Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Budget Running Wear Experiment Part 2...Shopping!

This is my 200th Post, woooo! Thank you all for sticking around. I had hoped to do another giveaway, but couldn't find any sponsors, boo. But you can still enter my birthday giveaway to win The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl or a signed copy of Half-Assed until July 1st.


As I said in my last post, I headed out shopping on my birthday hunting for cheap, yet functional running clothes, first...Walmart:



Disappointed, maybe need to go at the beginning of a season?


Skipped Target, whoops, will try them next time.


Next was JCPenney. Jackpot. Lots of 50% off sales and Doorbuster Specials. Regular price of the gear I got was double or more the price I paid. 





Now for the haul, this is what I got at JCPenney:





At JCPenney trying on the navy set.
The running skirt from the side.
I'll keep ya posted on how the gear works out and will be hitting up Target and Ross, etc for future posts in this series!


Do you think $60 is too much for two running outfits..or a good deal?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Budget Running Wear Experiment

I am starting a new series on searching for budget running clothes. I truly believe that one should never skimp on running shoes and sports bras they are just too important, but can you get your running clothes on the cheap? 


I'll be shopping around at places like Walmart, Target, JCPenney, and maybe even clearance racks at regular running stores, sporting goods stores, online, etc and seeing where I can find the best deals. Then I'll be putting them through the paces as I half marathon train and writing reviews on how they do. Hope you enjoy this new series!




Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Miles--Half Marathon Blogroll

image via Wyvern Running


I had planned to do a post about my training plan, but decided to pre-empt that post for a little half marathon blogroll.


Lately there seems to be a half marathon craze amongst bloggers. Everywhere I look is another blogger training for a half marathon. Or possibly I'm just paying more attention because I'm training for one too. Either way, I'm excited to be virtually training with so many of my blogger friends.


I thought it would be fun to put a list together of all the bloggers I know that are training for a half marathon. It seems everywhere I look bloggers are kicking butt and working hard to reach their goal of running 13.1 miles. My message to them: We got this!


Can I get a drum roll? 


Brandon, who is kickin' butt over at So Long, Fat Ass will be tearing it up at the Skinny Raven Half Marathon August 15th.


Mike, who blogs about his running adventures over at Mike's Running Blog will be running the Run to the Rock September 11th.


Suzi, who blogs about her weight loss journey over at OK, Just One More Beer will be running the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia on September 19th.

ME. I, uh blog here and will be running the Crossroads marathon in Fort Collins Colorado September, 19th. And gotta say I'm more excited than when I trained for my marathon. Mostly because I know myself better from that experience.

Devon, who blogs about her running and more over at Run Sleep Rinse Repeat is training for three, that's right, three half marathons this fall!

Seth from over at Fit With a Purpose will be running the Roots 'N Blues Half Marathon in Columbia, MO October 2nd.

Shevanne, who blogs about her journey of weight loss, training, and shopping over at Pies & Miles is training to run the Nike Women's Half Marathon October 17th.


Jen, who's keepin' it real over at Jen in Real Life will be rockin' the Atlantic City Half Marathon on October 17th.


Heather, who is running and inspiring and in general hitting her stride over at Hitting My Stride will be running the Nike Women's Half Marathon with Team in Training on October 17th.


Callie, who blogs about her journey to a healthier lifestyle over at The Wannabe Athlete plans to run the Women's Running Half Marathon in St Petersburg on Nov. 21.


Carla, who is her own superhero (and many of ours too) over at MizFitOnline  is headed to Vegas baby for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon December 5th...gotta say if I can at all figure out the $ I'll be there too!


Leah who is chief mom over at Bookieboo will be running the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Vegas as well...too much awesomeness for one race, yes?


Dani who is just good people over at Mayorofthebux.com (in my humble opinion) is going to train for the Music City Half Marathon April 30, 2011. Another one I'd love to be at if I had the bucks!


Crazy, fun, inspiring, wonderful group we bloggy runners are, yes?


Go check out their blogs, cheer them on! I know that's nothing near a complete list, not to mention those like Steve and Jess who've recently done a half. 


