Posts tagged ‘diet’

Lesson learned

This looks tasty, right?

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites on English Muffin

This is what I had for breakfast #2 this morning. It seems simple enough — multigrain english muffin, egg white, cheddar cheese and turkey bacon.

Think again. While the calorie count and protein/fiber combo is great, the ingredient list isn’t any better than McDonald’s:

Ingredients

multigrain english muffin (unbleached enriched wheat flour [flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin b1), riboflavin (vitamin b2), folic acid], water, whole wheat flour, farina, yeast, sugar, molasses, flaxseed, honey, wheat gluten, preservatives [calcium propionate, sorbic acid], salt, soybean oil, rye, corn cereal, dextrose, ground corn, monoglycerides, brown rice, oats, soybeans, triticale, barley, millet, caramel color, whey, soy flour, nonfat milk), egg white patty (egg whites, whey powder, unmodified corn starch, salt, nonfat dry milk, butter flavor [sunflower oil, natural flavors, medium chain triglycerides, palm kernal oil], xanthan gum, guar gum, liquid pepper extract), reduced fat cheddar cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, vitamin a palmitate), turkey bacon (turkey, water, sugar, salt, natural smoke flavoring, natural flavoring, cottonseed oil). contains: wheat, soy, egg, milk

Source: Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites on English Muffin | Starbucks Coffee Company.

Gross. Seriously, Starbucks — GROSS. You should be ashamed of yourselves for selling crap like this. It tasted good, but it would taste even better if I could pronounce half of the shit in here! Why does a “healthy” breakfast sandwich need caramel color, corn starch and “natural flavors,” which I feel I can safely assume means MSG.

Never buying this again. Lesson learned.

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March 31, 2011 at 10:49 pm 1 comment

(She hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth…yet)

Hi friends!

I am so so sorry for neglecting PLW recently! My life has been in a bit of a shambles, and I just haven’t had it in me to post much. I highly doubt you’d want to listen to me moaning and groaning. Life is stressful, and while it really (really) sucks when it is, you just have to take a deep breath, look yourself in the eye and keep movin’ forward.

I decided to do a little self-therapy last night and watch “How Do You Know?” (with Reese Witherspoon) in bed curled up with a kitty or two ;) It didn’t make things suck less, but it sure made me feel better — the movie was surprisingly good! It was also much less of a chick flick than I thought it would be. I loooove Reese Witherspoon (did you know her first name is Laura?) and I think I love Paul Rudd even more.

He is just so damn cute.

swoon

My eats and workouts have been a bit all over the place lately, as tends to happen when stress comes into the picture. Regardless, I’ve been making a strong and conscious effort to do my best and stay on track because I know that when I eat well and exercise regularly, I feel 1000x better, and it keeps the stress from getting out of control.

A funny side effect of having a roommate that you don’t get along with at all is that I go to the gym more often…since it’s just 2.5 blocks from my house, I can head over there whenever I don’t want to be home! Great solution :)

I’ve been continuing to do my Women’s Health workouts and they have been fantasic! They are so comprehensive and well-put together, I never feel like I’ve missed something. I am also feeling seriously strong. Yesterday I did:

  • 3×8 dumbbell step lunges
  • 3×8 underhand grip reverse flys
  • 2×10 Swiss ball Russian twists
  • 3×10 alternating shoulder presses
  • 2×60 sec hold planks (split into segments bc I am still not very good at these!)
  • 2×8 Swiss ball hip raise and leg curls (these are KILLER)
  • 2×10 back extensions (in place of 90 sec prone cobra hold because I really really hate that move for some reason!)

If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend going out and getting your hands on the Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises! It is the cheapest personal trainer you can buy!

Speaking of the gym, I had a verrrrry interesting run-in yesterday. Remember my two-timing ways? Well thankfully things sort of resolved themselves on their own…While one guy seemed to be making more effort in showing that he was interested, I happened to be more interested in the other — you know, the spark. I was unsure of what to do about the situation when one day, Mr. Interested suddenly became Mr. dis-interested — we had plans, he canceled at the last minute, and I never heard from him after that! I was angry and thought it was very immature of him, but also relieved because it left me to focus on the person I really wanted to get to know.

Well isn’t the Universe a jokester, because guess who I ran into while stretching on the mat! After our first date, I knew that Mr. Dis-Interested and I worked out at the same gym because he lives very close to me. I also thought I had seen him there once before we had gone out. After he fell out of touch, I often wondered if I would ever run into him at the gym and how awkward it would be…Sure enough, yesterday I saw him saunter up to the treadmill line a few feet away from me! Naturally, I speeded up the ‘mill (to look super badass, obviously) and kept my head down, hoping to avoid eye contact.

I thought I had escaped the situation when I saw him walk past me again, this time over by the free weights. I was pretty sure at this point he had noticed me, but I didn’t want to let him know that I had seen him. I kept my eyes on the prize and completed the killer workout you see above. Just when I thought I was in the clear and stretching out on the mats, I noticed him walking toward me.

