Archive for November, 2009


Being Thankful

It’s been a very full and fulfilling 3 days!  A quick update on the possible family boom – it will still be just Steve & I.  I took the new kitty to the vet on Wednesday morning.  We found he was already neutered, did not have FelV or FIV and was a very healthy feline.  I went ahead and scheduled his declaw (as a precaution if he stayed with my parents and their other cat).  It turns out that he will be staying there.  They introduced him to Jack (the other furry guy already living in the house):

Jack loves the dryer!  In any case, my parents went ahead and introduced them.  Jack was a bit reluctant, but I hear he is acclimating very well.  So my parents have 2 cats again.  Steve & I have wanted to adopt to needy kittens at the same time, so we will hopefully be doing so in the next few weeks!

After the vet visit, I had to run to the store and pick up some last-minute Turkey Day ingredients.  I was in a hurry to finish before going to work and was clearly not paying attention to my surroundings.  I heard my name called and found my dear friend, Pam, who I have known for nearly 22 years standing in the produce section.  Since she now lives in Miami for work, it was completely unexpected and very exciting!   Here we are at my parents house eons ago:

I only had time for a brief catch-up before work, but she promised to swing by the gym on Thanksgiving to see me while I was working.  Feeling a little better about going to work, I headed home with my fabulous ingredients – lots of fruit for a giant fruit salad and stuff to make my homemade cranberry sauce to take to the in-laws:

And amazingness from the Harris Teeter salad bar for lunch:

Something about getting chicken or spinach for the exact same price per pound feels rewarding!  I don’t touch the HT salad bar dressings, though.  Other than oil & vinegar, they have yet to put something light or low-fat on the bar.  I bring it home and add about a Tbsp of Wishbone Bountifuls.  It’s full of veggie or fruit chunks.  So good!!

I also packed some goodies to get me through my 9 hour shift:

My snacks are sadly lacking in protein, but I usually more than make up for it in each meal. 

That brings us to Thanksgiving…

I worked the 8am-4pm shift at Bally.  I assume we were open for all of the people who want to burn the dinner off prior to eating it.  I got another pleasant surprise a few hours into my shift.  Pam came by, but she brought someone with her – her brother Aaron, who just returned from Iraq!  He lived in Alaska prior to his deployment so it had been years since I had seen him.  So thrilling! 

I had very limited time to throw together food and pack my camera, so all of our Thanksgiving festivities went digitally unrecorded.  Shame.  It was a spread to be proud of – turkey, whole wheat rolls, roasted sweet potatoes with apples, cranberry sauce, collard greens, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, ambrosia and fruit salads, cucumber and dill salad, and, of course, pumpkin pie.  I was good – I promise!  I love turkey and collards so much that I usually fill up on them before I have a chance to try anything else.  I am so thankful for all that I have been blessed with, including my amazing husband.  Oh yeah, I’m a lucky girl!

My parents

Also, my in-laws, copious amounts of wonderful, supportive friends, my health and home.  I am especially thankful for everyone after having gone through so much this summer – the loss of an aunt and uncle, a grandfather and a cat, who was more like a friend; my skin cancer diagnosis and the stress of unemployment.  There is NO way that I could have survived so much without the people who I love.  I am so blessed to have their love and presence in my life. 

I only pray that everyone finds the love and blessings that I have found.


Is the family booming?

Well, the day started on a good note.  Out of bed at 5:15 for the 6am hot yoga class.  I was definitely off of my form in class today.  My ankles and left knee were killing me!  Usually, I have slight pain in my left knee from my years-old dislocation injury, but I could not figure out the ankle issues.  I’m taking a full day off from any workouts tomorrow, so that should help with the healing.  I have another reason to take tomorrow off, but I’ll get to that..

After yoga, I came home and I could feel a migraine threatening to take ahold, so I headed back to bed.  Dozing on and off seemed to help it subside so I made a late breakfast – mushroom, chive and garlic powder (oh yes..) egg white pillow with Trader Joe’s low cal wheat bread and sugar-free apricot preserves.  It looked a little something like this:

I absolutely love this bread.  I buy one loaf every 3 weeks or so and it lasts that long (if not longer) in the fridge.  It’s pretty amazing and filling. 

I spent the rest of the morning finishing laundry and loathing it. Then I headed to Mom & Dad’s, which brings me to reason #2 that I will not be working out tomorrow.  In the morning, I will be taking this sweet fluffball to the vet!

