Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More musings about cravings

After last week's cooking class, I headed to the local bookstore to find a decent book discussing the basics of nutrition. I didn't want at textbook and I didn't want to buy something that aligned too much with one focused diet. I ended up buying a book that I later figured out is the same person who taught Paula - the Wholesome Chef teacher! The book is called Integrative Nutrition and it is written by Joshua Rosenthal.So much of what I have been reading is the foundation of much of what Paula has been teaching us. I'm still reading it with an academic view (don't trust the assumptions without seeing the research yourself) but there is a great amount of informative information.

There is a whole section all about cravings. If you read my last post about cravings, you'll understand why this sentence was so powerful for me:

"We have been taught to believe our inability to stick with a diet is our fault, a flaw of our body and our will....To [stick with a diet] we must develop deep discipline over our natural instincts." (page 130.) And just a paragraph later "It's never the program's fault; it's always our fault. Or so we think. It never dawns on us that there's nothing wrong with us, that maybe the diet itself is flawed - that it actually sets us up to fail, and then unfairly lays the responsibility on our shoulders when we do." (p 130-131.)

"Cravings are the body's solution to underlying imbalances, and food becomes a kind of medicine to regulate our inner state." (p. 131)

Now, he goes on in some detail about what the different cravings may be signaling to you. Between the book, the discussion in the Wholesome Chef classes, and my musings, I think that my sugar cravings are a result of several things: a diet high on sugar, emotional eating (including boredom,) and habit.

While the cravings haven't disappeared since I've been making more healthy choices, they certainly have diminished in both the frequency and the intensity. I'm hoping that with my latest sweet class, I'll be able to really diminish the amount of refined sugar I eat.

One of the problems of trying to get away from sugar, your body just craves it more!! AAGGHHH... but the cookies I made are an awesome and filling way to healthily provide some food for those cravings!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wholesome Chef Class #3 - Sugars!!

In one word, the class was amazing! It was my favorite one, mostly due to the fact that I have such a sweet tooth. But we had THE MOST AMAZING chocolate mousse. I immediately went home and remade it. Mine doesn't look as pretty but it still tastes fantastic!

Before I get started, let me go make a green smoothie so I can sip it as I write... ok, ready to type!

I want to first give a quick shot out to Paula who is the amazing teacher of these classes. If you wish you could have Paula's amazing and insightful help, you can! Virtually! Check out her program. I've met several ladies who Paula is helping and they are making great lifestyle changes.It's starting up again on February 1st!!

These were the tasty delights Paula prepared for us:

Vegan Chocolate Mousse - this was AMAZING!!!!
Sesame-Almond Cookies - making these today :)
Sweet Potato Surprise
Chocolate Smoothie Decadence
Breakfast Greens Frittata

And I'll be making ALL of them on here, so just wait :) Except for the frittata as I don't have a pan that can go in the oven. I already know what I want for my birthday!!

The first part of the class was focused on understanding how both refined sugar and artificial sweeteners can have a very negative impact on our eating and health. And the second half was all about how you can make amazingly sweet things that are HEALTHY! Without refined sugar and without artificial sweeteners. I don't want to make this a blog about all things that our wrong about the American diet, but lets just say that sugar has long been my downfall and now I'm understanding a little bit more of WHY!

Fun (and kinda sad) fact: McDonald's puts sugar in their french fry recipe!

After class, I headed to Whole Foods and once again invested a whole lot of money with the idea that this will make a big difference in the long wrong.  But friends, this is expensive! Between buying all the basics like brown rice flour, chia seeds, ground chia, sesame seeds, natural cane sugar, etc... I have THE most expensive and healthiest kitchen I have ever had in my life. I ended up spending almost 5 hours in the kitchen yesterday cooking and baking for the week.

They looks like regular chocolate chip cookies!

Recipe for the day: Decadent and Healthy Chocolate Chips!!

Mix in one bowl:
½  cup butter
½  cup olive oil
½  to ¾  cup brown sugar
½  to ¾  cup sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

Mix in a second bowl:
¾  cup buckwheat flour
¾  cup brown rice flour
¼  cup ground flaxseed 
½  cup finely ground oatmeal
½  cup finely chopped walnuts
¼  cup chia seed
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

Mix it all together, add in 1 cup organic semisweet chocolate chips. Bake at 350° until medium brown.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is flexible. I used natural cane sugar in place of the brown and regular sugar. I also used steel oats instead of oatmeal and left out the flaxseed. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quinoa Salad

Good morning blogging world!