Are you training for a half...or any other race? Give yourself a shout out in the comments! 


Also, I'm curious do you find it easier to train with friends/cheerleaders or alone?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Weird Cat

OK, this is just complete silliness and utterly unrelated to my blog, but it cracks me up. My cat doesn't like canned cat food and tries to 'bury' it like it's...well, watch:




Friday, June 25, 2010

Birthday Celebration and PRESENTS



Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to meeeee, Happy Birthday to ME!! yay!


That's my Facebook Status right now and exactly how I'm feeling this morning. Regardless if there's a party or presents, or whatever the day may bring I am happy, I am celebrating me. 


I thought a lot about what I wanted my birthday post to be. Because my birthday is so special to me this year, this post by extension was special too.


I decided I wanted to not only celebrate myself today, but all of you too!


All of you who read, subscribe, and comment on my blog, all of you who chat with me on Twitter and Facebook. Those of you who put up with my silly-I-don't-have-a-clue-what-I'm-doing questions. All of YOU who keep me going doing what I do here. You are awesome! This blog has evolved into so much more than just talking about weight loss and products. I feel like I have a real community of support here. For that, I thank you.


Now, a birthday surprise! I thought and thought and decided I wanted to do a giveaway for my birthday. I don't just like getting presents (ya, I really like that), but I also like GIVING presents. So, today I am giving away copies of two books that have meant a lot to me: 


Dietgirl USA edition
I wrote a book, Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir
I wrote a book, Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir
These two women (through their books) are what inspired me to start blogging in the first place: Shauna Reid and Jennette Fulda. If you haven't read their books, DO...just do.

I am giving away (disclaimer: yes, me, no sponsor, I'm giving these away) one copy of each of these books.

To Enter:
  1. Must be a U.S. resident (sorry international readers).
  2. Leave a comment below telling me which book you'd like to win and why.
  3. Tell me happy birthday on Twitter, Facebook, or my You Tube Channel. Then come back here and leave me a comment that you did (can do this as many times as you'd like hee hee).
  4. Follow my blog as a google follower, leave me a comment that you do, or do now.
  5. Follow me on Twitter. Leave a comment that you do.
  6. Friend me on Facebook. Leave a comment that you do.
  7. Subscribe to my You Tube Channel. Leave a comment that you do.
OK, obviously entries are coming from comments to this post only, so remember to come back and leave a comment for each thing that you did. Winners will be chosen 4 PM Mountain time Thursday July 1, 2010 and you can enter as many times as you'd like before then.


****Update!! Jennette has offered to SIGN the copy of Half-Assed I'll be giving away. So you'll be getting a signed copy of that book!!! Best birthday ever ;)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why Diet is in my Blog Title



When people see my handle "katdoesdiets" or my blog title "Kat's Adventures in Dietland" I think they often get the wrong idea. I don't really 'do' diets. I have done a lot of diets in my lifetime, but currently I am searching for how I can nourish my body for life. I think the word diet has a lot of negative connotation. Most see it as some crazy strict thing you do until you lose weight then you go off of it. To me your diet is simply what you eat. Period. 

I was being a little tongue and cheek about reviewing diets when I came up with katdoesdiets. Anyone from Colorado remember Debbie Does Donuts...OK, no topless reviews here, but it was sort of a silly play on that.

I read a lot of 'diet' books. I love to research. I peruse a lot of articles on nutrition. But I don't really 'do' any of them. I think most of these things have their good points and their bad points. Even some of the crazy ones have a few pearls of wisdom deep down (of course some are complete trash too) I take the good, the things I think may work for me, and leave the bad. I like to read and review diet books and diet plans, to let people know what they're all about, but I myself tend to keep searching for what works best for me. I think it's all about knowing our bodies and continuing to improve. In fact, my 'how I'm losing weight' needs updated because I've changed things since I wrote that.

Hence, Kat's Adventure's in Dietland, it's all a wonderful adventure for me.


