Archive for February, 2010


Saturday Stroganoff

Sadly, my weekend with no work is half over, but on the up side, I made a ridiculously delicious dinner tonight!  I also got in an amazing workout this morning.  (In fact, when rating it on my log, I confidently scored it a 9 of a possible 10.  Score!).

I felt back to 100% when I woke up, so I dressed and was in the parking lot 15 minutes prior to opening.  I knocked out a hardcore 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, alternating between resistance of 8 and 10/12.  I managed to hit 5.25 miles and my legs still felt strong enough for a good weight session:

  1. Barbell Squats – 1 set of 20 with 20# SUPERSET with
  2. Barbell Deadlifts – 1 set of 20 with 20#
  3. Hill Climbers – 3o seconds
  4. Leg Press – 1 set of 10 with 90#, 1 set of 10 with 160# and 1 set of 8 with 180# SUPERSET with
  5. Calf Presses – 1 set of 15 at 90#, 1 set of 15 at 160# and 2 sets of 10 with 180#
  6. Jog – 30 seconds
  7. Reverse Lunges with Glute Squeeze – 2 sets of 15/leg with 20# DBs
  8. Jog – 30 seconds
  9. Reverse Leg Curl – 2 sets of 10 at 70#, 1 set of 8 at 75#
  10. Leg Extension – 2 sets of 10 at 70#

I finished up with 15 minutes on the crosstrainer on the “fat burn” program and averaged a heart rate of 140.  Overall, I burned 915 calories in 90 minutes.  I was so elated to be able to work out again.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to get guilt-gut if I miss more than 2 consecutive gym days.  It’s bad.. I know.  But I haven’t yet learned how to overcome those emotions.

Steve & I ventured out this afternoon with 1 task in mind – picking out new furniture.  We were victorious!  Check out our new living room set:


Ignore the rug.  We got the sofa, loveseat, chair, 3 tables and lamps.  I like the furniture we have now – it’s been all over Hampton Roads and in 4 of my dwellings, but it’s tired and worn out.  We will likely end up donating it, but I first want to try my hand at selling them on Craig’s ListHave you sold anything on that site?  Any words of wisdom?

Now.. on to the best part of the day – DINNER!  Hubs used to really enjoy his mom’s stroganoff, so I wanted to attempt a healthified version.  I seem to be doing that to every meal I make for us.  Oh well.. tonight’s healthy stroganoff had all the taste of the real thing, even if it wasn’t as creamy as he is used to.

Easy Stroganoff

1 lb. ground chicken or turkey breast

1/2 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 C mushrooms, sliced

2-3 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce

2 C chicken broth

1 C 0% Greek Yogurt (I used Fage)

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Brown chicken/turkey in large skillet with onions and garlic until cooked through.

  1. Add mushrooms, chicken stock, worcestershire and salt and pepper and return to a boil.
  2. Cook about 10 minutes and remove from heat.  Stir in yogurt.
  3. Serve over white rice, brown rice, quinoa or…

Mashed Cauliflower

No, you need not adjust the settings on your computer monitor.  This is definitely green cauliflower.  It didn’t start that way.  It was white when I steamed it in the microwave, white when I added it to the blender and then I made the mistake of adding chives BEFORE I blended (with chicken stock, salt and garlic powder).  Pesky chives.  It tasted awesome, but it probably grossed out hubby.  Gross looking or not, it was good in my belly and it will be made again!  I stocked up on ground chicken breast at the store today – they were all $2.00 off and ended up being only $2.99/pack.  Nice!


A lazy night awaits with Olympic viewing, popcorn snacking and some sleep thrown in with hopes for another great gym day!

What’s the most disgusting-looking yet tastiest thing you’ve ever eaten?





Chocolates & Peanuts

Did you know it’s National Chocolate-Covered Peanut Day!?  There’s no better day to dig in to this

I’m glad I saved this from my Secret Valentine blogger gift


So yesterday morning was spent in my doctor’s office, nervously wringing my hands .  Momma came along with me (bronchitis and all, bless her soul!) and was great for appeasing my worries.  I come from a couple generations of cyst-prone women, so we figured that’s all my lump was.  In happy news, that’s all my doctor thinks it is, but I am going next week for an ultrasound just to verify her diagnosis.  I have high hopes!

