Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nook Book Worm: Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman

I think I'm going to start a new post, like my Fab Finds, Daily Eats, and Weekly Weigh Ins, this one will be about my current reading I'm indulging in on my Nook. I love to read. I love getting lost in the pages, characters and story lines. As much I love to read, finding time is always hard. I need to make more time, maybe instead of watching my DVR or shopping, or even being on the computer, DEFIANTLY not stopping the blogging hahaha, I should pick up my Nook. Well, that is what I plan on doing.

My life is about to be so busy with the fast approaching holiday season, I need to get lost in a book to clear my mind and reduce stress. I love all kind of books, but I tend to read the bestsellers or the top books. I love anything and everything by Nicholas Sparks and I have a soft spot of romance novels and anything that relates to addiction, alcoholism and jail, probably because I have experienced it my life.

Yesterday on Facebook on my news feed came a sale that was going on with Nook, 50% off top selling Nook books and this time there were actual good books on the list. I could have bought a ton of books, which my wallet probably would have hated. I chose Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman, due to the fact the fav it is getting from the hit series on Netflix. From page one, I have been hooked. I haven't been able to put it down, I'm half way through the book. I love it.


Source: 


I have an emotional attachment to the book because as a young girl, I had to deal with my mother going to prison for 9 months of my teenage years. I often wonder what my mother thought about in prison or what it was like on the inside, it is something we don't really discuss. Yes, my mother is out of prison and has been for the past 13 years, but it is something I will live for the rest of my life. This book is all about Piper's year long stint in women's prison. The writing is easy and funny and emotional. I am half way through and I know I will finish it in the next two days. I actually will dive back into it right after this.

I will report back on this shortly with a small review, not a report lol.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I love Saturday's off....

I love Saturday's off! There is something about having a Saturday off, I mean I do the same thing on this day off that I do with any other one during the week, but saying I have Saturday off is so different. I think it is a retail thing. I get one Saturday off a month and really try hard to make it the very best and this Saturday off definitely lived up to that. Here's a bit of a recap:

Got up at 5:00 am, I know crazy, the one day I can possibly sleep in, I'm getting up even before the sun. Prepared myself for my 10 mile run. Made myself a multi grain waffle with 1 tsp of Planter's NutEnergy Mix PB, a banana and a Powerbar Blend Energy Pouch. Took a water with me and then headed downtown. Had to stop at Walgreen's to grab my Zico water for post run. They sell them in single bottles, cold, and this makes me extremely happy! The Dark Chocolate one of course is my go to flavor. Made it downtown around 6:10 and started my run at 6:16.

The first 4 miles were really tough. My fuel belt, the new one was having some issues. The water bottle was squirting out water as I ran. I had to dump two of them because it was driving me CRAZY. I think I can't fill them to the top or this will happen, so glad I'm testing this now and not day of race. After the 4th mile, my mind and body got into the pattern, I had a huge blister on the back of my right foot and really tried to push out the pain, it worked. Mind over Matter baby! My pace for each mile was sitting around 11:24, which is good, but I want to always be better.

Mile 7 I seemed to hit another road block, my legs were getting sore and thoughts and aggravation were flooding my mind. I pushed the thoughts away and focused on the music and my surroundings. I also thought of different things, people I haven't seen in years, the next time I will go home and see my Poppy, what I wanted to do that day and I thought of my dad. I thought about the day he died and how I felt, and with those thoughts and emotions I pushed through mile 7. My shuffle kicked into the perfect songs and I felt my legs loosen up a bit and my pace finally picked up. I seriously felt like Forest Gump when his braces fell off as he was running.



Yup that is exactly how I felt!!!

Then it was great. I tried to eat a GU but I don't think I can use them anymore. The texture just wasn't the same or settling for me. I had one taste and had to throw it out. I think I'm going to stick to Gatorade Chews, Chomps or Sports Beans, they go down a lot easier for me.

My best moment was at mile 9 going into mile 10, I had a pace of 9:53! 9:53!!!! I have never, ever had a mile pace like that. So even though I started out kind of slow, I finished strong. Feeling great after my run, I stretched and then watched the rest of the sunrise. There were so many people out running this morning, it was so motivating. We were all racing together.

5pp!

For my refuel I went to Panera Bread and got the Egg White Power Bowl with Turkey off their Hidden Menu. Amazing!




It was so delicious and paired it with a coffee and relaxed.

Then did my weekly grocery shopping and stocked up on our veggies and fruits. Made it home and then cleaned and decorated our apartment for fall. Yes, its 90 degrees, but I can imagine. Burned my apple and pumpkin candles, decorated and took it all in.

Made myself a quick lunch and laid on the couch, stretching out my legs and actually pulled out my Nook and read! Yup, I actually was able to take time to read, downloaded Orange Is The New Black and got through 3 chapters. A nap was next and I turned off my phone and just slept. It was glorious.

Now I'm unwinding with my love and just enjoying our shows we DVR'd. I live a pretty simple life, may seem boring, but these are the days I live for.

Hope your day was just as glorious and you make your Saturday's just as special.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finally Friday!