I am constantly tweaking my diet a little here, a little there. Taking out sugar, adding in flaxseed. Diet Coke was ditched long ago. Sugarfree RockStars shortly after (yes, I had huge caffeine issues). Starting Monday I will be attempting to take out all sugar and artificial sugars.  Things like that. It's a constant journey for me to a healthier body. I enjoy it. To me it has become fun, like an adventure.


The fact that I feel fanfriggintastic taking better care of myself doesn't hurt either.


So, that's where I got my names. 


What will you NOT give up in the name of weight loss?


I have one thing that is happily staying in my 'diet', no matter how many diet plans or magazine articles or cleanses tell me to drop it: my morning cup of strong coffee with two tablespoons of real half and half. you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Birthday To ME

If you're on Twitter you might be aware that my birthday is this Friday, the 25th. Aware because I can't quit talking about it!


I was thinking earlier and tweeted about why I have no idea why I'm so excited about it. I mean, I turn 34, not exactly a milestone. We're pretty tight on our budget this month since I bought spoiled teen boy an XBOX 360 for his 16th birthday (which is the 29th so shhh, don't tell). There won't be any celebration or big to do. And likely presents only from my mom and mother in law.


But still, I am excited about it.


I can't wait. It's a big deal to me this year. But kept wondering why I felt this way. Then someone tweeted back to me:


losingmybehind   
@katdoesdiets You are a different woman than last year!! You feel good!! You look good!! Your birthday will be a celebration of it all!!


Um, BINGO! She is exactly right. I want to CELEBRATE my life this year. I had to let that sink in a moment.


I WANT to CELEBRATE my LIFE this year. Wow.


Really, I can't remember this feeling ever. But it's true. She's exactly right. I feel awesome, I feel healthy, I feel strong. Many things are going great in my life: my weight loss, my health, my running, my passion that is writing...the list is too long...and I want to celebrate that this year. I want to celebrate...ME!


And that feels good. I am a different woman than I was last year..and the year before...and...you get the picture.  And the improvement is worth celebrating. 


Hooray!


Are you excited when your birthday comes around? Do you celebrate you?


(Oh, you haven't gotten off this easy...there will still BE a birthday post on Friday too hee hee)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Response to Dr. Siegal's The Cookie Diet


Have you heard of this new craze The Cookie Diet? Seriously guys, this is nuts! Let's think about this for a minute. You are replacing a diet of good wholesome nourishing food with six cookies a day and a small dinner. A total of 1,000 calories a day?! Can you say...nuts?!


From his site www.cookiediet.com:

"The Dr. Siegal’s COOKIE DIET® suggested daily caloric intake is 1,000 calories but your doctor may raise or lower the amount based on your medical history. (Always follow your doctor’s instructions). On 1,000 calories a day (or even 1,200), everybody loses weight. Therefore, your success is guaranteed if you follow the plan."

I love how they cover their butts by saying see your doctor...um, what doctor is going to OK 1,000 calories a day?! Let's face it guys, there's no cheat. We gotta eat a variety of good whole high nutrition foods (in proper portions) to nourish our bodies so they are ready for good challenging workouts, and just life in general. Eat better, move more. That's what brings health and weight loss. Not some crazy fad cookie.

A little more babble from www.cookiediet.com:

"Dr. Siegal’s COOKIE DIET® Hunger-Controlling Diet Cookies

Our famous cookies were created by Dr. Siegal in 1975 to control your hunger and help you stick to your diet. Each Weekly Box contains 7 Daily Bags of 6 cookies each and replaces 14 meals at a cost of about $4.28 per replaced meal when used as suggested. Includes a free, one week sample of Dr. Siegal’s COOKIE DIET® brand Premium Multiple Vitamin & Minerals supplement. he Dr. Siegal’s COOKIE DIET® suggested daily caloric intake is 1,000 calories but your doctor may raise or lower the amount based on your medical history. (Always follow your doctor’s instructions). On 1,000 calories a day (or even 1,200), everybody loses weight. Therefore, your success is guaranteed if you follow the plan.
Flavors: Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate, Blueberry, Banana and Coconut.
Price: $59.95 per Weekly Box (about $4.28 per replaced meal)"
OH my, where to start here. First, $4.28 a meal?! I can go to Natural Grocers and get good healthy, wholesome foods like ezekiel pockets, fresh ground almonds and peanuts, flaxseeds, oats, etc and spend less than that per meal. Seriously.
You can still have cookies if that's what you're really craving. Eating well doesn't mean swearing off everything. You can even make cookies healthier. Tweak your recipe. Use whole wheat flour, add in some ground flax, or some spinach or zucchini; I am experimenting with adding a little whey protein and less flour. Point is: you can have a healthy cookie without paying an arm and a leg.
Second, they're trying to sell you a supplement to fill in the nutritional holes you'll be creating by basically living off special cookies! Any bells and whistles going off here? We all know this diet/weight loss industry is full of hype. In my opinion this is a great example of that.
Last, yes everyone would lose weight on that low of calories, but will they keep it off, will they find a happy, healthy way to maintain their weight for life...or will they just get uber hungry and balloon to bigger than they were when they began?! Not to mention that you could screw your metabolism up by going into starvation mode in the process. I seriously wonder if they're losing fat here or precious muscle.
There's just no cheat. You gotta do the work to have long term success. And let me tell you, it's worth it. By far.
What do you guys think of The Cookie Diet??



I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, diet product, or new workout program.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Miles--Half Marathon Chosen

Every Monday for a while will be Monday Miles here on my blog. As I'll be beginning half marathon training next Monday these posts will be dedicated to all things running. I am really excited to have an excuse to do more running gear reviews throughout my training process...and maybe even giveaways? We'll see if I can get any companies interested in sponsoring. 

THIS Monday however I want to say that I've chosen a half marathon...yay!

I decided budget-wise it would be best for my family if I picked a Colorado race. Plus, I found one that is only $35! Since I won't have to fly anywhere I am hoping that hubby and I can even go stay in a Fort Collins hotel and make a mini vacation of it as a late anniversary (our anniversary is Aug 31).

Who would've ever thought that I would think running a half marathon would make a fun part of a vacation?! Crazy how much our paradigm shifts.

So, without further babbling: September 19th I will be running the Crossroads Half Marathon in Fort Collins, CO.

I was actually amazed at how many half marathons were available in Colorado. This is a great state to be a runner in. I chose this particular race for several reasons. First, I have ran a few races in Fort Collins and enjoyed them. They are always well put on in my opinion. Second, I wanted to give myself 12 weeks to train. Third, Fort Collins is a little over 2 hours from me, so not bad travel time. Plus, at only $35 I should be able to easily budget in the race fees. I am also hoping by then it won't be quite so hot too, I really dislike running in the heat.

I haven't registered yet so I guess it's not written in stone. We write out a budget and follow it carefully, as a single income family that's a must, but as soon as I work the race fees in the budget I'm on it. Then I'll work on the hotel and hopefully some fun running gear...poor little budget, lol.

I can't wait to shop for new running clothes to match my Pumas...haven't had an excuse for that in a while. My running clothes show it too!

I believe that the local 10k that I'd hoped to do as part of training is after the Crossroads Half Marathon, but I still plan to do it.

Can't wait to start training! I will keep you guys posted every Monday on my training and any new fun running gear finds I come across on the way. Long distance runs really put products to the test in my experience. Next Monday I plan to share the half marathon training plan I'll be following.

How about you, are you training for any races? Share which ones.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Changing Others

Good morning! Happy Father's Day everyone.

I am up early at my sis's and the house is all quiet. Love it. I started thinking about what to write for a post for Father's Day. I kept coming back to thinking about unhealthy and/or overweight family members.  I have several of those, do you? It's always tough I think when we start making the changes needed to live a happier, healthier, longer life and our family doesn't.

I always want to just fix them. But we can't fix other people. We can't change other people. We just can't. It takes them wanting to change, choosing to change, then doing the work. We can be helpful and encouraging all along the way, but we can't (no matter how much we'd like to) do it for them or make them want to do it for themselves.