I am taking the dog to the vet this morning for her annual teeth cleaning and have a few minutes before I drop her off, so I'm taking advantage of the extra time and sharing the quinoa salad!

I actually made this recipe Sunday and have been eating it all week. I shared some with a co-worker yesterday who thought the salad was delicious! For those of you who haven't heard of quinoa or who haven't had much luck with quinoa, this is a great recipe to try!!

Quinoa Salad with Fennel (also called Anise) and Red Onion

1.5 cups quinoa (red and white mixed)
5 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz arugula
4 oz gouda, finely sliced (I left this out as I don't like gouda)
3 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced (did you know celery is on the dirty dozen list?)
1 large, crisp apple, diced (and so are apples! buy organic!!)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely diced fennel
3/4 cup dried cranberies
3 tbl red wine vinegar (or exchange this for balsamic)
sea salt (healthier than refined salt)

1. Quinoa: rinse and drain quinoa. Add 2.5 cups water and bring to boil in saucepan. Lower heat to simmer and cook, covered, about 15 minutes. When all the water is gone, turn off heat and let it rest 5 minutes. Then fluff with work

2. While the quinoa cooks, heat 2 tbl EVOO in skillet and saute onion until tender and slightly brown. Add 2 tbl balsamic vinegar and cook until vinegar cooks away. Remove from heat.

3. In large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, onions, arugula, cheese (optional), celery, apple, walnuts, fennel, and cranberries.

4. Dressing: in a small bown, whisk 3 tbl EVOO with 3 tbl red wine vinegar (or balsamic), 1/2 t sea salt and some black pepper. Add dressing to the salad and mix. Let rest then season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

A couple of comments:
The red quinoa has a little bit nuttier flavor than the white. I really liked the mix but the salad I made was only white quinoa. For those who don't like licorice and are worried about the fennel, you don't taste the licorice, I promise. I HATE black licorice and wouldn't eat this salad if there was even a hint.

This recipe came from the Wholesome Chef class.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What if cravings aren't bad?

In class last week, Paula made the comment that our bodies have only one way of telling us that it needs a specific food: it tells us we are hungry. Well, duh! But this week I have spent a lot of time thinking about this and had some big AHA! moments.

First let me go back and explain that I'm not sure I know what it means to be hungry. Before making all these changes in my life a couple years ago, I assumed that to be hungry was to get this hunger pang and your stomach tells you that you're hungry. I don't get that unless I haven't eaten in 24 hours. And when I do feel that way, I have a tendency to overeat. So I knew that couldn't be what people are talking about. So I've had to take a step back and relearn what hunger is - to figure out when my body is telling me it wants something.

The best I can figure what "hunger" means to me is when I start thinking about food after I haven't eaten in a few hours. There's no hunger pang. There's no stomach growling. I don't "feel" anything - I just think about food. I don't know if that's the same for everybody, but that's my "hunger."

I can't tell you how many times I've stood in front of the refrigerator completely full but still looking for something to eat - still thinking about food and still hungry. Until this week, I've assumed that this is emotional eating and I lack willpower to stop myself from eating.But what if it wasn't? What if it was simply my body telling me that I still did not provide it with the nutrition it needed?

I'm learning sooo much about nutrition and am realizing how poorly I have been fueling my body. I've even been trying to get in my fruits and vegetables, my protein, etc... on a daily basis. But I'm learning that a balanced diet doesn't necessarily mean a good diet.

This week I have had one of those "green smoothies" every morning and my eating has totally changed - without even thinking about it. The cravings are almost gone! My portion control was easier to manage and I actually forgot about eating dessert - FORGOT! I have 3 Magnum ice cream bars in my freezer right now. They have been in there untouched for 4 days. That's a record!!

So what if all this time, all I needed to do to  lose weight was give my body the nutrition it needed?  I'm not saying that a green smoothie is the way to fix my weight loss. That, like every other lose-weight-quickly program is too simplistic.I have years of poor eating habits to unlearn. But it'll be a lot easier to control my eating when/if my cravings are under control IF I'm right....

The goals for this week:
1. make the butternut squash casserole (made it yesterday!!)
2. make the watercress potato soup
3. make the quinoa salad
4. drink a green smoothie everyday
5. don't make a frozen meal all week!

Talk about a healthy diet week. I'll let you know what happens with my cravings and my hunger!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wholesome Chef Class #2

Today was the second class at Wholesome Chef with Paula Antonini all about grains.The class, as expected, was awesome! Learned an incredible amount and got to taste some wonderful recipes!! I believe I'm going to be trying every single one of these recipes again... only maybe not all this week.