It has been a long week to say the least. Busy at work all week, early hours and worked every day including Sunday and haven't had a day off since last Wednesday. Yes, its exhausting, tiring but in the end I know all my hard work and dedication is worth it. The beginning of the week it was really laying heavy on me, the rain didn't make it any better, and I was just a pure crank monster. Crank Monster= Cranky, crazy, monster like state of mind and attitude. I came home from work and just didn't want to do, see or engage in anything. My body felt so run down. On Wednesday finally the rain cleared up and so did I with an amazing 4.28 mile run, seriously it was exactly what I needed and ever since then I have been feeling great. Got another run in last night, 3.50 miles and then tonight I got a 2.00 mile walk in because I am planning on doing my long run of 10 miles in the morning.

Due to my crank monster attitude all week, I was happy to have a half day today at work and I just took some time to myself. I stopped my GNC and Barnes and Nobles and surprised my boyfriend for lunch, we went to Panera and my mood and life was back to normal. Isn't it crazy how a couple of days just come out of nowhere and rock you. After my awesome lunch with an even better lunch date, I went home and Napped. Yup, an under the covers, AC blasting, phone on silent nap. Felt great.

To keep our great day going, we decided  it was going to be a date night. We got pizza, yup pizza, counted the points, and maybe I didn't count every piece of Cheesy bread I ate. I am only human and I love bread and sometimes I just want it. Tonight I wanted it, plus I try to justify I AM running 10 miles in the morning, haha. I work hard every day and every week, if I want pizza and bread I will get it. After the awesome pizza we went to the movies and saw Don Jon. Joesph Gordon Levitt is my new favorite actor, he is gorgeous and his accent, NJ accent did it for me in this movie.



The movie is definitely not an Oscar winner, but it was a nice movie that had a romantic twist, but had LOTS of guy factors to it also. Win Win for both of us.



You know, even though we spend every day together, every night, practically every minute, it is still nice to have a date night and I seriously fall in love all over again. He is my rock and so glad we are in each others lives and puts up with my Crank Monster days. We are domesticate, simple but mostly we are happy. So even though the week started a bit rough and I never thought this day would come this week, I am glad it was worth the wait because today was pretty great!

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Running Outside

I really enjoy running outside. A lot of people ask me all the time, how the heck I run outside in Florida, its 90 plus degrees, humid, the sun is stronger then fire, bugs everywhere, little lizard like animals, oh and it is hotter then hell!!! Well the best I can say is I make it feel like I have no choice in the world, I just gotta get out there and do it. I DO NOT LIKE RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL. I loathe it, tried it a couple of times of times and it felt like I was going to die. Running outside there is so much to see, hear, paths and routes to take, people to see, the motivation of running around other people is so rewarding and fulfilling. I get it when you're in the gym it is the same thing also, but seriously running outdoors is life changing. You get a whole perspective of where you live.

But the main reason I love to run outside is because the motivation I am hoping I am giving to others. I love when people honk as I'm running, or those sitting on their front porches as I go by, or the high fives your get from fellow runners. Those driving by, I hope when they see me, they feel motivated or inspired, especially those who think they cant do it. I hope I am inspiring to maybe go home and put on their running shoes and head out the door. Or maybe I just planted a bug in their head of something they want to do in the future.

I am not in perfect shape. I have big thighs, a big butt and flabby arms that wave more back at you then my hand, but I am out there doing it. I don't care how I look all I care about is the fact I am getting in miles and accomplishing something I NEVER thought I would do.

I know this is random but this is what I think about while I run. And if you ever see me out on a run, honk, say hi, but more importantly if you can, get out and run with me!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weekly Weigh In: Back at Square One

Last Sunday I weighed in, which is two days earlier then what I normally do and was down .6. Hey, a half of a pound is better than nothing. This week, I knew I was going to be able to weigh in at my normal meeting schedule. I was sure I was going to have a gain or just a weird weigh in because I was weighing in at night and two days longer. When I got on the scale I had gained .6, what I had lost last week, but here is the kicker, I am okay with that because the week prior I had maintained, so I was right back where I started the month. I would rather maintain then gain anytime. Am I bummed out I am still stuck at this 1-2 roller coaster, yeah I really am, but I understand this is a journey and sometimes the best things in life take a little bit longer. My goal is to be around 145 by the Women's Half Marathon in November. I have exactly two months to get that accomplished. I am going to do it!!!! Each week is different, but one thing is the same, my drive, will and dedication to make this best life I could ever imagine.

Last Week
151.8
This week
152.4
+.6

Monday, September 23, 2013

My 100th Post!!!!!

So I am sure I should have some profound post for it being my 100 post, but its late, I am tired and well tomorrow is a new day, but for my 100th post, I want to share this awesome Running Image quote I found. I love this quote and it sums up my whole life right there, and my whole dedication to running.

Perfect for my 100th post, short, sweet and to the point....and tomorrow just starts 101 :0)

Panera Bread Hidden Menu

Disclaimer: Images with calorie content and description were copied from the press release I found on Google, pertraining to the Hidden, Secret Menu.

