and my insecurities I wore on the outside and mainly the inside. It was tough, and hard, and it has taken me until last year to really seek outward and embrace myself. So putting on those shorts and actually committing to the task at hand was a challenge all its own, but I did it. I put on those shorts and I ran. My legs jiggled, they rubbed together,but for the first mile, I swore I would not fidget when they rose up a bit. I didn't care what people were seeing. In my head, I kept saying, they don't see a girl with big legs running, they see someone who had the courage to get out there and do it. Those 5 miles were tough, the heat was strong, the shorts were very different, but I broke through that wall that was holding me back. Now to some this may seem so petty or trivial, you might think really her big deal is running in shorts, but it is a big deal because it means I am learning to love myself. I am embracing who I am and mainly embracing and recognizing how far I traveled to get here. So my recommendation is just get out there, run away from the voice inside of your head saying you cant do it or you will look stupid or fat or slow, or whatever. I did and guess what that voice became a whisper and then it stopped and a new voice spoke, louder, stronger, and said, YOU JUST DID IT!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fun Filled Friday

Lets first start off and say today was a fantastic day. I had off of work, which was fantastic enough in its self. I was going on 9 days straight, coming off of a very busy vacation previous, and threw myself into work, preparing for my inventory. So today being my day off alone was glorious! Started the day with a gym session with my very close friend, Jacke, (follow her blog at wants2savelives.blogspot.com, she is pretty much amazing).  Our gym sessions are an hour long of catching up, girl talk, venting and working up a sweat at our local gym. Working out with a friend is probably one of the greatest things EVER. Even though it is 6:00 am, I am dead tired and sore, knowing you're meeting one of your best friends, changes the whole dynamic of the day and it becomes a fun task, rather than something you have to do! I recommend finding a gym buddy, they pretty much change your life!! So any who, got the work out in, feeling energized, and ready to take on the day. The bf and I both had off today, he actually took the day off so we could spend the whole day together to celebrate my birthday since we couldn't yesterday (isn't he the best). As per my request because I am a total kid at heart, we went to Busch Gardens. The weather actually held up for most of the afternoon. Here in Florida in the summer, it is our "winter" because it is guaranteed to rain every darn day. We got a good 5 hours in, rode a few roller coasters, checked out the animals and headed on home. It was amazing exercise because you walk all over!! I wish I had tracked it because I know I probably could have earned some activity points from all the walking. We have annual passes, so the fact the lines were super long and it rained, the day wasn't a total wash because we can go back anytime. Side note, going to amusement parks now aren't scary with food. The restaurants had a ton of healthy options. The main key is knowing what you want and picking out the right choices. No matter where I am, I can always modify my food decisions and if I want to cheat I will. I enjoyed fruit today, a turkey wrap and even indulged in a few pieces of caramel popcorn. But the idea is I planned ahead, I worked out and walked, so I could enjoy. After BG, we hit up Whole Foods, which I found a lot of great new finds. Tomorrow I will post those in my Fab Finds Page. Then of course we went to Target, because I do have an obsession with that store, I went in for yogurt and left with 5 new running gear items, most on clearance! I know a bargain. We topped off our day/night with Panera and now curling up to a movie. I swear I am so blessed to have such an amazing boyfriend, who put all my favorite things into one whole day. Its days like this that makes me very optimistic about this year!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A New Year, A New Start, A New Me...

