Posts tagged ‘health and fitness’

Big changes

Howdy!

This is my friend Amy. She makes me smile :)

Hi Amy!

We decided to put on some cheap (and not so flattering…) sunglasses after a few beers and have a photo shoot. This is why we are friends :D

My life is going through some crazy transitions right now, and one of which involves this lovely lady above! I will be moving out of my current apartment soon, and Amy might be a new roommate. Thrilled doesn’t do justice to my excitement about this!

The issue, however, is that my current lease is not up until August 31. Amy’s is not up until July 31. And, well….as I may have mentioned before, I don’t exactly love my roommates.

I’ve been trucking along and doing the best I can to get by though, and for the most part things have been fine. Recently, however, things have taken a turn for the worse. I’m naturally somewhat of an anxious person when things get stressful, and the relationship (or lack thereof) between the troublesome roommate and I is making me physically ill with stress. Not only does coming home when I know she is there put a knot in my stomach, but she is also disrespectful and even took something of mine (a coach purse), then lied about it when I asked (nicely) for it back.

I’m feeling like I can’t live here anymore, but am not sure if I can afford to move out.

BUT. I am a happy, goofy, hilarious and fun person that is generally positive an optimistic about life.

Those last two are pretty weird, huh? I was trying to emphasize the “goofy” part, hah! Say hello to my friend Amanda in that last one — she is pretty fantastic!

I truly believe in the mantra that if you don’t like something, you should change it. Instead of sitting around feeling miserable, you can get up and do something about it! Life doesn’t always (or really, never does) go as planned, but if you are flexible, positive and willing to go along for the adventure, everything will be okay and turn out exactly like it is supposed to.

Because my current roommate situation has gone from “nuisance” to something that is actually interfering with my happiness and living of my daily life, I have decided to look for a new place to live ASAP as a temporary solution.

This freaks me out for a number of reasons: 1) moving is expensive, 2) living on your own is expensive, 3) I have a lot of stuff and moving is a HUGE pain, and 4) I’m not sure how exactly this will work out. I will have to coordinate the timing of my moving out with someone new moving in to takeover my lease (and who knows how difficult a person will be to find), and I also have to talk to my roommate about doing this. Since she is the type of person that seems to need to control everything, I’m not sure how this will go. I just know that I need to get out of there for the sake of my sanity, and that I cannot afford to pay for 2 apartments at once.

Wish me luck.

Another big change that I’m beyond excited about is that I (officially) have…

…drumroll…

A NEW JOB!

I’m keeping the company name under wraps (at least for now) because I haven’t really ironed out how comfortable I feel about sharing that sort of thing, but it’s for a large and well-known company in Chicago that I’m thrilled to be joining. My start date is April 25; I’ll be part of the editorial staff and will finally be back on salary, something I haven’t been on since I moved from Madison and switched jobs back in June. It’s been a looooong time coming, friends.

Big changes, but happy changes. I hope I can keep improving my life everyday and continue to be the happy, downright KICKASS chick that I know I am (she’s just been hiding from satan roommate).

I’ve had some delicious eats recently, but I’ve scarfed most of them down before thinking to take a picture! (bad blogger!) Salads are back in my life, and I’m so happy about it because I think a big salad a day is what makes me feel the best. In today’s mix:

  • huge handful of arugula
  • huge handful of TJ’s organic broccoli slaw
  • sliced leeks (soo crunchy and add a huge pop of taste without being too onion-y)
  • sliced 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/4 avocado cubed
  • a few shakes of ground flax
  • 3 oz grilled chicken
  • TJ’s lemon pepper seasoning
  • big dollop of TJ’s Mediterranean hummus

It was DEEELISH. It was so crisp and fresh tasting, but I feel totally satisfied afterward. I also have an orange to munch on later. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure I’ll have the exact same lunch tomorrow! :)

I made an internet pact with my buddy Mike last night that we would both hit the gym today, since we’ve both been slacking this week. The universe must have answered my prayers yesterday when I was talking about lacking motivation, because it arrived to my doorstep yesterday in a shiny little package!