I have heard from a bunch of different websites and even in a Hungry Girl post about Panera Bread's Hidden Menu. The menu was a marketing idea that was alerted through Facebook and main avenues of social media. The concept was they had a menu that featured items that had lean protein, veggie heavy and low carb options, which are all right up my alley. Under my assumption I believed it was only certain markets doing the Hidden menu, but I saw more and more people posting it on Instagram. So I goggled it and found out they have it under their nutrition menu on their website but it will not be advertised to the stores, you go there knowing what you want to get. They have 2 Power breakfast bowls, all of these bowls, lunch and breakfast have the word Power into them, referring to the idea they are packed with powerful ingredients. LOVE IT!

Then for the lunch and dinner options there are 4! They involve chicken, steak or turkey and they are a full sized bowl, not part of the pick too. I love anything and everything chicken and I love hummus, so I picked the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl, which was only 8pp.

Here is a description and picture I got off of the website...
panera6

POWER CHICKEN HUMMUS BOWL
All-natural, Antibiotic-free chicken, with cilantro jalapeno hummus, baby spinach, cucumbers, diced tomatoes & red onions finished with fresh squeezed lemon & fresh chopped cilantro. 330 calories, 23g carbs, 33g protein.

This was absolutely delicious!!! I was so excited to try it and couldn't even wait to dive in, my boyfriend was even jealous, it even came with a side of EVOO. The hummus was delicious and the lemon added just the right amount of tang and zip. I paired my bowl with a Low Fat Chicken Noodle soup and a half of a half of whole wheat bread. I was quite hungry and would rather fuel up on these items, rather the huge and totally cute pumpkin sugar cookie that winked at me as I came in.

This is what I got:



This is now my new favorite item on their "menu". I feel a little bit bad ass walking in there and requesting from the hidden menu, like I am some sort of secret Panera agent. I WISH! I don't think I will always pair it with a cup of soup, but a rainy, lazy night like tonight was just what I needed.

I don't normally go to Panera for breakfast, but look at these options they have:

panera2
POWER BREAKFAST EGG WHITE BOWL WITH ROASTED TURKEY
Roasted all-natural, Antibiotic-free turkey, egg whites, warm baby spinach, roasted peppers, and basil Pesto. 180 calories, 7g carbs, 25g protein. 5pp.
panera3
POWER BREAKFAST EGG BOWL WITH STEAK
Two all-natural eggs, seared top sirloin, sliced avocado & tomatoes. 230 calories, 5g carbs, 20g protein. 6pp

Holy yum in my tum!!! I would make the trip for breakfast for these items, or like a nice way to end a long run...hmmm that gives me an idea, I am running 10 miles this might be my treat!

Here are some more images from the press release of the other items on the menu:

panera4
POWER MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SALAD
All-natural, Antibiotic-free chicken, baby spinach, romaine, tomatoes, apple-wood smoked bacon, diced eggs, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. 360 calories, 12g carbs, 35g protein. 9pp
panera5
POWER MEDITERRANEAN ROASTED TURKEY SALAD
All-natural, Antibiotic-free roasted turkey, baby spinach, romaine, tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. 320 calories, 12g carbs, 22g protein. 8pp

panera7
POWER STEAK LETTUCE WRAPS
Seared top-sirloin, leaf lettuce, cucumbers, diced tomatoes & red onions, basil pesto and finished with fresh lemon juice. 280 calories, 7g carbs, 28g protein. 7pp

I am very excited to see these at Panera and with Panera, you know you are getting something fresh, quick and healthy, which I love. Their website allows you to track the nutrition facts, which in turn you can calculate to points plus, which I have. It makes life easier and it makes having a healthy lifestyle, doable. I give Panera two thumbs up and I will forever be a customer of theirs. Stay tuned as I try each of these Power, Hidden Menu items over time.

Make sure to try them yourself also!!

www.panerabread.com
www.paneranutrition.com

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fab Finds: New Smart Ones Soups: Baked Potato and Roasted Veggie

I love eating soup. It doesn't matter if it is 100 degrees outside or below 10, I could eat soup at every meal. I was excited to see Smart Ones getting in on the action. I know Weight Watchers endorses Progresso Light, which is my favorite brand of soups to eat, so to see they came out with there own in the frozen section, I grabbed two of the flavors.

According to some emails I have received Target is the only store that will be carrying the Smart Ones soups. They are in the frozen section and a single serving. They take less than 3 minutes to cook and come in there own bowl. I think a marketing genius idea would have been including a spoon to go along with it. There are I believe 5 different flavors, I picked up 2, Loaded Baked Potato and Fire Roasted Vegetable.




The Loaded Baked Potato is 4pp and it is merely just okay. It is not all that creamy and they claim on the box to have a cheesy taste to it. The potatoes were tough and kind of crunchy, like not fully cooked and it had a very strong taste of bacon. Now all of these things are great for the soup, but not at all what I was looking for. It was watery and bland and I didn't have any pepper at work to spice it up, it really needed it. I enjoy the Progresso Light Baked Potato one much better. I probably wont try this flavor again.