Several people in my family are overweight and I know from experience that preaching at them does nothing. I do still share with them what I'm doing. Talk about my running, talk about new books I've read on eating healthy, etc. But that's where I stop. I never bring the conversation around to them. It's always just talking about my life. No judgement, no, don't you think you should be doing something like this too? Until they are ready to make a change those things only feel like judgement and hurt to them.

I think that the most effective thing that we can do for other people is to take care of us. Not only will this make us a happier healthier wife, daughter, mother, sister, whatever, but it will show them what these better choices look like. What these better choices can do, can change. Yes, they'll see all the hard work it takes, but hopefully they will also see the awesomely wonderful rewards from all our hard work.

Living healthy and making good choices out loud will affect our loved ones far more than any lecture ever could. We can't change other people. We can't make other people want to change. We can only change ourselves. But I don't find this discouraging anymore. I find it encouraging now. By changing myself and making healthier choices I can be an example. I can be an inspiration. I can give hope by showing others that it is possible. And, hopefully, when they are ready to take those first few tentative steps towards healthy choices I can be a cheerleader!

Have an awesome Father's Day everyone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lightning Bolt Moment

So, I'm at my sister and brother in law's for the weekend. We're running a family race tomorrow. Fun, fun!

I was talking to my bro in law about my writing, the book I'm working on, and the fact that I tend to start something and drop it after a few chapters. I talked to him about the possibilities of self publishing vs trying to get traditionally published, blah, blah, blah.

He said something to me that was so lightning bolt moment to me, yet should have been completely obvious. He said that I needed to write for me. Not focus so much on trying to write something people will want to buy/read so much or on writing something I hope will sell well, yada, yada. I need to write for me.

Um, duh! For some reason this just struck me. I have never thought of it that way before. He is absolutely right. I have no idea where this will take my (non-blog related specifically) writing, but I'm excited to find out.

My writing should be no different from my weight loss, my workouts, or my choice to eat healthy. I should do it for me. Only then will I probably write something worth buying anyway!

What do you do for you?

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Positivity Project

As I mentioned in yesterday's post one of my new goals is to have a more positive attitude, and in specific to SAY positive things. Whether I particularly feel like saying positive things...or not.

I think a positive attitude is important. I also believe that speaking positive things is important. I really feel like when I say negative things my attitude and my day follow suit. Likewise when I say positive things, even when I really have to search for them, my day and attitude still follow suit. Words definitely have the power to build people up or tear them down, and that includes ourselves.

I envy people who are naturally more glass half full, sunshine, and rainbows. That's actually not my natural bent. I am more the one who will tell you everything that could possibly go wrong with your new plan. Most of my life I have spent negative, pessimistic, and even critical.

I am not sure when I decided to change that. But I did make a choice. I have to practice to be positive. It's been hard work, but I think I'm getting there. I'm sure the people in my life appreciate it!

Lately I've been realizing that I let my feelings dictate my words way more than I should. I mean, just because I wake up in the morning and 'feel' fat. Does not mean I need to say "I feel so fat today" or worse "I'm so fat". Those words do NOTHING good for me. In fact, just the opposite, they hurt me!

 This happened to me the other morning. I woke up just feeling downright tubby. Now, I hadn't gone off track with my eating or exercising and I'd guess I was the exact same weight as the day before, but for some crazy reason I felt huge. I remarked to my sister in a text how crazy it was, and obviously utter nonsense. And I moved on with my day.

The next morning I woke up and felt 'thin'. Whatever! I was the same size both days. My point here is that sometimes our feelings can be a little deceptive. I think it's important to choose to say positive things even when we're not necessarily feeling it. I mean really, what can it hurt?

Today is day 2 of my little positivity project. I am getting up every morning and SAYING positive things...like today is going to be amazing, or amazing things are going to happen today..you get the picture.

The funny thing? So far, I've been right.