So what's the big deal about grains? They are a wonderful way to add both fiber and protein to your diet.And I'm sure there are many more reasons, but that's the start. Whole grains really stand up the hype - but sprouted grains are even better. And when looking at grains, it can get incredibly overwhelming very quickly!So Paula very smartly started with two that I had never heard about: quinoa and millet.

I think that quinoa has been getting a lot of focus lately. It's considered a "complete protein" as it contains the 9 necessary amino acids for us to live on a daily basis. Don't ask me really what that means because that's the extent of my knowledge. But I'll come back to that in a minute.Quinoa is an ancient grain in that our western world doesn't work with it much. Which also means that it hasn't be genetically mutated within an inch of its life. Also a good thing!

One of the best things about the class is that Paula makes these amazing dishes and we get to taste the potential that quinoa has. I don't think that I would have known what to do with quinoa if I had picked it up from the shelf at the grocery store. I didn't know how it tasted or with what types of food that it goes with. Thanks to Paula and the amazing recipes she had, I'm excited about quinoa rather than scared. And that's half the battle!!

I'm still not so sure what millet is other than a type of grain. It didn't have much taste by itself but as a breakfast with blueberries, maple syrup, and almonds, it was heavenly! Millet is also an "ancient grain" and another one I'll be experimenting with.

Paula also provided us with a good number of take-home reading and I haven't gone through it yet. But I'll be happy to share some of this with you as I learn more and more.

After the class, I made four stops before getting home. The first was Fresh Market where I did some basic shopping for the one recipe I knew I was definitely going to make this week: Quinoa Salad with Fennel and Red Onion. Look for the recipe when I blog about it tomorrow! I still kept on looking for watercress but no look.

Second stop: Vitamin Shoppe. They have a great variety of protein shakes and drinks. I found Nuun there which was a great surprise! I've been reading about Nuun and I'm so excited to try it. I also picked up some Hemp protein which is a vegan protein which contains all ingredients which I can read and understand.

Third stop: Joseph-Beth Bookstore. Now that I have cracked open the door and have just enough knowledge to hurt me, I want to learn more. I want to understand more. So I got a book about Nutrition. I didn't find any good books on green smoothies or leafy greens so I'll be heading to Amazon. But based on my pocket book after today, it'll still be a while!

Four stop: Whole Foods. And I found WATERCRESS!!!!!!!!! Of course it's at the last place I look :) But I'm happy to have found it and it adds another recipe on the list to do this weekend.

The butternut squash casserole is currently in the oven. Tomorrow I'll be making the quinoa salad and the Potato Watercress Soup. Paula gave me permission to share but give her some love and sign up for her newsletter. She shares great recipes in that newsletter! Better yet, sign up for one of her classes. She's a lovely person and willingly shares her knowledge (and she's got a lot.) She walks the walk and can talk the talk but she's not pushy or overbearing. She has no agenda other than to help you become more healthy.

January Cleaning

I work with a wonderful woman (Janis - I know you really wanted to be mentioned!!) who is leaps ahead of me when it comes to cooking healthy. Twice a month, we drive out together to a small town in Kentucky which is a little more than an hour and a half away. For those three hours (there and back) we chat about everything including health. She's a wealth of information and is likely not even aware how thankful I am for our talks. Well, I guess she is now!!

This last Thursday, we were both lamenting about how small our kitchens are and how difficult it is to fit everything in it. I live in a small 740 sq foot apartment - you can imagine how small the kitchen is! And I prefer to have everything hidden behind cabinets and nothing out aside from the coffee pot. Over the past 5 years, I've accumulated so many kitchen wares that it's everywhere on the counter tops! So I decided to clean!

Last night (Friday) I came home from work and started. Two and half hours later, five garbage bags, two trips to the garbage and three trips to the grocery store (I'm telling you, it's never ending!!) - my kitchen is mostly clean! Well, organized at least.

I threw out food that has been sitting there for over a year with the idea that "maybe I'll make that next week" has never come to pass. I rearranged everything in my cabinets so that now I actually have room to grow - even with cleaning off the counter tops so most of my things are hidden.

I also decided to buy a 40-pack of Rubbermaid Tupperware. I really debated if I should go glass or plastic. Glass is healthier. I know that heating your food in plastic is not good. However, going ALL glass would be too expensive for me right now. I mean, I'm willing to pay to make this lifestyle change (oh, and I am!) but that's pushing my pocketbook. I did some research and Rubbermaid's Tupperware is all BPA free. I bought a basic set of 20 a few months ago and I've really only been using them since. With the new 40-piece set, all of my Tupperware is easily stored (including lids) and now I have plenty for all the food I'm going to make!!