About 6 weeks ago, I had to put my 17-year-old darling Frisky to sleep.  He stopped eating and was in liver failure, so we decided it was best.  Steve & I have talked about getting a new baby or 2 (since we won’t be having any human ones any time soon).  This guy was found in my parents neighborhood after a nasty Nor’Easter last weekend.  The woman that found him has not had any luck finding the owners, so my Mom (God love her) said that she would take him.  She didn’t want to see him taken to Animal Control, knowing he would soon be euthanized.  Sadly, most people want to adopt young kittens and not full-grown cats. 

We’re pretty certain that he’s about a year or slightly older and is as sweet as they come!  Steve & I will talk over dinner tonight about keeping him, but I’m pulling for it.  I sorely miss having a furry family member in my life.  I’ve had pets since I was born until we lost Frisky! 

After the visit to Mom’s to collect pictures and video of that guy, I came home and made some stir-fry for lunch/leftovers.  I used leftover teriyaki chicken breast, baby corn, fresh mushrooms and straw mushrooms.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s leftovers!


We’re heading to Plaza Azteca tonight for dinner and I can’t wait!  I think it has been over 6 months since I even stepped foot in a Mexican restaurant.  Bring on the fajitas!

Until later..


Oats in a Jar!!

I don’t often say this, but OMG!  My post-workout breakfast this morning made me want to tear through some peanut butter just to make “Oats in a Jar.”   I don’t often get so giddy (Steve is thinking I’m absolutely crazy right now), but these were totally worth the giddiness. 

I hit the gym at 8am and did 30 minutes of hills on the elliptical, a back workout and hauled tail home!  Back workout was:

  1. Iso-Lateral Low Row: 10 reps at 50#; 10 reps at 70# x 2
  2.  Close-grip Lat Pulldown: 10 reps at 60# x 3
  3. One arm Dumbell Row: 10 reps each side at 35# x 3
  4. Seated Cable Row: 10 reps at 70# x 3 

Can you tell that I really like rows?  I sprinted the track for 2 laps in between each exercise.  Total calorie burn in 50 mins was 510.  Max HR was 162 and Avg HR was 135.

As soon as I got home, I busted out the scraped out Better N Peanut Butter jar, added 1/2 C rolled oats, water, cinnamon and a diced apple.  I nuked it for about 2 minutes, suffered some slight overflow, stirred and indulged.  I know – it looks absolutely icky in the picture but it was amazing!  ALL oats should come in a jar!



The rest of the afternoon (before work) was devoted to my least favorite chore – laundry.  I’m okay with the sorting, the washing & the drying.  If I never had to fold a single piece of laundry, I’d be a happy girl!  I hate the folding!  The first time I folded Steve’s laundry after we moved in together, he requested that I fold his t-shirts differently so that he could see what was on the chest.  I nearly tore him a new one!  My anger at such a request was completely unjustified, but if he only knew how much I hated folding clothes…

I had to work a women’s bball game at ODU tonight, so I whipped up a strawberry/papaya/vanilla protein shake for lunch/dinner (linner?).  I am quite partial to BSN’s Lean Dessert protein.  It mixes well into both my smoothies and my oatmeal and has fewer calories per scoop than others. 

The only downside is that with the fewer calories comes less protein.  I will hunt for other protein powders at Sam’s Club on my next visit.  I have heard good things about EAS and I know that Sam’s carries it, so that will likely be my next attempt. 

I usually am quite excited about working bball games at the Ted, but they played so poorly against NC State tonight.  Bad passing, bad handling, awful shooting.  It was a very long game!  I usually eat 1/2 of a soft pretzel with mustard at the games when I work, but I took a Clif KidZ bar with me to snack on.  I absolutely love these:

I just got home from the (very sad) game and there’s a bag of Smart Pop popcorn waiting for me and a nice warm bed.  Yoga at 6am tomorrow.. I will get there.  I will get there.  I will get there.  I’m relying on positive reinforcement to help me out of bed in the morning!


New bites and ankle biters

I think I’m starting to get used to the early alarm clock and with pulling myself out of bed before Steve.  I was up at 7am today to hit the gym – and I hit it hard.  I felt so motivated today!  Maybe it was the delicious Dark Chocolate Cherry Kashi bar..  Yum! 

I made it to the gym just as the doors were being unlocked and knocked out 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical and some tri/bi/ab work:

  1. Tricep pushdown with rope – 10 reps at 60#, 10 at 70#, 8 at 80#
  2. Standing cable curl – 3 sets of 10 reps of “21’s” with 40#
  3. Skull crushers – 10 reps at 30# x 3
  4. Seated dumbell concentration curls – 10 reps at 15# x 3 each arm
  5. Ball crunch – 25 reps x 4
  6. Reverse crunch – 15 reps x 3
  7. Side plank – 10 reps x 3 each side
  8. Prone plank – 4 reps x 30 seconds

I did 2 laps around the track (each lap is about 1/15 of a mile) in between each exercise.  I followed up weight training with 20 mins on the bike.  Total calorie burn = 693.  Average HR was 132 and Max HR was 174.  And all before 9:30.  By the time I got home, Steve was still sleeping!  I love him too much to disturb his weekend sleep-ins.

