Monthly Archives: December 2011

Praying there’s a squirrel Heaven…

By the title of this post you may have already guessed it- yes, I ran over a squirrel this morning 😦 I went to the gym on the earlier side and as I was driving there a squirrel ran across the road… I was hoping I had missed him but then I looked back to see the poor guy laying there. I felt awful. What a horrible and helpless feeling! It was a hard face the fact that I had just caused this little guy pain- I wish there was something I could’ve done! All I can do now is just pray for a better life for him up in squirrel heaven- one where he can freely dart across traffic-free roads and snack on acorns all day. 

See, he’s happy (I’m still trying to get over actually hitting this little animal and make myself feel better)!

After quite a drive to the gym I completed 40 minutes on the stairmaster. I did the aerobic option on level 15- not gonna lie, I had to pause it quite a few times towards the end to catch my breath. That thing goes so fast sometimes! I followed the cardio up with the P90x ab series and some other ab moves of my own.

Since I had headed to the gym right when I woke up this morning I was super hungry by the time I got finished. Time for breakfast! Breakfast consisted of protein oatmeal and blueberries. The protein oatmeal was made with 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (the brand I use is ProNos).

The trick I have learned is to microwave the oats and water for 2 minutes then add in the protein powder, stir it around and microwave for one more minute. You may have to add a tiny bit more water depending on the desired consistancy. Very filling and satisfying.

I’m off to finish up getting ready for the day and meet two old friends for lunch- enjoy you’re afternoon!


Shrek the Halls

Happy Tuesday (by the time I published this post it’s already Tuesday night.. I’ve gotten so distracted)!

I hope everyone is having a great start to their weeks! Can you believe it- 5 sleeps til Christmas… It really is hard for me to believe. Especially because it is about 80 degrees and sunny outside. But I mean what do you expect- it’s Florida!

Sunday night Cameron was very spontaneous and took me to the Shrek the Halls ICE display at the Gaylord Palms hotel. I was shocked!

Being my typical self I still had no idea what this “Shrek the Halls ICE” was all about until they suited us up in blue thick jackets and we entered the world of Shrek!

Everything was made out of ice… it was incredible. It was also SO cold in there. It made us really feel like it was Christmas time. Goofy picture time.

Oh Cameron, so ‘hood.

I couldn’t resist putting this one on here… it’s so creepy. Cameron- the ghost of Christmas past….

I look like a hunchback due to my purse inside my jacket…. haha, anyways I took a picture with this sign because the “It’s snot” joke is one of my all time favorites- shout out to my sister Laura (she knows how much I love that one- hope you are having fun in China)!

Today’s Workout

I wasn’t really feelin’ the cardio machines today so I opted to incorporate cardio intervals within my weight workout. It felt great and really got my heart rate up in between strength training moves. For a while I have been doing full body weight workouts where I do one move or machine for each body part: biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders. I decided to change to 2-body part a day workouts. Today was shoulders and back!

Shoulders/Back Workout (+cardio intervals)

Warm up: 15 minutes treadmill speed:4.0 incline:3.5

Superset #1: assisted pullups (works upper back) + low row machine (one arm at a time). In between each superset I did 45-second mountain climbers. 4 supersets total.

Superset #2: reverse flies with dumbells (on the bench)+ arnold shoulder presses (instructional video: skip to about 1 minute in). In between each superset I did 20 jump squats. 4 supersets total.

Superset #3: lat raise machine + shoulder “trifecta” (10 straight arm side lat raises, 10 straight arm front lat raises, 10 bent arm side raises: all in a row!). In between sets I did 45 second high knees. 4 supersets total.

Turned out to be one great workout 🙂

Tonight I got to reunite with some old friends from high school- Jenny, Nikki, and Michelle. I got to see Jenny yesterday but Michelle I haven’t seen in so, so long! She has been doing an internship at a hotel in Los Angeles and actually got a job there for this next year! So proud of her. After hanging out at Michelle’s house for a little while we headed over to Press 101 for some din din. Here’s a picture of Michelle and I: 

I ordered the salmon salad- it was quite tasty! I also had a few pieces of Michelle’s “ratatouille” flatbread, . 

After we finished eating dinner the sweet cravings started kickin’ in- shocker of the year! I suggested we get Menchies frozen yogurt and the girls seemed pretty excited about it. I ended up sticking with the simple choices of milk chocolate and vanilla toppped with oreo peices and crushed up peanut butter cups- muy delicioso! 

It was very satisfying! I had a great time chatting and reminiscing about old times back in high school. Crazy to think that was 4 years ago!!

Anywho, I’m pretty worn out after a long day plus a 40 minute walk with Noah after I got home from dinner/dessert. Off to bed with this little guy-

Night night!