All 40 Rubbermaid pieces drying in my sink.

I realized this morning that I need to still clean the refrigerator. UGH.

I find that the more organized I am, the better I feel like I can tackle any new obstacle. So I'm looking into buying a recipe application for the ipad/iphone. Going to so many grocery stores and forgetting my recipes in the past week has made me excited about entering everything into the ipad and available on my iphone!! We'll see... I'll keep you updated.

And here's a teaser... my second Wholesome Chef class is this afternoon!! I'm very excited and if the second class brings about as much change as the first, I'll be excited!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Nothing but good news this evening! I've successfully been making "green smoothies" as well as protein shakes with brnd new blender. The consistency is doable and I'm actually enjoying the taste. I've been playing around with what to include and I think that pears are really important!! But I'm thinking I may invest in a book on smoothies just to learn more and experiment a little. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

 My workouts are going well. No treadmills were available this afternoon (damnn those New-Years-resolution-people.. Just kidding... Kinda) so I jumped on the track. Sixteen times around was a mile. Luckily I'm only getting back into running and I was only going run a mile. But I ran sooo much faster than what I set the treadmill on. It also gives me hope that with a little speed work, I could actually be faster. The Pilates reformer class has really increased in intensity and I know that I'm going to feel todays class tomorrow! My shoulder is bothering me a little butnim heading back to the pool Saturday morning. I'm slowing increasing the number of workouts so I'll be in the pool two mornings next week.

 In totally unrelated news, I found the coolest sleep app for the iPhone. It's called Sleep Cyle. You put your phone on your bed and it figures out your sleep stage based on your movement in the bed. Using that information, the phone will wake you up within 30 minutes of your alarm when you are close wakefulness based on your movement. It prevents a harsh or jolting wake up. I tried it last night and it worked well. I'll try it again for a while and learn some more about my sleep patterns.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about my changes and efforts. I'm already planning on cleaning out my kitchen this weekend as well as trying out two recipes (I'm jonesing for the butternut squash casserole already!) Maybe three depending on how motivated I feel. I'm also going to check out books on smoothies!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Butternut Squash Recipe

I discovered the Butternut Squash Casserole recipe on line so here it is!! I coped the recipe from SparkPeople.com

Butternut Squash & Spinach Casserole

Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 302.0
  • Fat: 14.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.5g
  • Protein: 11.0g


3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan (you could easily reduce this by at least half)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 cup buttermilk (or any milk)
2 large eggs, beaten
1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (toasted if you want, I didn't toast them)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pecans, toasted
2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1 bunch of spinach, washed (add to the same water as the squash in step 2 during the last minute of boiling)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place 3 quarts water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the squash to the water, return to a boil, and cook for 6 minutes. Drain the squash and set aside. 

Melt the butter in the stockpot and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and limp, about 8 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the warm squash and the buttermilk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 1 1/3 cups cheese. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.

Spread the mixture evenly in a 9x13" baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds and 2/3 cup cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Number of Servings: 8

Monday, January 16, 2012

Butternut Squash Casserole

I know that you are sitting on the edge of your seat wanting to know how the Butternut Squash Casserole turned out. I went back to the grocery store but could not find any whole wheat bread crumbs. I talked to my mom this afternoon and she suggested that I make my own. Now that I have a new blender, that's just what I did!!

I had some fears that I wouldn't like the casserole, but it is DELICIOUS!!!  I forgot to take a picture before I started putting it away in Gladware but here's what it looked like:

I have to say, it doesn't look that amazing but it tastes incredible!! This is definitely going on the list of recipes to make again!

I promise to share the recipe IF I get permission from the owner...

I forgot the bread crumbs

I went to the grocery store this early afternoon to get all the ingredients for the butternut squash casserole. I had debated switching from the butternut squash casserole to the potato soup recipe but it called for watercress and I found out that my Kroger only gets a supply of watercress once a month. Really? But in my quest to find the watercress, I discovered that Kroger carries Kale ready-made for my smoothie!! It took me an hour yesterday to cut what I think is a week's worth of Kale. So one more way that I can buy "fast" if I need to.

One of the ingredients for the butternut squash includes whole wheat breadcrumbs. Of course, I have trouble finding it in Kroger and find none in the "regular" section. I return to the organic section (for the third time) and start looking for breadcrumbs. I end up finding chia - still the ground up version but the one that I remember Paula mentioning in the class. I also come across the whey protein that you can add to smoothies. And I start thinking...