The Fire Roasted Vegetable was way better and only 1pp. I love anything low in points and for soup this is perfect, especially for a single serving. The broth was tasty and spicy and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. The serving is quite small, so this would be a great addition to a salad or sandwich. I ate the soup and had a Cookie Dough Questbar later on, to give a little more substance. I will be buying this one again and again.

Overnight Oats: Key Lime Pie

Sure it is starting to begin to look a lot like fall, but I live in Florida and fall doesn't really come until November, so I still revert back to summertime favorites. And I love KEY LIME PIE!! Florida has some amazing Key Lime Pie and it is on my bucket list to go to Key West to indulge in a huge slice of Key Lime Pie lol. So I incorporated my love for Key Lime Pie into my Overnight Oats. Chobani has an amazing Key Lime Pie Flip yogurt, which is my absolute favorite flavor of the flip kinds they have. I mirrored my overnight oats off of the yogurt. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie Overnight Oats

Ingredients




1/4 cup of old fashioned oats-2pp
1/4 cup of plain, nonfat, Greek Yogurt-1pp
1 scoop of GNC Lean Shake Mix (Key Lime Pie flavor)-2pp
1 tsp of mini white chocolate chips-1pp
2 small squares of Reduced Fat Cinnamon Graham Crackers-0pp
1 tbsp of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk-0pp

Directions

Layer all the ingredients, minus the Graham Crackers into a sealed jar. Mix together then crumble the graham crackers onto of the oats, seal jar and put in the fridge overnight. Dive in the morning. You can leave the graham crackers off and crumble them on top the next morning. Also instead of the Lean Shake mix, you can try Lime jell-o powder instead, I'm sure you would get the same results. It tasted just like a key lime pie, dessert for breakfast.





6pp Total

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tough Runs Do Happen...

On Wednesday I put my first double digit mileage in over 5 months, it felt great, it went really well but later in the day I was completely beat. I was really dragging but then would get a burst of energy here and there. I tried to fuel and hydrate through out the day and knew I had to eat a little bit over my points to make sure I was fueling what I had burned, but I just wasn't hungry and had no energy. Yesterday I woke up for work and planned on doing some sort of exercise before I had to go and close, but I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so sluggish and was moving like a snail. I made a pretty good breakfast but my eyelids were heavy and I felt like I had to slap my face a bunch of times to wake up. I hydrated with iced green tea and attempted to make it through my 10 hour day. I have no clue what came over me, I was just really dragging.

Some days are just those types of days when you are increasing your mileage and training...

Today I worked an opening shift, which got me out of work at 530. I brought my running gear with me and packed lots of food and snacks for the day. I was going to fuel before I put in my mileage tonight. I figured to get at least 18 miles in this week, I needed to do at least 5 tonight. I left work and had a bit of energy, I was happy I had a bit of pep to my step. Got downtown and started out on my run, and then it hit me. I had a headache allllll day long, a sinus one right behind my eye and inside of my nose. It was really bad, but not bad where I was down for the count, but when I started running, of course the Motrin and caffeine wore off and made its way out again. Then the shin splints came and the fuel belt felt like it weighed 80 pounds.

Nothing felt right and nothing was going right...

It was panning out to be a bad run. I tried to just concentrate on the music in my ears and the views of the amazing downtown St. Pete offers, but my brain was taking over and telling me to turn around and go back. My brain was convincing me it was over and 3 miles would be enough, it tricked me into thinking this is not my life, why am I doing this, I could be home, laying down, snacking and watching tv.

My brain was playing horrible tricks on me!

I had to curse myself out to make myself continue you on and after a lot of mental choose words, I pushed out those doubts. My run was slow and my legs felt like bricks just gliding along the pavement, but I made it through those 5 miles tonight.

I understand that not all runs will be considered good runs. Sometimes they are going to be so bad, it will discourage you from going on or ever wanting to do it again, but the choice you have is to listen and give up or block it out, curse, scream, shout and continue on. I would choose the latter, which is what I did and it was even more rewarding at the end... knowing I didn't give up.

And...
Photo: How far will you go this weekend?

And because I didn't give up..I treated myself to these items...


Small pumpkin iced with skim and splenda, 2pp!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Double Digits, Baby!!



Well, I knew this day was fast approaching, the day I had to increase my mileage to the double digits. Running 10 miles is a long time, the count down on my Runtastic app, counts down for me each mile and when I hit 5, I love knowing I am only half way there. Its crazy to think, I am running 10 miles and then it is even more crazier, knowing I have only done half of my workout at that point.

When I know I am running a long run, I prep my mind and body for it. I make sure everyday I say on Wednesday or whatever day it may be, I am running so and so miles, it pumps me up. Even better, it holds me accountable for those miles. I feel when I say it out loud, it puts it out there in the world and I don't want to disappoint anyone if I don't follow through with what I said I was going to do. I wanted to go this morning at 5:00 AM, well get up at 5:00 at least, I got up and decided I just needed at least an hour more of sleep. 