What do you think? Do you think it matters if we speak positive or negative things on a regular basis?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Goals



I am huge on goals. I think they are very important in life. Without goals...how do you know where you're going? I am constantly setting goals, reviewing goals, reworking goals, reaching goals, tossing goals out the window...


Today I set some new goals for myself that I'm excited about and wanted to share:



  1. I joined a challenge to post something every day for 30 days here on my blog and/or you tube channel. I have been getting slack in my posting and I think this was just what I needed to shake things up and help encourage me to be more consistent.
  2. I finally made a decision, I will definitely train for a half marathon AND do a 10k as part of the training...now to choose which one?! hmmm. I will probably do my local 10k, but the half marathon is up in the air...suggestions? I would love to run in Vegas for the #mizboorun or someone on twitter told me about the Eugene Women's Half Marathon which looks fun. Of course, there are tons here in Colorado too...ya, I'm bad with decisions.
  3. I just got a fitbook and I am going to track every day for the next 12 weeks.
  4. For the next 2 weeks I am going to try something, I am going to wake up every day and choose to be positive. Choose to say positive things. Whether I feel it. Or not.
These goals all kind of revolve around helping me stay focused and on track in various aspects of my life. I have a tendency to do really great and then without realizing it slack off here and there just a little. Get a little lazy, a little lax, not pay attention as much. Then before you know it, bam, I'm off course.


Well, I'm not waiting to get off course this time. I'm being proactive and setting new goals to keep myself on the right track!


Tell me about a goal you have. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Courage

My word of the day on Twitter was courage. Why? Because I think it takes a lot of courage to start this battle and an extreme amount to win this battle.


Courage to get up every day and make better choices.


Courage to walk, or bike, or run, or dance, or swim...


Courage to push yourself farther than before in your workouts.


Courage to say NO to nasty foods that you know will make you feel like crap later no matter who is pushing them.


Courage to believe in you.


Courage to believe that you can do so much more than you've ever thought possible.


Courage to love you.


Courage to choose to take care of you.


Courage to know that you can live without that candy bar or piece of cake.


Courage to make time for yourself.


Courage to keep taking step after step after step even when you aren't seeing what you want to see.


Courage to get back up when we fall down and mess up.


Courage to forgive yourself.


Courage to see yourself as that healthier person (whatever that means to you) and GO FOR IT.


Courage to be the best you that you can be. You deserve it, the people in your life deserve it, the world deserves it.


Courage to live out loud.


Courage to be GREAT.


I encourage you to take better care of you, whatever that means in your life.


I'll leave you with something I tweeted earlier, Don't be disgusted with yourself when you mess up, we don't treat people we are disgusted with as well as people we love and forgive.



Weigh in 06.16.2010 well....sorta

Not sure where this pic came from, but I just love it. This is how I feel right now.

Well, I was trying to do weekly weigh in posts on here. Lately however I am so much not obsessed with the scale that I just forget about it. I will call that a good thing.

I did weigh a day...or two...or three ago. Not sure. I weighed 172. Considering I was up to 177 after my Memorial Day Fail, that's awesome. However, I'm sure much of that gain was water weight etc, so really I'm down a half pound from where I was.

A half pound sounds like nothing, but it rocks to me. I had stalled out for over a month, I was getting stagnant and not progressing. It was beginning to affect my attitude, my drive to keep pushing hard. I was letting my eating and workouts slip because I felt discouraged. I am glad to realize that the changes I made recently work for me. Woo!

I feel very refreshed and ready to hit this whole weight loss thing right now. Feelin very ninja. That scale isn't gonna know what hit it.

My body fat monitor says 31.5% a little progress there too.

While it's true that many of us just need to stick to what we're doing and be patient; making good choices will bring always bring progress. Sometimes I believe we need to change things up. Whether the changes I made are working mentally or physically doesn't really matter to me. The fact is they are working for me right now.

Have you changed anything lately?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crock-Pot Black Beans Recipe

OK, so I am in love with this whole clean eating thing. I feel great, I'm not famished all the time and...I'm losing weight. Bonus.


So, my son came down the stairs this morning and said, "mmm, what smells so good?"