Cue mental panic.

Was this jerk really approaching me after blowing me off?

“Hi Laura…how’s it going?”

Cue awkward 30-second small talk conversation.

Him: “I’m sorry I haven’t called you…I’ve been really busy and just working like crazy.”

Me: “Uh huh.”

Cue more awkward small talk.

I wasn’t nice, but I wasn’t rude. I didn’t feel I needed to be nice. After he seemed to get the hint that I didn’t want to talk, he told me he was going to go finish his workout and I said I would “see him around.” Right.

Men are such stinkers! I hope he realizes that he messed up a chance with a truly incredible chick.

——————————-

Anyway….so I am still using the Livestrong calorie counter and I feel like it’s been extremely useful in helping me keep my calorie intake in check. This morning, for example, I made an oopsie:

It wasn’t from Sprinkles, but that was the closest thing I could find :)

I had a doctor’s appointment early this morning and didn’t leave myself time to make my normal steel cut oats for breakfast, so I grabbed a cinnamon roll Larabar. Well, I should have known better that those are only good for post-workout snacks because I was starving by the time I finished at 9:30! I stopped in Starbucks to get something a little more substantial and walked away with a (decently tasty) egg white, turkey bacon + cheese sammie on a whole wheat English muffin and a grande soy latte with a Splenda. It hit the spot, but I immediately realized my breakfast had way too many calories!

Of course when I got to work, there were 96 cupcakes waiting for everyone in the office. One of our main clients is a very large food brand, so we are constantly in communication with everything from cupcake trucks to daily enchilada recipes. One of our coworkers won some sort of prize on Twitter, and they came and covered her entire workspace with aluminum foil! To soften the blow, they left more cupcakes than I have ever seen in my entire life. I had to try one of the red velvets because it looked so darn cute, but I only wanted half of it — it was far too sweet and just not worth the rest of the calories. I was still accountable for it though, and I’m glad I was! Looks like my lunch will need to be a light one today…

image

I’ll try to post some more pictures today or tomorrow, but a few recent eats have been: Annie’s aged cheddar mac w/fresh green onions & shredded chicken, chicken avocado salad (AMAZING — see picture below, I’ll post the recipe this week) and leftover flank steak & roasted potatoes from a date night I had last week :)

image

Unfortunately, I was supposed to have a follow-up date tonight and just got word that he had to cancel. I am seriously bummed, and was really looking forward to it after a week from hell.

Oh well. Keep calm and carry on, right?

March 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Avo-goat-o + dabbling in veganism

I made the beeeesttttt sandwich for work today. Lately I have been craving creamy, cheesy comfort food like nobody’s business (although watching Man vs. Food last night probably didn’t help), so I wanted something particularly tantalizing for lunch today, not to mention easy.

Solution: found.

image

I took a Morningstar Farms chick’n pattie that I had hidden at the back of the freezer, two slices of whole wheat bread, half of a PERFECT avocado and some goat cheese. This bad boy made me weak in the knees.

Really though, is there nothing better than cutting into a perfectly ripe avocado? It rarely happens, so I always do a little dance when I get one. <—nerd

I’ve had the goat cheese/avocado combo many times in salads, but never together on a sandwich and all I say say is HOLY COW. Or rather, holy goat. <———bigger nerd

When I was in college and vulnerable to just about any “alternative” idea, I decided to go vegan for awhile. Like many women, I read “Skinny Bitch” thinking it was a diet book and, of course, was horrified to read what it was really about. That stuff is a big shock if you’ve never read about it before, and I had never really been exposed to veganism.

Disgusted, I immediately cut out all animal products in a dramatic cleansing of my cupboards, and found myself with next to nothing to eat immediately after. I did what many “starter vegans” do, buying meat substitutes of every food item you can imagine, as well as some vegan junk food. I tried soy milk for the first time (and hated it, but eventually grew to love it), switched to agave from honey — the whole 9 yards.

Long story short, I slowly began lapsing on my good choices because I found that this lifestyle was simply not practical for me. I am by no means saying that a vegan diet is bad (I think it’s awesome) or that is is impractical in general, but I did not feel my best when doing it and, especially being in college, had a very hard time keeping it up while maintaining the lifestyle that I wanted. (Hello, I lived in Wisconsin — beer and brats, anyone?)

BUT, going vegan for awhile had some very positive impacts on my life that I still keep up with today. After cutting out cow dairy for several months, I found that I had a really hard time digesting it when I tried it again. I now know that I (along with a huge portion of the population) am lactose intolerant, and while I can handle small amounts of yogurt (Greek mainly) and cheese (not ideal but tastes WAY too good to avoid), I absolutely cannot handle milk or ice cream. It makes me sick sick sick and very…er…unpleasant to be around. Heh. I now drink either soy milk or almond milk and don’t even miss milk! I still use half & half in my coffee, but use only a splash and almost always buy organic.