Increasing my mileage has definitely put a toll on my energy level, so I am feeling it a lot in the morning. I slept to about 6:00 and then prepped myself for the run. I ate 1 multi grain waffle with Planter's Energy Banana Granola Peanut Butter, a banana and a bottle of water, took my multivitamins and made my way downtown. I brought along my 4 water bottle fuel belt, the first time I would be using it, and filled the bottles with NUUN to keep me hydrated. I brought a GU like item for energy for mile 7. 

Believe it or not my run went great this morning. The belt was tight, which I loved, I didn't have to fix it at all, the water bottles worked at very well and the GU, was a little hard to get down, it was warm, but I made it through. Around mile 5, my legs were getting a little heavy and then mile 8 I got a burst of energy and was able to finish strong. Its tiring and at some points I am burnt out and just cant wait for my walk interval or when the miles are going to stop. Then when it is all over, I sit and think, I could have done more or I cant wait to do more.

I stretched afterwords, my legs were tight for sure and then just sat and watched the water for about 20 minutes and refuelled with my fat free chocolate milk. I wasn't hungry or too thirsty, I felt pretty great. I was soaked to the core with sweat, it was in my eyes, ears and my arms were glistening like Edward in Twilight, but I felt accomplished. I finished 18 seconds faster than my first ever 10 mile run back in January, which over all made it about 2-3 minutes faster of a pace. I have a goal in mind I want to achieve the Half Marathon in and I know I am on my way. 

Right now, feeling a bit tired, a little sore, but determined and accomplished. My next long run will be next Saturday and tackling the 10 miles again. And like they say, a half marathon is just a 5k with a 10 mile warm-up.

Working on my warm up!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Motivational Monday: Better Than Yesterday

I am a little bit late with my Monday morning motivation. I had to rush to work and was home late and was just beat after work, but nothing gets me more excited or happy then reading some quotes on Google and Pinterest. The one I am posting is so true.

Each day we get a little bit better than the day before. Maybe you didn't run today or work out but you made good choices with food. You had win for choosing an apple rather than a candy bar. Each day is a journey and small steps. And you can always be better than the day before and set yourself up for the day ahead. I love this quote because it ties into every aspect of your life.

I know this late but it is something to think about as you go to bed or start your Tuesday terrific!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Simple Sunday & Weekly Weigh In Early

Usually on my days off I tend to wake up between 5-6, so I can get a run in. I was suppose to run downtown with my bff, Jacke, but she had a huge project for Nursing School due today, so she couldn't make it. So proud of her, she is working so hard, trying to get  her runs and exercise in and working a part time job, while running a household, girl is getting it done!! So since we weren't going to go together, I had a wild idea of just sleeping in a bit and running a couple hours later.

My bf and I were up late last night, watching the Mayweather fight, believe me 1:30 am is late for us these days, I can barely make it past 10:00 at times. I remember the days of changing bars at 1:30 am hehe. I had set my alarm for 6:00am, and then when it went off I said the heck with it, I am going to just sleep in. It was so tough getting out of bed, I was in the perfect cozy set up and my bf was cuddle right against me, what Sundays are made of. I slept in until 9:00. That is late for me and it felt great.

I got dressed and did a 3.13 mile run. I was trying to work on my first mile speed work because the first is always the fastest when I race because everyone is just trying to get out of the crowd, I wanted to work on it so I could get a good rhythm. Even though I was only running 2 hours later than I normally do, it was so hot. When I was done, in the AC, and unwinding, I was still dripping sweat.

I have a Store Managers meeting on Tuesday which is all day long, I wont be able to make it to my WW meeting or weigh in. I decided today I would weigh in, because I don't want to skip over it. They are only open for an hour on Sunday's so I had a small margin of time. I weighed in and pleasantly pleased I was down .6! Not a whole lot, but I will take a lost as a lost considering I just weighed in 4 days ago. .6 isn't a whole lot but I was so happy to see the number go down, even if it is just a little bit.

I think I might have found what works for me and that is eating my activity points, especially on days I do my long runs. I need to eat more than 26 those days because I burn so many calories in one time frame, so it works for me to eat over because I am constantly burning those calories. I am going to test it for another month and see if that is really what is working.

After my weigh in, I went and did some grocery shopping. Even though it costs me so much money to eat well, it is so worth it and I don't mind spending money to keep me looking this good. I came home after and just relaxed, I wanted to sit down to just read for a bit, but Million Dollar Baby was on TV and there was no hope for me, I was hooked. And I was crying like a baby, movie it does it to me. BF came home and now we are both in our comfy clothes, full from an awesome Turkey Chili with Cornbread, 9pp and watching Sunday Night Football.

Hope everyone had a nice, simple, Sunday like mine!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Overnight Oats: Peanut Butter Jelly Time

This one is probably one of my new favorite flavors and combinations I have come up with. I am sure someone has done this kind before but wow this tasted just like pb&j without the crust. It was very delicious and filling. I used sugar free grape jam, use grape or strawberry, which ever you prefer. I also used the vanilla fat free yogurt, you can use plain or any flavor you choose. Try using Greek yogurt if you like to add more protein. And I included chia seeds, you can obit out or add more. I used PB2 because it is my PB of choice, use your own choice, it will just alter the Points Plus values.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time Overnight Oats



1/4 cups of Old Fashioned Oats-2pp
1 container of Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt-2pp
2 Tbsp of PB2-1pp
1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds-1pp
1 Tbsp of Sugar Free Grape Jam-0pp
1 banana cut up-0pp

Add all ingredients into a mason jar, bowl or tightly sealed device of choice. I put my ingredients just as they are displayed in the ingredients list.