Beans I said. Yes, I put some black beans in the crock pot first thing, and they smell friggin yummy...here's the recipes:


Crock-Pot Black Beans
1 lb (16 oz) dried black beans
water
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped very small
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (or more to your tastes)
1/2 tsp ground hungarian paprika (I get this at Natural Grocers and LOVE it)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Rinse the beans and sort out any funky non-beanness that can be in dried beans. Now, most people soak their beans overnight...I rarely get this done. I simply dump the rinsed beans in the crock pot. Add water until about 2 inches above the beans. (depending on your crock pot you may have to watch the water level closely and add more later if it cooks down too far). Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 


I use these a couple of ways. I either add some chopped peppers and cooked chicken or cooked ground turkey when they're done and it's sort of a chili. Or I use it as a side dish. Or I simply put it in the refrigerator and have it at the ready to add to ezekiel wraps etc for my lunches through the week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Weight Loss/Getting Fit Journey in Pictures



This post has been a long time coming. It was inspired by my friend in hopes that it will encourage and inspire others. 
It took a long time for me to want to post 'before' pics of myself and then it took even more time to find before pics. I was a master hider.
Case in point. Hiding behind the kids...then craftily cropped most of me out. I was about 226 here, that shirt was a 3X. Wish I still had it, it'd be a dress. Those are my 2 youngest about 5 years ago. I decided then that they deserved a happier, healthier mommy.
OK, hardest pic to find and to post. This is my before. I quote my highest weight as 226, but looking at this pic I wonder if I was heavier. I wasn't weighing.
I started walking and doing yoga, and even joined Curves. At this point I went gung-ho low carb...it worked for a while. Then I stalled out about:
204, bad pic, but this is when I joined Sparkpeople. Started counting calories and adding some workout DVDs.
me at 200 lbs. Cut my calories even more (sometimes too low) and started running.
Running my first 5k. My goal was just to run the whole thing. I did! I began to realize I could do things I'd never thought possible. The real changes, the changes on the inside started here. I was about 195 in this pic. I had caught the running bug and jumped into a huge goal from there:
Me after my first ever (and only so far) marathon. I overtrained, hurt my hip, and finished in second to last place, but I finished! I was about 185-190 lbs here. I had much more muscle though. Not only was I running crazy miles, but I added in strength training here too. My eating was out of control though, so I didn't lose much weight during this time. All that running had me famished. Should have upped my protein more I think, hindsight.
My hip was hurt and I couldn't run for months as it healed. I watched my food better and started a blog. Faceless at 185 lbs.
182 lbs. I began to really delve into my deeper issues. The support and encouragement of my blog readers was priceless. I felt ready to hash out all the junk in my head. I also moved away from just wanting to keep calories low regardless of the quality of food. No more fake sugars, no more food low in calories and completely devoid in nutrients.
178.5 lbs. I got braver here. Started to actually like myself for the first time ever. My blog grew a face!
Kicked my inner fat chick to the curb at my fastest 5k.

I know this time is the time for me. Yes, you can see the physical changes in these pics, but so much more has changed about me too. I am a different person. I think different, act different, make different choices. I am that happier, healthier mommy I wanted to be!
This was yesterday, with the baby from the first pic, sniffle. Today I'm at 172.5. I am focusing on eating clean, running, doing ChaLEAN Extreme and lifting slower and heavier while making the mind muscle connection (as I've heard I should).

No, I'm not at my goal weight, but I know I'll get there. And instead of loathing where I'm at, who I am right now, I'm loving me along the way this time. No more crazy fad diets. No more self hatred. No more putting myself down. No more mean inner fat chick self talk. Healthy choices and treating myself well mentally and physically is how I will get there.
Before
After
I have come a long way and I'm proud. The pictures only show half the story though. I am a more positive, happier, healthier person. I am a better wife, mom, and friend now. Not because I'm thinner, but because I did the harder work along the way. The mental and emotional work. The work of making a better me all around, not just physically.