After the appointment, we went to my favorite place (yes.. with bronchitis and all.  I love my Mom!!), Broken Egg, for lunch where I had this beast of a salad – a house salad (sans croutons) with grilled chicken and their own homemade balsamic-veggie vinaigrette.


So yummy and HUGE!  It was so big, in fact, that I kept knocking stuff off of my plate.  Sad – I like all of those veggies!

Today was food-photo and workout free because I woke up feeling like poo, again.  Maybe attempting a workout yesterday at 5:30 am was a bad idea.  I did manage to catch up on my sleep a bit today and will rely on Nyquil again tonight.  I am crossing my fingers to wake up feeling back to at least 90%.  I have a very hard time going 2 days in a row without physical activity.  I know it’s ridiculous (as my husband often tells me), but it’s just how my brain is programmed. 

Women’s figure skating calls – GO USA!!


Tuned up Tuesday

I think I got an overnight tune-up – or maybe my immune system rocks harder than I give it credit for (knock on wood).  Whatever the case, I woke up feeling much more rejuvenated.  I’m still a bit stuffy in the head and the nose will not quit running, which has resulted in the painful-overrubbed-snozz syndrome, but I can function normally.

In fact, I got a really amazing workout in at 5:30 am and didn’t feel the need to quit halfway through.  I started off with 45 minutes on the elliptical (average HR = 158) and hit my back and shoulders.  I did a bit of back on Sunday, but that was a gigantic flop!

1. Circuit 1

A. Overhead Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs

B. Bent-Over Row – 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs

C. Jumping Jacks/High Knees/Jump Plie Squats – 1 set of each for 30 seconds

2. Circuit 2

A. Front Raise – 1 set of 10 with 10# DBs; 2 sets of 10 with 12# DBs

B. Seated Low Row – 1 set of 10 at 60#; 2 sets of 10 at 70#

C. Jumping Jacks/High Knees/Squats – 1 set of each for 30 seconds

3. Kettlebell Swings – 3 sets of 15 with 20# KB

4. Kettlebell Upright Row – 3 sets of 10 with 20# KB

I followed strength training with 15 minutes of “fat burn” on the crosstrainer (Average HR = 135)

In 75 minutes, I managed to burn 850 calories, have a max HR of 175 and an average HR of 134.  Not too shabby!

I was a very hungry girl after that workout.  The hunger beast could only be quieted by a big, hot bowl of custard oats.

1/2 cup of this

1/2 cup of this

Plus a little squirt of this

Topped with some frozen raspberries and blueberries = HEAVEN!  PURE HEAVEN!

My lunch was almost as good as my breakfast!


Are you grossed out?  Don’t be!  It was way tastier than it looked!

Another 1/2 cup of this

2/3 cup of this

Thrown in a carrot (or two) = HEAVEN PART DEUX!

I worked this afternoon and threw together some tasty snacks to carry me through my shift.

A very crispy, very sweet Fuji tossed in cinnamon and a Blueberry Clif Z-Bar which will hopefully keep my tummy occupied until dinner.

On a non-food related, more serious note, I am visiting a doc tomorrow and am a little queasy about it.  This past weekend, I felt a lump so I am getting it checked out tomorrow.  After last August’s skin cancer diagnosis, I am nervous.  Probably more nervous than need be, but would love some extra good vibes and prayers if you’d like to send them my way.  I’m planning to complete my normal 5:30 workout to appease my anxiety, but will give updates as soon as I can.

Lots of cinnamon-covered thanks for your support and happy thoughts!

PS: I’ve gone a little Cracker Crazy recently and so has Lily.  Head over to her blog and enter the Mary’s Gone Crackers giveaway!

Also, if your skin sucks up moisture like mine does during the winter, you can go see Jolene at Everyday Foodie and enter her giveaway.  It’s a giveaway extravaganza!

And if those amazing giveaways weren’t enough, Lara is giving away… wait for it.. CHOCOLATE! Attune probiotic chocolate to be exact and you can enter here!  Do it now!


Germy Mess

I am a big ball of mucus and, for that reason, I am annoyed.  I don’t mean to be icky, but colds are just the worst, aren’t they?!  It’s a type of sickness where you still feel the need to get things accomplished but all you want to do is lay around and be useless.