But I did whip up a batch of crepe batter for him to wake up to and went to work on my first attempt of protein pancakes.  I was not even close to disappointed!  I used Susan’s recipe.  Wowzer, were they amazing!  I anticipated concrete-like, tough pancakes.  The resulting cakes were light and fluffy and full of cinnamon deliciousness!  Topped them off with some unsweetened applesauce and sliced, microwaved apples.  For just over 300 calories, it was a seriously filling breakfast! The result:

Work today was at the Convocation Center for a Disney Live children’s show; two shows back to back actually.  I was actually a bit excited to see the show.  I am a kid at heart, after all.  Unfortunately, I played receptionist today and missed both shows.  But it was an easy 7 1/2 hours of work!  Since the last show didn’t end until 8pm, dinner was at 9:30 and consisted of a mushroom and ham egg white pillow, slice of Trader Joe’s low cal wheat bread and a smearing of Better N’ Peanut Butter

This is deadly stuff.  I guarantee that if I sat with a jar and spoon, it would quickly disappear.  It left me with an empty jar, so I am attempting Oats-In-A-Jar tomorrow morning.  I couldn’t be more excited! 

6am yoga will come quickly. Night!


The insanity of a New Moon

I had very good intentions for a day with no work – a trip to the gym, followed by a full day with Steve.  I very rarely get a full day to spend with him anymore so we try to take full advantage of them! 

I got my quick (and I do mean quick) work out in with a few back/shoulder exercises and about 40 minutes of advanced step. 

  1. Bent over single-arm row: 8 reps at 30# x 3 each arm
  2. Overhead shoulder press: 12 reps at 30# x 3
  3. Close-grip lat pulldown: 10 reps at 60# x 3
  4. Dumbell lateral raise: 15 reps at 10# x 3 each arm

I could tell that my body was protesting when I was huffing and puffing at a heart rate of 155 – highly unusual.  So I ducked out of class early and headed home for some cleaning/breakfast.  I try to make Steve his fave – fried eggs on Italian bread – whenever I do make him breakfast.  Sadly, this doesn’t occur often enough.  I made my usual apple protein oatmeal.  I tried to be conservative – a trip to the movies was planned and I always splurge on some plain popcorn at the movies.  Isn’t it funny how a whole grain can be turned into something completely unhealthy by popping it in coconut oil?!  I feel a bit better ordering it plain, but I still have slight “guilt gut” afterwards.  I figure this splurge every 2 weeks won’t kill me 🙂 

On a side note, we went to see 2012 (NOT New Moon), but the New Moon-goers nearly ruined our movie experience.  I am convinced that they are all insane!  The obsession with this movie is beyond my comprehension.

We desperately needed to stop by Lowe’s after the movie for some things to fix our toilet and tub drain.  The downside to renting our condo is that we can’t just get new toilets to save on water.. ours use a TON per flush, yet the owner refuses to change it.  More insanity.

Another bonus to having a day off – I can cook dinner!!  I grilled some teriyaki chicken for hubs and made him some rice and broccoli (which really is the only veggie that he will eat regularly).  For myself – plain grilled chicken with a bit of salt-free garlic and spice seasoning and a mountain of carrots with Splenda and lots of cinnamon.  My fellow bloggers aren’t the only chicas who love cinnamon.  I think I go through a Sam’s Club-sized cinnamon shaker in 2 months. 

We enjoyed our dinner on the couch, watching this week’s Biggest Loser.  It was sheer heaven.  I am hoping for more of these days, but that would require a job with regular hours.  Anybody got one for me?


Pillow success!

This morning, as before, the alarm beeped at 5:30.  After 3 or 4 minutes of sitting/thinking/debating, I pulled myself out of a cozy bed and headed to the 6am hot yoga class.  I am SO glad that I did!  I felt incredible after class!  I rewarded myself with a super yummy breakfast.  I had not made an “egg white pillow” – recipe courtesy of Susan over at The Great Balancing Act – with any mix-ins until today.  I attempted one with fresh spinach, mushroom and chive.  Holy yumminess!  I added a couple of slices of Trader Joe’s low calorie whole grain bread, a smear of better n’ peanut butter and some sugar free apricot preserves.  I smiled with every bite!