Breaking the habit

I am officially done with this fall semester! I took my last test at 8am yesterday morning… it feels great to be done with classes for a little while! I will admit, this has been a very light semester besides my dreadful computer programming class (I ended up with a C in it but am just thankful I passed). Actually a few minutes ago I received an email from my advisor… looks like theres a couple more classes I have to take in order to graduate which means my spring and fall semesters will be heavy. 😦 But hey, what’s the point in worrying about it now? I’m just happy its Christmas break!

To celebrate being done with finals, I mentioned to my roommates that we should cook dinner. So last night we had hamburgers on the grill (organic ground round), steamed brocolli, and sweet potato fries! It was all so good. The “fries” were made by peeling and chopping two yams (or sweet potatoes) into fry-like pieces and tossing them with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 teaspoon of chili powder. They were SO good! Preheat the oven to 425 and cook for 30 minutes once the oven is hot enough. Make sure to toss about 15 minutes in.

A look at my plate from last night….

Roomie Dinner

The dinner was delicious and I definitely cleaned my plate. I had realized once I was cooking that I had waited way too long to eat… I was so hungry that I devoured the food extremely fast. Still feeling hungry, I mentioned that we should make Funfetti cookies because Emma had the mix. The cookies only took about 10 minutes in total and tasted so yummy. Four cookies later…. I started to feel so uncomfortably full. Which led me to feelings of regret and frustration. I usually have such good self-control but for some reason when it comes to sweets sometimes I can’t stop myself!

The culprit…..

Breaking the habit

I truly feel that eating a balanced diet- one which is full of healthy foods but also allows room for reasonable indulgences- is extremely healthy both physically and mentally. The problem that I have been more frequently running into is when I just can’t seem to control myself with the amount of dessert I am having. For example last night- I was in the mood for something sweet but instead of just satisfying my sweet tooth with one simple cookie, I felt the need to have four of them! Even when I was eating them I knew I would be regretting it later but for some reason I couldn’t stop. This is something I have really been wanting to work on and I feel that some of you guys may feel the same way! If I were to give up sweets altogether it result in strong cravings and would probably end with me eating every sweet in sight (most likely). This will just be something I have to work on and be very mindful when I get that “sweet” cravin’! Cuz there is nothing wrong with treating yourself but I feel best when I don’t go overboard. Also think about it- it’s not really a “treat” if you have it everyday or when you eat 6 cookies in a row, right? Sorry if I just talked way too long- it had just been on my mind. 😉

Have any of y’all had a similar experience with a crazy “sweet” craving? How do you stop yourself from overdoing it?

Appreciate Every Day!

Last night, like every other Sunday night, I met with my small group at our leader Norma’s house. Since everyone is in the midst of studying for finals and some have already headed home to their families, only four of us could make it. Norma had mentioned in a text message earlier in the week that she had been having quite a hard week and would explain more when we met Sunday night. I was extremely surprised when she said the words “I have breast cancer.” She had just found out this past week which revealed why she had been going through such a tough time.

I was so shocked and saddened by this- Norma is one of the sweetest, most caring women I know, she’s honestly like a second mom to me (I call her my “Athen’s mom”). It’s so hard when someone you know and care about so deeply has to go through something so difficult. The amazing thing about Norma though is that despite how hard this is for her and how scared she may be- she is so tough! She has such a positive attitude and such a strong relationship with the Lord that she can handle anything that comes her way. With a large support group filled with family and friends- she will get through this.

I managed to keep myself together when she told us last night but when I got home I lost it. I was listening to a Christmas CD I had made and given her last night and something must’ve set me off. I was crying because I just wish she did not have to go through this. I cried it out for a little while and remembered what Norma had said earlier in the night- “I know this is hard but I also know that God would never give me anything that I could not handle.” Norma will be getting a mastectomy over Christmas break and will possibly be in the hospital on Christmas day. She will get through this tough time with the support of her sons- Blake and Mitchell, her amazing boyfriend- Phillip, her sisters, all of the kids she teaches (she is a 1st grade teacher), all of her friends, and most of all the Lord.

Me and Norma after small group last night 😉

I wanted to post about this because it was weighing heavy on my heart. It also reminds each and every one of us to never take a day for granted. Appreciate every day. Appreciate your health and everything God has given you. Love others and live every day to the fullest. I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell every one in my life how much I love them! I love you Norma and I will always be here for you. Praying for you every day!!! 😉

Holiday overindulging leads to motivation!

Hey guys!