So what’s a girl today in such a state of ickiness?  Search for comfort, of course!

There’s comfort in a bowl of custard oats with plump raspberries and blueberries:

There’s comfort in serving it alongside Greek Yogurt and granola: 


I am, by the way, loving this granola.  The banana and maple flavor is perfectly intense and it stays crunchy for a long time (so when I pack it for dinner and eat it 6 hours later, it still rocks my world)!  PLUS, the blueberries and bananas get perfectly soft. Check out these facts:


Upon making my second bowl of oats today, hubby wondered why I would consider 2 servings of oatmeal in 1 day.  “Well,” I replied, “it warms my tummy and that makes me feel better.” Do you find that breakfast makes you feel better?

My lunch was a second bowl of oats and were of the steel-cut variety. I topped these with sugar-free strawberry preserves.  Hit the spot!  I really like the TJ’s quick cooking brand.  They were uber creamy when I added a couple of egg whites!

Last night, at the onset of yucky feelings, I relied on breakfast for dinner for a bit of comfort.  Enter an egg white scramble with spinach and Morningstart Meal Starter Crumbles.  This was insanely delicious!

It isn’t much to look at but oh my..  I can’t wait to try this again!

I found a little more comfort in a good cup of hot chocolate this afternoon made with this bit of cocoa goodness:

And what is more comforting than a giant bowl of hot soup?  Even in my lazy state, I was able to throw a bunch of stuff into a crock pot and pray for tastiness.  The result was a Tex-Mex Chicken Soup that we both devoured and still had plenty left over!

Tex Mex Chicken Soup

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 cups (1 box) low-sodium chicken broth

1 can black beans (Trader Joe’s!), drained and rinsed

1 can of whole kernel corn (Trader Joe’s – it stayed super crispy!), drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1-2 Tbsp. salt

Throw the ingredients in the pot.  Set on low for 6-8 hours.  After 3 hours, shred the cooked chicken and add back to the pot.  Serve with tortilla chips or shredded cheese (optional).  Love at first bite!

What do you find comfort in when you don’t feel well?  Luckily, I didn’t have to work today and was able to spend time with my  hubby – that’s the best comfort of all!

PS:  Do you like Fiber One?  I’m such a sucker for an Oats and Chocolate bar for a sweet treat.  Head over to Simply Life and check out this amazing giveaway! 


Dear winter, please go.

I am now a devotee of early morning workouts.  I am not, however, a fan of the frigid temperatures that await me as I walk out of my front door.  I believe this has been the coldest winter that we have experienced in Hampton Roads in a very long time.  It’s cold.  It’s uncomfortable. And it’s just plain icky!

Luckily, it did not slow my momentum.  I’ve had really great workouts the past 4 days.  Let’s rewind, shall we?

Monday – Leg Day + 30 minutes HIIT elliptical and 15 minutes of steady-state elliptical

Exercise Weight Sets Reps
1. Leg Press 90# 1 10
  110# 1 10
  140# 1 10
2. Calf Press 90# 1 20
  110# 1 20
  140# 1 20
3. Dumbell Boxing 8# DBs   30 seconds
4. Side Lunges 15# DBs 3 5/leg
5. Front Lunges with Kick 15# DBs 3 5/leg
6. Jog     2 laps (1/5 mile)
7. Leg Extension 75# 3 10
8. Reverse Leg Curl 70# 2 10
  75# 1 10

Tuesday – find it here 

Wednesday – Back & Bi Day + 45 minutes of HIIT elliptical and 10 minutes of steady-state biking

Exercise Weight Sets Reps
1. High Row 60# 2 10
  70# 1 10
2. DB Cross Curl 10# DBs 1 12/arm
  12# DBs 2 12/arm
3. Rear-Kick Jog   3 2 laps (1/5 mile)
4. Back Extension on Ball Body 3 15
5. Incline DB Curl on Ball 12# DBs 3 12
6. Jump Squats   3 15
7. Kneeling Bench Row 30# 3 8/arm
8. 21’s 10# 3 21..duh
9. High Knees   3 30 seconds

I had some SERIOUS issues during this workout.  During my first set of kneeling bench rows, I pulled my left trap.  I have never had pain that strong in my shoulder – so much that it radiated down my entire arm and lasted a good 2 minutes.  It was like having a charlie horse in the arm.. ugh!  Once it subsided and I stretched a bit, I continued and felt ok for the rest of the day.  It’s pretty sore now though!