I wish it had been SHAPE or Women’s Health, but hey, I’ve always said that the ladymags are the best way to get my butt to the gym when all else fails.

See ya on the flip side!

April 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm Leave a 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

I tried it: dessert hummus!

After seeing it popping up all over the blogosphere, I knew I had to try it. But the question was, could I get over the weird-sounding combination of chickpeas and….sweet stuff? It just sounded WRONG!

When the Fitnessista posted about it today, however, I knew I had to try this tonight. I went with the Wannabe Chef’s Snickerdoodle Hummus, which is a cinnamony, sugary flavor, just like the cookie. So what did I think?

Source

Yeah. It was that good.

As I was spooning the stuff straight out of the blender (actually, the Magic Bullet) I was thinking about how I would describe it…and I drew a blank. You can sort of taste the chickpeas, but at the same time, their flavor complements the other flavors in the recipe. I added a little extra of all the good stuff: almond butter, maple syrup (REAL maple syrup, mind you), cinnamon and brown sugar. The texture is similar to that of peanut butter, but more like…ready for it? COOKIE DOUGH. And it even tastes like cookie dough!

I’m still at a loss for what to snack on this with, so for the moment, its served a la finger. Yum yum yum. Don’t hate me, but I was too engrossed in this stuff to take a picture. I’ll take one tomorrow before I eat it all up, I promise!!!

Dinner was the eggplant and celery stew that I planned on trying, and this too turned out absolutely delicious. It took a little longer than most of my dinners, and I dirtied quite a few dishes (a huge pet peeve of mine), but boy was it worth it. I honestly wanted to lick my bowl clean. After simmering for about an hour in cream and olive oil and veggie broth, the eggplant was SO tender. I had planned on making a side of basmati rice, but I was out of the white stuff and the brown takes forever to cook…so I ended up whipping up some Arborio in my new rice cooker. I made it with some olive oil, and did half veggie broth and half water. I had no idea this could be so tasty!

A few modifications I made on the recipe:

  • My eggplant was not very large…it was medium or small, or maybe a baby eggplant. I’m not really sure, because it was whatever was on sale!
  • I used Dorot cubes instead of fresh garlic
  • I used half & half instead of heavy cream
  • I added a healthy-sized pat of butter (you know you want to)

Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe, and it was seriously incredible. Decadent, but still not overly heavy or rich. I made enough so I can have it for lunch tomorrow, so I’ll snap a pic. I have some brown basmati cooking away in the rice cooker right now, so I’ll have it ready for tomorrow :)

My workout tonight was INTENSE. I did 30 minutes on the recline bike to warm up, then did a 20-min interval workout on the treadmill. I was starting to get hungry and tired at this point because it was already almost 8 o’clock, but I knew I wanted to lift so I went for it. I don’t know if I was just tired or maybe pushed myself a little too hard last time, but it was ROUGH lifting these weights today. I used the same weights I normally do for everything except lateral shoulder raises — for some really odd reason, every single 8-lb weight was gone from the lifting area. How strange, right??? So I took it as a sign that it was time to upgrade to 10 lbs :)

That was tough, but not so bad….but the rest of my usual arms/shoulders circuit felt much tougher than usual. I wish I knew why! I was sweaty, shaky and STARVING by the time I got home, so because I knew it was going to take me a while to make dinner, I whipped up a quick protein smoothie to refuel and tide me over. I used;

  • about 1/4 cup FF Greek yogurt
  • about 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • packet of Stevia
  • about 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 scoop Naturade Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 2 ice cubes
  • splash of 100% pomegranate juice

It was DELISH! Yum! I had quite a tasty night. My apologies for the lack of pictures…I was too hungry and too tired :/

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get a load of laundry out of the dryer :)

Goodnight!

January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm Leave a comment


Hi, I’m Laura!

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