Well today didn’t turn out to be a great day for the Dawgs but I am still very proud of our season and how hard they worked- still proud to call myself a Dawg! Anyways, early this afternoon I headed to the gym to do cardio and abs. Instead of doing 30 or 40 solid minutes of elliptical or stairmaster I decided to change it up and it really got my heart pumping and made me sweat! It went like this:

Okay Noah calm down it’s not that exciting… oh Noah.

Elliptical Intervals 

5 minutes elliptical: incline 10, resistance 9

get off machine and do 15 (shoulder width apart) squats with body weight. the last 5 reps- pulse at the bottom for 3 for ultimate burn!

5 minutes elliptical: incline 12, resistance 9

get off machine and do 10 (each leg) alternating front lunges

5 minutes elliptical: incline 8, resistance 8

get off machine and do 15 plie squats: this is where you have your legs wider than shoulder width and your toes pointed outward- works your inner thighs and butt. For the last 5 of the set pulse for 5 at the bottom.

repeat this once for a total of 30 minutes on the machine!!

I followed this cardio session with a challenging ab circuit and other toning core exercises.

It’s the holiday season….

So, we all know that with the fun of the holiday season comes meals and parties filled with high fat dishes as well as pies galore! I certainly had my fill over the Thanksgiving break which was no surprise- it’s kind of inevitable right? When I got back to Athens last weekend I knew that I needed to get back on track with eating healthy and exercise. Mind you I did exercise almost every day while I was home for the break (including dragging half of my family to a 90 minute “turkey burner” spin class the morning of thanksgiving… it was awesome) but I really wanted to focus on my eating.

Like I said in my last post, at the end of my time being vegan I felt as if I was not eating a very balanced diet at all- too many carbohydrates and sweets! Since I have started back on my old diet I have felt so much more satisfied with my meals, not to mention I stay full so much longer. But I have realized that my body is not exactly where it used to be before my whole “vegan phase”. Before becoming vegan I truly ate a very healthy diet- lean meats and low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, veggies, you get the idea. I have been feeling really good about my meals since I have been back and feel like I’m on the right track to getting back to where I used to be. A couple things I recommend and have been doing myself:

  • Fill up on fresh food at the grocery store (my favorite: Publix): Staples in my shopping cart include skim milk, 0% greek yogurt, reduced fat white sharp cheddar cheese, fresh fruits- apples, bananas, grapes, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, kashi 7 grain frozen waffles, old fashioned oats, low sodium sliced ham. Being prepared with easy but healthy food has helped me stay on track throughout the day!
  • Keep a food journal: Now I know this may be seen as silly or “unhealthy” but it really helps me see how balanced I am eating and also helps me gage whether I am eating too much or too little. You would be surprised at how fast the calories count up! Being aware of the calorie ranges of your meals/snacks can help when trying to get to your healthy weight.
  • Stay hydrated! I can’t tell you how many times I have thought I was hungry when I was really just dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated sometimes your body mistakes that for being hungry which cues the hunger signals that may confuse you. It is recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water a day- more if you work out! Sometimes when I think I may be hungry for a snack but not sure I drink a glass of water first, wait 10 minutes and if I’m still hungry I eat a snack!
  • Eat balanced snacks: I used to be the type of eater who ate 6 or more small meals a day. I feel that I have gradually become someone who eats 3 main meals a day but I could not make it through the day if it weren’t for snacks! I have at least one, usually two or more snacks in between meals. Lately I have been having either a protein drink (8 oz skim milk with scoop of vanilla whey protein powder), fruit and greek yogurt, or a bar. Obviously there are many other snacks I have in addition to those but I try to keep the snack fairly low in calories but high nutrients (protein for example).
  • Move your booty! I typically work out 6 days a week, forcing myself to take one off day a week to let my body fully re-cooperate. For cardio lately I’ve been loving the Stairmaster and Zumba! I’m tellin’ you, that Stairmaster kicks my butt and makes me sweat so much!! It works every muscle in your legs and butt- its amazing. I had been doing 2 body part a day weight workouts but just switched to full body weight workouts where you do one exercise for biceps, triceps, chest, back, and shoulders in one session. It’s nice to change things up every so often- it keeps you body guessing. I tend to work abs every other day switching on and off between toning and building exercises- I’m hoping to post a great ab workout soon.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff: Yeah so maybe that big piece of  cake sounded like a better idea before you ate it but hey- its okay to indulge from time to time! Beating yourself up about it only makes you feel bad as well as making it more apt to happen again in the near future. The best thing to do is move on and make healthier choices the rest of the day! One little treat doesn’t have to ruin your day- get passed it, learn from it and move on!

Well it’s off to bed for me… I will most likely be dreaming of weather like this for the rest of the week:

keep dreamin’ right?? oh how I love West Palm Beach…

Love y’all!