Then mix or shake them all up.

 Mash up the banana a bit when stirring that way it makes it's way through all of the oats.



Put in the fridge overnight and in the morning enjoy.

Its a childhood favorite, revamped!

Slimmed Down Fall Drink Favorite

It is pumpkin overload season and I LOVE IT!!!! I seriously have something every day that has pumpkin in it. I have gotten ground pumpkin coffee and pumpkin k-cups for my coffee addiction at home, but sometimes at work I would like something a little different, so I head to Starbucks. Well, I am not one who likes to drink their points on Weight Watchers, so I a PSL (Pumpkin Spiced Latte) is out of the question for me. Way to many points, maybe towards the end of the season I will give in, but for now I stick to an Iced Grande Coffee with skim milk, splenda and two pumps pumpkin, turns out to be 1pp. I will take that and run with it.

I was at Target the other day and found the Tazo Pumpkin Spiced Latte concentrate. I am a big fan of the concentrates, I have posted the Green Tea and Spiced Chai Latte early, you can find them under the Daily Eats or Fab Finds tab on the home page. They are low in calories and mixed with 1 or 1/2 cup of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk it makes for a crazy low point drink. I purchased the Pumpkin Spice and made it for work the other day.



1/2 cup of the PSL concentrate
1 cup of almond milk
4-5 ice cubes or however many you desire
mix and enjoy

You can use the concentrate for hot drinks also.

I recommend just using 1/2 cup of the milk or maybe 2/3, the full cup was a little too much milk for me and distracted from the pumpkin, but all in all it tasted the same as Starbucks, at less money, less points and less calories.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Luck on Friday the 13th

The last couple of days have been kind of rough. I ran my long run on Wednesday which was 9.12 miles, it was great. I started early at 6:00 and was done by 7:40. It was kind of scary but enlightening running that early in the morning, I did feel like I was running looking down the whole time because I did not want to trip and fall, that is the last thing I would need. It was fantastic coming around the corner and seeing the sun rise.

I swear moments like this and that really are a spiritual experience for me and make all the pain worth it. I wasn't sore after the run and my legs felt great. But throughout the day my hungry was crazy! I was just hungry all day long, I tried to pick fiber and protein items to make myself feel better. I earned 18 points on Weight Watchers, and ended up eating 10 of those over my own  points, which I am hoping will aid in a weight loss because I am fueling what I was taking out. I ate my activity points last week and I maintained, fingers crossed.

On Thursday I planned to get up in the morning and work out before I had to do my closing shift, but when I woke up I felt like I was hit by a truck. My body was sore and I was just tired, I just wanted to lay in bed and sleep in, that is exactly what I did. And let me tell you, it felt great. I guess sometimes you just need one extra day of rest.

Today, I was going to wake up early and do a small run around my neighborhood. I really have to make sure I run at least 3 days a week, one long run, and two between 3-6 miles and then 2 of those days some kind of gym or home DVD. This morning, I had a weird feeling getting up early to run, around my neighbor is scary at times, dark, no lights and just not very safe. So I slept in and argued with myself that I was going to run after work, no matter what. I packed my clothes this morning, brought them to work and was ready to go. I seriously had an argument in my head about going. I was tired, I wanted to just go shopping or home and lie down, but I went.

I am so glad I did. I ended up getting in 4.24 miles, I was caught in a small rain storm, but through the rain, came the most beautiful and bright and completely horizon to horizon rainbow I have ever seen. It was stunning and stayed bright for 3 1/2 miles. I mean people were stopping everywhere just to see it. It is an image I will never forget, no picture was needed, something like that you never forget.

So despite how much I didn't want to run, how much I fought my own body and mind, it is so much worth it in end. My advice is curse yourself out, fight with yourself, beat yourself up and make sure you get out there and run or workout or anything because you never know what you will see, maybe a double rainbow on Friday the 13th.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hungry Girl's Crazy for Coconut Softies

After posting and trying HG's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softies, I was hooked and knew I was going to make every single one in the 200 under 200 Dessert book. And I am on my second choice. These ones are super delicious. They taste like an over sized Toasted Coconut Macaroon. I feel in love with them.

Crazy For Coconut Softies
3pp or 129 calories
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
2 tbsp light whipped butter or light buttery spread, room temp
2 tbsp no-sugar added applesauce
2 tbsp fat free liquid egg substitute
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a baking sheet with no calorie non-stick spray.

In a med bowl, combine sugar, butter, applesauce, egg, and extract. Whisk thoroughly.

Add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir smooth.