Being temporarily vegan also introduced me to an entirely new world of vegetables. Before that, I would maybe eat broccoli or salads once in awhile, and would occasionally get some vegetable soup. But having quickly realized that you can’t subsist on tofurkey slices and bread all day, I began trying vegetables that I either had never considered or hadn’t even heard of previously. Brussels sprouts, asparagus, jicama, you name it — to this day, I will eat just about any vegetable. Peas (regular, not snap) are my one exception, but I’ll still eat them sometimes anyway.

It was also a great way to learn  how to introduce meatless meals into my diet, and I began to become more and more aware of how much better my body feels when I eat vegetable-heavy, low-dairy and nutritious meals.

Have you ever dabbled in veganism?

March 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm 2 comments

My workout story + the importance of *FUN* in your health/fitness routine

well, hi there!

Naomi from OneFitFoodie had a great post today about doing what you love to achieve your fitness goals. (She says she’s “preaching,” but I’d hardly call it that!). This is something I truly believe in, and will also be the first to admit that it is something I need to be reminded of regularly.

When I first started exercising in high school, I had every ounce of motivation I needed just in going to the gym. I had never exercised (consciously) before, so the results (even with just 30 min of easy cardio a few days per week) were noticeable pretty quickly. I found the new activities fun and challenging, and loved how great I felt for the first time in quite awhile.

But as anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight knows, a plateau eventually came and my body wanted to stay at its “set point.” From what I understand, your set point can change and be budged with some hard work, but after losing a certain amount of weight, your body starts to say, “Nope, I’m done.”

This is why motivation is HUGELY important, because when that plateau hits, the looser jeans or slimmer face aren’t enough because that’s where it (albeit temporarily) stops. You’ve got to find a way to keep moving, new ways to change up your routine, and new reasons to focus on why making your health a priority is so important to you. And one of the easiest, and longest-lasting ways to keep up that motivation is by making achieving your goals fun. You have to love what you’re eating and thoroughly enjoy (or at least somewhat enjoy!) your workouts. Plain and simple, you will not stick with anything if you can’t find a way to enjoy it.

My workout routine, while still challenging, is beginning to feel somewhat repetitive. There could be a few reasons for this: I do the same thing on every gym day (work, gym, dinner, shower, bed – repeat) and it gets boring at times; the sun still sets before I leave work, so heading home in the dark can be kind of a drag; or perhaps I’m just afraid to shake things up and see where I can push my mind and body to next.

While I’m sure all of these things contribute to my little fitness rut, I’m pretty sure the last one has a lot to do with it.

I’ve never been thin. Save a few childhood years when just about everybody is a beanpole, I spent most of my adolescence as a chubby, albeit sassy kid. The weight loss in high school was hugely motivating, and while it ultimately sparked my interest in food (okay, that interest was always there), fitness and healthy living, I still had a lot to learn. I thought that my newly-slim figure was permission to begin eating whatever I wanted again. Obviously, this didn’t work, and I began slowly gaining weight though my freshman year of college. While I didn’t gain the “freshman 15,” I did arrive back home that summer plumper than when I had left.

The “cycle” began again when I was home for the summer, where a boring summer office job and few friends in town meant I quelled my boredom by hitting the gym every day on my way home from work. I wasn’t aware of any weight loss this time around, but many of my friends commented that I looked thinner when I went back to college in the fall. Again, though, I eased up on both exercise and healthy eating habits, and slowly filled out again.

My biggest battle, therefore, is consistency. Taking care of yourself by eating proper portions of healthy food and exercising regularly is rewarding, but sometimes…well, you just want to throw your hands up in the air and shout, “ENOUGH ALREADY!” I love healthy food, but I sometimes feel I can become obsessive and hyper-focused on what I eat when I’m trying to maintain a healthy diet. And that’s just no way to live.

A hard lesson I’ve had to learn is that you need to treat yourself regularly, but you must build those treats into your overall health and fitness plan. A glass of wine means a little less pasta at dinner, or 3 days at the gym instead of 4 one week means squeezing in a little extra time at the end of each of those 3 workouts. That extra skip day, of course, would be for a manicure or massage :)

I’m still trying to figure out how I can have a big, juicy burger once in awhile though! Alas, a work in progress…

One of the reasons I love blogs like Carrot’s ‘n’ Cake, EatLiveRun, Peanut Butter Fingers and food.fitness.fashion. is because they all focus on living a life with balance and moderation. Julie from PBF has admitted regularly that she is a maniac about sweets and carb-y cereals, Tina and Ali (CNC and FFF, respectively) are both regular beer drinkers (women after my own heart) and Jenna from ELR quite possibly posts the most delicious recipes I have ever come across. These ladies know how to do it right, and I love them for that.

My workday is finally starting to wind down, and I plan to hit the gym with a new goal in mind: try a machine, exercise or routine I have never tried before. I haven’t decided what it will be yet, but I’m hoping a little butt-kicking is exactly what I need :)

Cheers!

February 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment


Hi, I’m Laura!

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