Thursday – Chest & Tri Day + 65 minutes of steady-state elliptical (avg HR = 144) and 15 minutes of steady-state crosstrainer elliptical (avg HR = 127)

Exercise Weight Sets Reps
1. DB Chest Press 20# DBs 1 10
  25# DBs (woot!) 2 10
2. High- Pulley Overhead Cable Tricep Extension 40# 1 10
  45# 1 10
  50# 1 10
3. High Knees   3 30 secs.
4. Incline DB Chest Press 15#  3 10
5. Bench Dips Body 3 8
6. Jump Plie Squats   3 15

Not gonna lie.. the weight-lifting was sorely lacking today, but after 65 minutes of cardio, I didn’t have much strength left in me for the weights.  I’m sure I’ll make up for it tomorrow! 

I’ve been a bit lazy with the food pictures.  It’s been pretty monotonous due to work, but I FINALLY remembered to capture my favorite meal at my favorite breakfast joint, The Broken Egg in Chesapeake.  Yes, I did eat part of my breakfast yesterday when I finally remembered that my camera was nearby, but it was heavenly –

Blueberry pancakes (no butter + sugar free syrup) and fresh fruit.  They never do me wrong!

They also serve Tazo teas so I had a Zen green tea to go along side my yummy jumpstart!

After work last night, I wanted a snack that wasn’t popcorn (shocker, I know!).  I am really trying to incorporate some protein if I need a snack at night, so I ventured into the world of custard-ish oats.  I cooked 1/2 C in the microwave with a bit of water.  About halfway through the cooking, I added 2 squirts of Egg Whites Int. (about 2.5 whites), and some frozen berries and finished cooking.  What I got was a HUGE bowl of oats that were super yummy!

My oats somehow don’t look as pretty as my fave bloggers, but I’m sure they tasted just as good!  Breakfast food for snacks just feels so right.

This morning, I returned to a more traditional breakfast. 

Egg Whites + spinach, 1/2 Sun Dried Tomato Flatout with Laughing Cow + fruit.  I love this combo and it keeps me full for several hours on only about 350-400 calories (depending on how much fruit I have).  Yes!

And now – a new snack to go with my hot cocoa and then it’s off to work!  Gotta tell ya, I really like this Kashi Crunchy Chocolate Caramel Bar, and it’s stats.  Maybe because it’s got whole pieces of popcorn in it..  maybe.

Work calls!


the love keeps coming

It comes in the form of early morning workouts where I love how strong I feel, I love how quiet the gym is and I love the feeling of accomplishment – all before 7 am!

Today, I showed my shoulders lots of love in the form of pain –

  1. Arnold Press – 2 sets of 10 reps with 15# DBs
  2. Bent-over Lateral Raise – 3 sets of 10 reps with 10# DBs
  3. Cable External Rotation – 2 sets of 10 reps at 10#; 1 set of 10 reps at 12.5#
  4. Standing Overhead Cable Press – 3 sets of 10 reps at 30#
  5. Machine Side Shoulder Raise – 2 sets of 10 reps at 30#; 1 set of 10 reps at 35#
  6. Kettlebell Swings – 3 sets of 15 reps with 20# KB
  7. Kettlebell Upright Row – 3 sets of 10 reps with 20# KB

I started with a 30-minute, 4-mile warmup on the elliptical and a 20-minute cooldown on the crosstrainer elliptical.  Early sweat session = awesome!

I found a teeny bit more love in having the entire day off!  It was my first full day off in quite a while, so I passed on some of that love  to hubby by fixing him a stir-fry dinner:

I am a huge fan of oyster mushrooms, baby corn and spinach so I made 2 pans of goodness.  Steve’s was lacking all of the things he hates, but was full of his favorite stir-fry sauce!

I got a BIG package of love in the mail today from my blogger Secret Valentine, Elise (aka the HungryHungryHippie).  I had come across her blog a while back, but had not bookmarked it.  I definitely wish I had – I’ve been missing out on some really great stuff on her blog.  I’ll be sure to keep up with Elise now!  She loves food and fitness – 2 very important aspects of my life!  I could not believe all of the goodies that she sent me!  Now this is love..