Stir in oats and coconut. Spoon batter onto the sheet in 6 evenly spaced mounds. You can press down on the batter with the back of a spoon to spread and flatten into 3 inch circles. I like to let them have a little mound to them. I like a chunky cookie, rather than a flat one.



Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 10 minutes. I set a timer to 10 minutes and they came out perfect.



I paired it with a glass of milk and it was great. Macaroons are one of my favorite cookies of all time and these just replaced them. Yum!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nathan Running Water/Fuel Belt

With my last couple of long and short runs, my water/fuel belt has seen some better days. I have tripped and fell and bottles have been broken, it is just time to move on and get a new one. I got mine last year from my boyfriend and I have put it to some serious use and because I have lost the weight, it doesn't hold up as well anymore. It slides and hits my legs, makes it uncomfortable at times to get into a good pace, when I'm stopping to fix it. And I need water, I have tried and cant do it.

My boyfriend got mine from Dicks and it was sort of pricey, so I knew I didn't want to go back. I was looking for one that had more of belt idea, rather than the Velcro. My running bff suggested to try TJMaxx or Marshalls, sometimes you can find really great ones there. So I was in the area and figured I would pop into a TJMaxx. Sure enough I found what I was looking for! They had mine I had gotten at Dicks, originally for 47.00, there price 24.99! Ouch! They had it in pink and orange. I figured that would be good, they had the two bottle one in orange with the belt clip too, exactly what I was looking for. Then tucked away on the shelf was this beauty....



4 bottle water and fuel belt for 20.00 on clearance!!! I grabbed it so quickly, I couldn't believe it, 4 bottles can be as high as 60.00 bucks and to be on clearance for 20.00, too good to be true. The water bottles are different, they have a open close water nozzle, that you just suck from, rather than the other ones, which I was having an issue leaking with anyway. Its not pink, but I can deal, I have a lot of pink gear anyway to offset it lol. I was so excited for this find, 4 bottles is just what I needed and really is a gem in my running world.

It is the Velcro latching but I can learn to live considering this might hold up better since is brand new and smaller than what I had. I can not wait to try it out and get used to it before the half marathon in November. I am still on the look out for the one with the clip and if I find one, I will pick it up, just like anything in my running obsession, you can never have too many of the things that work the best for you!



Fab Finds: Clearance Deals at Target

Well I am totally one of those people who go into Target for one thing and a cart load later, I'm walking out with tons of things!



SERIOUSLY! I envy those who can do that. I went to Target today.y because it was my day off and I had a 5.00 gift card I earned from them from some purchase I had made, so being it was my day off and I really had nothing else to do, already did my 9 miles early this morning AND I was in the area, why the heck not?! Well I am a bargain shopper to begin with, I am not one to buy full price. So I search for clearance and I went there looking for clearance, usually food type of clearance and clothes.

Here are some of my fantastic finds that are oh so random lol:

So excited about this find! A chevron pencil skirt in hot pink and gray! A size small, something I can squeeze into  AND only 5.98, originally 19.99!

I think I did a happy  jig when I spotted this one. At work we have a dress code of black, white or grey, so once I see something in those colors, I snatch it up and this is super cute and since I live in Florida, I can pull this off for months. Originally 26.00, got it for 7.48.

Shirts to match the skirts of course, 5.00 bucks each, super soft and stretchy. Love comfy clothes that still can be dressed up and who doesn't love a simple tee.

I love performance socks and C9, Target's athletic line by Champion has the best. I have a pack of these in black and love them, especially when it gets cooler. These were a 3 pair pack that came in pink, red and blue, originally 9.00 dollars, got them for 2.70. As a runner, having too many socks is never a bad thing.

I love mini sharpies!! And my Boyfriend uses them for marking his golf balls, so I figured it was a good buy, originally 1.00, 25 cents a piece.

See I can eat whatever I want with Weight Watchers and if I want to have on hand, Lindt special chocolate I can. No shame, as long as I track and in moderation. And these flavors are too die for, especially the coconut one. The Blue Diamond almonds are perfect to just store in my car or bag at work, quick and easy and healthy. Almonds originally 99. got for .48 and candy originally 2.99, got for a 1.38 and worth it!

I wrote a post about these a while back because I received them in a Bulu Box. I really liked them but at 7.19 a box, I wasn't hooked, BUT at 3.48 a box, oh yeah I will use them. The Blueberry Banana one is super delicious and perfect to have right before a run, it did help with energy and they taste great and only 2pp.

BIG STAPLE in my house. Sugar free jam is where it is at, we use it on toast, in my oatmeal, baking, etc. and at .66 cents a piece with a year long shelf life, yup I picked up a few for sure!


And these were sort of an impulse, I mean everything was impulse but I am not going back to school or anything like that, but I could so use more notebooks for work and just to have around. 2 pack of Five Start for 1.60 and a planner good until next year 2.08. I love big planners and of course pink and after back to school they are hard to come by and expensive. I might have to go back and get the smaller one too, just in case.