And yes, we are still using wedding cocktail napkins – 6 months later!

I was feeling so great, that I went to the gym for a cardio burn and some heavy leg work.  I got in a good 15-min. interval workout on the elliptical, a 15-min. bike ride and a treat – very rubbery leg muscles with the following workout:

  1. Leg Press – 12 reps at 70# x 2 and 8 reps at 90#; mixed with 20 calf presses on the machine
  2. Stiff-legged Deadlift – 10 reps at 50# x 3 mixed with jogging and jumping jacks
  3. Leg Extension – 8 reps at 60# x 3
  4. Prone Hamstring Curl – 10 reps at 60# x 2; 8 reps at 70#
  5. Smith-machine Squat – 10 reps at 50# x 3

I have a feeling I will feel this tomorrow.  A recovery shake was so necessary – BSN Dessert Whipped Vanilla protein (1/2 scoop), frozen papaya and strawberries.  Oh my..


I had to work tonight @ Bally’s – 2pm until close.  I suppose the good thing about working at a gym is that it gives me motivation.  It’s hard not to be pushed when you’re constantly surrounded by good-looking trainers!  The downside is the off schedule that I share with Steve.  He’s gone during the day and I’m gone in the evenings.  I know it won’t last forever.. just until I find something more permanent.

Before I headed to work I had a lunch of 2 Morningstar Vegan Grillers with yellow mustard and low-sugar ketchup.  Along with a GINORMOUS gala apple.  Dontcha love Fall and it’s apple abundance!?  I also packed dinner, since it would be spent in the break room at Bally’s – spinach and turkey with Bountifuls dressing and a banana.


I am officially pooped.  I felt amazing from the workouts, but it’s definitely caught up!  I’m  hoping to make it to hot yoga tomorrow at 9am.  We’ll see how much my body protests in the morning!


Flaming chocolate

Today was the first day I have ever taken pictures of food that wasn’t actual art.  I never realized how ugly oatmeal is on camera!  Despite the appearance, it sure did taste yummy!

I had every intent of pulling myself out of bed at 5:30 to make the 6am hot yoga class, but the bed was cozy and my hubby looked so comfy.  I just couldn’t do it.  He’s up at 7:30 to head to work and I’m up with him at that time, every morning.  I was determined to make it to advanced step and needed a bit of energy prior to.

Enter bowl of oats – full of apples, cinnamon and vanilla bean torte Nectar Whey Protein. 

This is my favorite type of  fuel, but I knew Robin’s class would be killer so I mixed my normal pre-cardio energy drink.  

1/2 scoop of GNC Amplified N.O. Loaded which tastes like fruit punch and gives me a good kick in the pants! It’s 400mg of caffeine in 1 scoop though.  The first time I tried it, I used the whole scoop and thought my heart would explode!  I think I have a pretty decent ticker, but that was ridiculous!

I got to the gym a bit early so I did some weight work before class.  In 15 minutes, I did:

  1. Flat bench dumbell chest press – 8 reps with 30# x 3
  2. Kneeling bent over row – 10 reps per side with 35# x 2
  3. Flat bench dumbell flyes – 6 reps per side with 15# x 3
  4. Upright dumbell row – 12 reps with 30# x 3
  5. Bosu crunches – 25 reps x 4
  6. Reverse crunches – 15 reps x 3

All this before a KILLER hour-long advanced step class.  Overall I burned (according to the Polar) 1,010 calories; Max heart rate was 175 and average heart rate was 162 – a pretty good burn!  I was most definitely exhausted.

A quick stop at Trader Joe’s and I came straight home for a recovery shake at 11am:

1/2 scoop chocolate pudding BSN Dessert protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Green Superfood powder, 2/3 cup frozen strawberries, water and 3 packs of Splenda.  Love!   This would hold me until my big Melting Pot dinner at 5pm with Patty!  I always look forward to MP trips.  I just wish it were a bit more affordable so that Steve & I could go more often.  Luckily, they were having Ladies Night tonight – all 4 courses (cheese, salad, entree & chocolate) for $25.  Even luckier, I was able to actually get reservations!  I usually attempt to make them about an hour after getting the email and they’re already booked.  Not tonight!

The grand finale: The Flaming Turtle chocolate fondue which is milk chocolate & caramel flambee’d at the table.

Completely cool, no?  Here’s the delicious plate of food they serve with it.  I munched on the strawberries & bananas and one of the marshmallows, so I didn’t feel too guilty about it!  I’m going to miss this girl so much when she relocates to ‘Bama, but her 2 daughters are both down South – they will be so happy to have their mom close by!                                     

A good day with a good ending.  Off to bed!

Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!