I am on my way, I am doing it. If you come away from my blog with only one thing I hope it's that YOU can too.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cheribundi Review

The wonderful folks from Cheribundi sent me a four pack of their cherry juices to try. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and I receive no compensation for this review.

Now when I got their email I was like, sure, I'll try it. But in the back of my mind I was a little unsure. I love fresh cherries, but I don't love cherry flavored things, or even cooked cherry things, like cherry pie at Thanksgiving, blech.

This however I loved. I give the Tru Cherry and Whey Cherry Four stars and the Skinny Cherry I happily give Five stars.

A little info from www.cheribundi.com:

 cheribundi™ starts as Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan and New York orchards. We use a proprietary juicing process that was developed with Cornell University to make a drink that retains all the power and benefits of the nutrients and antioxidants found in the little round fruits. cheribundi™ has more disease-fighting antioxidants than other juices and has been tested in the lab and field by athletes and people who just work out. Because cheribundi™ is all-natural and not from concentrate, it's a feel-better and live-healthier addition to your lifestyle.

The Montmorency cherries we use are all grown in the USA (Michigan and New York, to be exact). They taste better and have more powerful phytonutrients than other superfruits. That includes the trendy pomegranate, the imported acai berry, or grapes and blueberries. Rich with nutrients, tart cherries can help you recover from exercise and sleep better, in general, live life to the fullest because you feel better. Instead of eating 50 cherries a day, you can get the same benefits by drinking cheribundi™.

You can visit choosecherries.com to learn about all the benefits tart cherries may hold.

OK, first the Tru Cherry. 8 oz has 130 calories. A little high for me. It doesn't however have added sugar, bonus. Apple Juice Concentrate is the only sweetener listed. I have gone completely off sugar, so I like that. My kids loved it. I would buy it for the occasional treat for them. I don't generally like for us to drink our calories, but I consider this healthy and plain old water gets old sometimes.

Next, the Whey Cherry. This one has 160 calories for 8 oz. Again, high for me as just a drink. I liked it though. Whey Cherry has 8 grams of protein too. The added whey protein wasn't bad tasting to me. I used it as a recovery drink after my last a merry workout pledge. This is probably the only way I would use it because of the highish calories. As a quick, on the go, no time to make a smoothie recovery drink.

Last, but certainly, as my favorite, not least the Skinny Cherry. This one only has 90 calories per 8 oz. The only ingredients are tart cherry juice, water, and stevia. LOVE it. I like the taste, liked the nutritional info, liked everything about it. For me, I would buy the Skinny Cherry as an alternative when I get bored with water. Or as a replacement for a sports drink on longer runs. I absolutely love that it has stevia. Plus, all the great benefits of the tart cherries, what's not to love?!

So, there you have it...have you ever tried Cheribundi? What do you think?

FINALLY..and, suggestions?

Finally have internet again! That was rough. I've got reviews and things to do like crazy, and need to catch up on my blog reading since I haven't been on since last Friday. I was going through blog withdrawals!

Also, I am wondering if anyone has suggestions for product reviews. Obviously with a limited budget I can't review everything out in this overloaded fitness/weight loss market, but I want to try to do reviews that you guys are interested in!

Anything out there you've been wondering about...drooling over? Please leave me a comment about it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Day in Pictures

5 am laced up my Pumas and headed to the track.
The track I run at. The high school track is literally a block and a half from my house. Love it. However, there's been a bear in town lately and when I got there all the trash cans had been dumped and scattered, eep. Very alert while I ran today!
Came home and had coffee with hubby.
Breakfast was a cup of egg whites with mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes. Yum.
Midmorning snack was a chocolate shakeology and a handful of blueberries. Forgot to take a pic of that.
Lunch was an Ezekiel pita with chicken breast, spinach, and mustard.
Afternoon snack was a 2% Fage. I normally do the 0%, but the 2% is only 130 calories and so freaking good! I'm hooked.
Sat at my computer and twittered and you tube'd a lot.
So, ya...up to now, that's my day. OK, I cleaned house and did mom stuff too, but that's a given, LOL. 

How was your day?