Lots of yummy teas (including the elusive Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride by Bigelow, Good Earth Chai & Newman’s green tea), a great selection of mints (who knew Newman’s Own made mints?!  I sure didn’t!), a hyooooooge selection of Amazing Meal products that I have always wanted to try (one will surely be used for tomorrow’s pre-workout shake), a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar (which I VERY recently saw over The Fitnessista), Caribbean Solutions Natural Onyx Tanning Oil and some yummy Hershey’s goodness!  What a spread – I could not wait to make a cup of Sugar Cookie tea, so I had a cup right after dinner.  Score! 

Also included was a sticker for Dave’s Killer Bread – something totally new to me so I checked out their website.  Unfortunately, they only have stores on the west coast, but they sell online!  I might find myself giving one of their loaves a try.  We all need killer, all-natural bread packed with good stuff and not packed with preservatives!

How sweet is this card?   She’s the sweetest, and yes, all of these goodies will definitely keep me warm.  The Onyx Oil will even be with me in the warmth of Hawaii in June! 

Elise rocks my world and so does Janetha who is such a wonderful lady for putting the whole Secret Valentine exchange together!  If you head over to her space, send lots of congratulations since she’s newly engaged!!  Congrats, girl.  I’m sending lots of love to you both for your thoughtfulness and generosity!!

Now, I will finish my day with something else that I love – sleep! 

What are some of the things that you just couldn’t love anymore than you already do? People? Places? Activities?  Acts of kindness?  Hit me with it!


Working for the weekend

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It was a good one for me with fun moments with hubby scrunched into my work time – I worked yesterday and today and had pet-sitting duties on top of that.  I can’t complain too much, though.. look at this face!

Work activities included a men’s bball game (which we won!) and a day-long cheering event full of scantily clad toddlers (no, I’m not kidding), tweens and teens, along with their awful, rude mothers!  It was not a pleasant way to begin my Valentine’s.  Luckily, hubby was waiting to ease my tension when I got home and I had a beautiful bouquet waiting for me full of carnations and baby roses.  Smelled as lovely as it looked..

I was super excited to give Steve his gift (more like a gift for us both, I cannot lie).  I got him a Blu Ray player along with the newest Harry Potter on Blu Ray.  Squee!!  Post-present exchange, he shocked me by ordering a new television for us!  Double squee!!

Our V-day date was spent at Uno’s, which was surprisingly unfilled.  I figured we’d have at least a 30-minute wait, but we were seated right away.  Good vibes.. good vibes.  I ordered a salad that I have not gotten before:

Shreds of Napa and green cabbage, carrots, lime-marinated grilled chicken breast, crispy tortilla strips and field greens are tossed in a soy-ginger vinaigrette then sprinkled with cilantro and sesame seeds. (as described by the menu)

I had the tortilla strips removed and the dressing on the side.  It was easily one of my top 5 salads of all time!  The lime marinade made the chicken super yummy!  I will return for this one.


Other weekend eats included some awesomeness – Friday night spaghetti (Newman’s Own Sockarooni Sauce + ground turkey).  Mine was served over Tofu Shirataki Noodles with creminis and spinach.

Notice those bread wedges?  I got a little creative with my broiler – toasted up a Sun-dried Tomato Flat Out wrap with salt and garlic powder.  Hubby’s had some bubbly cheddar on top.


Perfect accompaniment to spaghetti!  Other weekend eats included a fab lunch –  2 Morningstar Farms Grillers Chick’n patties with some steamed asian-style veggies.  The condiments were yellow mustard and REDUCED SUGAR ketchup.  I love that I was able to find this stuff!  How do you like the ketchup/mustard artwork?

Sunday’s breakfast was a warming bowl o’ oats with blueberries, 0% Fage with some MixMyGranola thrown in. 

It was a good pick-me-up before dealing with the cheerleaders.

I’m so glad that I got to spend (part of) today with the love of my life, especially since today is our first married V-day.  I am eager to spend the next 50 with him too!

Did you do anything out of the ordinary today or just veg out?  Personally, I’m looking forward to my veg out on Tuesday and my early morning workout tomorrow!

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!