So they aren't exciting items, but like I mentioned when I find some fab finds, I will make sure to post. Check out your Target clearance, I bet there are some fun items waiting to come home with you too!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hungry Girl Softies: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip

Hungry Girl has these amazing little, well not so little, they are quite huge, amazingly awesome gems called Softies. How cute is that name by the way?!! Love it. Saying I'm eating a softie, just sounds like your eating a cloud, but I suppose not everyone lives in a fluffy world like myself. So these Softies are a cross between a "big doughy, soft cookie and a muffin top" (exactly the term out of her 200 under 200 dessert book). And she couldn't be more right about that description, they are delicious and even easier to make also. She has a whole chapter dedicated in her new book, do yourself a favor, go out and get this book, right now! Just Desserts  If you have a sweet tooth, or enjoy baking, or just love trying new things, you will truly love this book.

Just like I love the mug cake chapter in this book, I'm loving the Softie chapter. I seriously want to make each and every one of them. Be prepared for more softie posts.



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Softie
Serving Size: 1 softie
3pp or 131 calories...they are huge so you it is well worth it.

Ingredients

1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup of brown sugar (not packed)
2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetner (granulated)
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread, room temp
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
3 tbsp. mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

In a med. bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, Splenda, butter, egg sub., and vanilla extract. Mix all together.

Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir until smooth.

Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Place batter onto the sheet in 8 evenly spaced mounds. Use the back of a spoon to spread and flatten into 3 inch circles.

I like mine a little bit fatter, so I didn't press mine down to much and flaten. LOOK AT HOW BIG THOSE ARE!! I was in shock, I mean, come on, BEAUTIFUL!!

Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Mine were exactly perfect after 20 minutes. Enjoy. Makes 8 servings.




Weekly Weigh In: Maintained & Success Story

You know that saying, "No news, is good news", well that definitely can apply to my weigh in today. I weighed in today after work and got on the scale and it remained the same from last week. And I am totally okay with that, 100% okay with that because that means I am doing something right. Do I wish it was a lost, of course I do, every Tuesday I hope to see that number go down. But I am okay with seeing that number just sit there for a week because it means I didn't gain and that is all I am out to do, not gain.

So after I got off the scale our meeting began. It was a great meeting tonight, it was our success meeting and I was chosen to be a guest speaker. I was asked to stand in front of my meeting and just discuss about my success on Weight Watchers. I was truly honored to be apart of this meeting. I seriously love going to my meetings, I look forward to them every Tuesday. My leader is fantastic and has become apart of my family to me. Since joining Weight Watchers I really adapted to the program and have made it my lifestyle. I believe it is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change, and I will be on this journey for the rest of my life and I'm good with that because I want this!

We were asked to answer 4 questions:

1. What was your life before Weight Watchers?
" I was tired all the time, drained and at 25 years old, I needed to not feel that way. I was ashamed of what I had become and who I was. I never thought I needed a weight loss program until I had to have my boyfriend help me take off a pair of pants because they were too tight on me. I was unhappy and lacked a drive."

2. What helped you believe you could succeed?
"Friends and family first off. My boyfriend letting me experiment with new foods and ideas. My support I gained at my meetings and the first pounds that came off."

3. What did you accomplish once you started believing success was possible?
"A whole new life!! Literally, it was as if I was reborn. I knew this life was possible for me but I had no idea how I was going to get it. I have ran 3 half marathons, going on my 4th, going from a size 22 to a size 8. My life took on a whole new meaning and form."

4. How do you keep nurturing the belief so it stays strong?
" Trying new things. Branching out and driving into the program. Holding myself accountable and returning every week to my meetings and getting on that scale, no matter how I feel. Surrounding myself with the same type of people, those who are in it to win and those you share the same passion and desire that I have."

I told my success, but really I don't need to tell my success, you can see it all over my face. The way I walk, the way I talk, just me being me, you can see how much I changed. I have success written all over me. I love my how much Weight Watchers has changed me and me telling my store tonight, was just what I needed after I maintained. Sure, I have had my share of ups and downs, I have struggled a whole bunch, but I never give up and if you are on a weight loss journey, please do the same.

Never give up!

Keep at it!

Be your own success story!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Overnight Oats: Caramel Apple Delight

I love apples and especially caramel apples!! The ooey gooey goodness, total favorite fall cheat!! So why not turn that into an overnight oat creation!! Here ya go!!

Ingredients

1/4 cup old fashioned oats-2pp
1 container of Apple Pie non fat yogurt ( mine is from Aldi, but I know Yoplait has one also)-2pp
1 tsp of fat free caramel syrup-1pp
1 small apple, cut up-0pp
Sprinkle of cinnamon-0pp
You can add 1 tbls of Almondmilk and 1 tsp of Chia Seeds to bulk it up, they are both 0pp 

Directions

Mix all together in a jar or tightly sealed bowl! Leave in the fridge overnight and indulge in the AM. I'm definitely pairing this with my Apple Pie Dunkin Donuts coffee! Yum!!

Motivational Monday: Sparkle

We know I love Sparkle, I live my life sparkling. I love anything that glitters and sparkles and I believe you should live your life with a little extra shine to it. A friend of mine sent this to me in a text this morning and totally put a smile on my face and is totally me!!



Sparkle Bright!!!!!