Well, its my birthday!!!! I turn 28 today. I have to say, I love Birthdays. I am not sure why or when it all started but growing up I remember birthday's just being a really big deal. It was a day to celebrate, reflect, have fun, enjoy, etc. Parties were had, cake, balloons, presents, the whole nine yards. Then as the years pass, birthday's become much different, parties not so much, maybe meeting up for dinner, phone calls rather than seeing someone in person, cards in your mailbox and trying to forget your birthday and how old you are getting is the true reflection. I am not one to reflect on how old I am getting, I am lucky to make each birthday. Its a blessing and a chance to start new. I understand that New Year's is usually the time to reflect on the year, etc, but your birthday, well for me, half the year is over by this time, its a time to reflect on how you want to spend the rest of the year and your birthday year. I know I am not making much sense, but bare with me!
I think I make a big deal out of birthday's because it was the one day that everything in my life seemed to come together for 24 hours. Growing up I had a pretty hard childhood and teenage years. And of course as I got older, life did not get any easier, and last year I lost my father. He died unexpectedly to an alcohol induced heart attack and cirrhosis of the liver, so birthday's are good and they also suck for me. My father would call me every year, or visit me wherever I was living and wish me a Happy Birthday at 1:13pm, the time I was born. No matter what was going on in his life, where he may have been or whatever job he was at, he made my birthday the very best. So birthday's are special to me because they were taught to me by my father to be special and I miss that. So to fill the whole and gap of where his light used to be, I enjoy taking the time and celebrating each year. But I sure do miss that phone call.
This morning to celebrate my birthday in my own way, I went for a nice 4 mile run. The minute I put my Pandora station on, which so happened to be Glee Cast radio, yes I am a total Gleek, the Glee version of Don't Stop Believing was the first song, coincidence, I think NOT! My run was set for success. I ran at a nice easy pace, clocking a 10:45min per mile, which I am happy about. My left leg gave me a little bit of trouble, the thigh muscle and behind my knee felt very tight, icing that bad boy as we speak. I made it through my 4 miles, sweaty, satisfied and fulfilled. Ready to take on the day, and this year! Hoping this year is my very best year yet, filled with lots of memories and big milestones along the way.
Here's to 28!!!!

Box Subscription Obsessed

I subscribe to a couple different monthly mail box subscriptions and I think they are awesome. It literally is like Christmas to me, each month when those little, fun filled, totally awesome new product items are waiting on my doorstep. I currently subscribe to Bulu Box, Bestowed and Runners Box. Bulu and Bestowed are a monthly box, while Runner's Box is a bi-monthly subscription. Bulu Box is more geared around  healthy body, vitamins and well being. They have two options to choose from, I choose the Weight Loss box, I have only tried it once, last month and currently waiting for my July box to arrive. Runner's Box is the best subscription for running enthusiasts like myself. It is filled and stuffed to the brim with awesome, new, exciting running and fitness products, geared towards short and long distance runners. That box is backed a little bit more than the other boxes because it is bi-monthly, while the others are monthly. And now to Bestowed. Bestowed box contains about 5-6 full size healthy, unique, new options, hand picked by Heather Bauer, a nutritionist. This lady knows what she is talking about and what she is looking for. This is my second month with Bestowed Box and I haven't been disappointed yet. Today, receiving my Bestowed Box, was an early Birthday gift to myself. Opening it up, I fell in love. There are sweet potato chips, vanilla macaroons, an online exercise subscription, a Chia bar (obsessed with anything and everything Chia related at this point, FYI), crackers, and something so bizarre, but very unique and intriguing, puree Butternut Squash. Oh and a free subscription to Organic Gardening magazine. Once opening my box, I immediately put the point values on each of the items, that way I can plan and track correctly, even though I wanted to indulge and try each item right away, BUT I resisted. I did try the 34 brand crackers, no nutrition content was listed on them. The 34 brand crackers were crisp and light, but I would much rather have a cracker with substance for my hummus and snacking desires. I will report back on each item I try. My view here is subscription boxes are all the rage right now. And there is a box out there for anyone and a decent price point also. Bulu is only 10.00 a month, Bestowed is 20.00 and Runner's Box is 25.00. And you can cancel anytime you aren't satisfied. Google a box, try it out and I am sure you will fall in love with some new items, like I am.
www.bestowed.com
Filled to brim with healthy goodness. Yum!!
Hooray Puree:  1pp
Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato: 5pp for the whole bag
Health Warrior Coconut Chia Bar: 3pp
Emmy's Coconut Vanilla Macaroons: 3pp per 1 cookie. ( I am really going to have to use self control with this one, I LOVE anything coconut, vanilla and well in the shape of a cookie or macaroon-Extra PP here I come lol)
Exercise App to download and Organic Gardening Subscription: 0pp ;0)