And here's my rationale to impulsively buy a $99 blender:

Wait for it...

I buy protein shakes (Mypolex AdvantEDGE which I highly recommend.) In addition to the green smoothies, I could make my own protein shakes and add some fresh fruit to those, too! Saving more money and making the shakes more healthy. Win win.

BUT... I hated using my food processor. While it was ok for the first shake or so, I was just thinking about all the clean up I would have to do on a daily basis. So after picking up chai, brown rice protein (all natural!), and Jillian's Whey Protein (on advice from a random woman in the aisle - thank you random woman with allergy issues!), I headed over to the gadget section of Kroger. A quick look at the online reviews of the Kitchen Aid blender and it was in my cart and I was on my way to the checkout and very excited about my buys!!

But I forgot the breadcrumbs....

I didn't want to make ANOTHER trip to the grocery store immediately so instead I cut up the butternut squash and the onion in preparation of making it this evening.  The left three will be used in the casserole while the right two are going in the freezer for another day.I already have another recipe in mind!

I'll stop by the grocery store on my way home and hopefully remember to get the breadcrumbs this time.

In the mean time, I'm going to make some more smoothies with my new blender!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Making progress with two steps forward and one step back

A wise woman once told me that once I have figured out where to buy all the healthy things in town, buying healthy will become easier. Those words are so very true! There are three "healthy" stores in Lexington: Fresh Market (fresh, expensive, and not that healthy), Whole Foods, and Good Foods (local co-op.) And I live very close to a big Kroger with an excellent organic/health section. I'm skipping Fresh Market for everything EXCEPT fruit/veggies as I find they have an excellent selection. Their meat isn't bad either. But I don't spend too much time at the other two stores (go figure!) 

So, yesterday I went though Whole Foods and today through Good Foods. While I think I'm getting a good idea of what I can find where, I'm thinking that I'll be doing a lot of driving back to different stores until I figure everything out.

This whole changing one's lifestyle really takes some effort initially!! I keep making changes and then changing those changes to keep improving. Jeez!

But I've decided upon making the butternut squash casserole recipe from class to make tomorrow. Very excited! Found the butternut squash today at the store and picked it up... I may have to go back tomorrow to get more but thought I would get some at least.

On a different note, finally got back into the water this afternoon for a long swim before Pilates class! I managed to swim a 1650 yard (which equals 1 mile) and felt pretty good despite the 4 month break! Pilates class felt really good afterwards although my arms will be hurting tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone out there reading my blog!! A special shot out to my brother for being as wonderfully supportive as he is!

Wholesome Chef Class #1

I met kale for the first time yesterday. And chard! Leafy greens were the words of the day at the Wholesome Chef's New Year New You Class in downtown Lexington. The lady who taught 5 of us the first few steps on how to eat more healthy is named Paula. She not only talks the talk but also walks the walk - something that is always something you want to see in a nutritionist. Paula is more than just a nutritionist, she's a health coach! If only I had the money... in fact, if my weight loss continues to stumble, I may be forking over some money...

But I digress! We started of the class with Paula making us a smoothie with kale, spinach, banana, peach, almond mild, and chia. I tried to recreate it this morning:

It didn't taste quite as good as Paula's. But honestly, if you had told me that I would be making GREEN smoothies at class yesterday, I'm not sure I would have gone. I think of these green smoothies typically as fad and just gross. But the smoothie tasted really good yesterday!! I'm drinking it right now as I'm writing the blog and it's filling as well as tasty. I think it's going to take some work, but this may be a good replacement for my protein drinks - add some protein powder to this green baby and that'll be one filling and healthy drink! And another step away from processed food.

But I learned a ton in the class yesterday and highly recommend Paula's classes in the future. Some of the other highlights:

  • Kale chips - you can make them yourself and are rather tasty. You can change up the spices using olive oil, garlic, cumin, pepper flakes, etc...
  • you can freeze avocados, onions, and even bananas! 
  • The Dirty Dozen - know them and avoid them! Well, the unorganic versions, at least.
  • Chia - Never heard of it before and had trouble finding any at the local grocery store. It's similar to flax seed only better. 
  • use EatWild.com to find healthy local meats including meats which are directly shipped to you! It seems as though there are two farms which ship to individuals in Kentucky!
  • cut and prepare your food on the weekend - did you know you can keep potatoes cut in water? Well, I didn't. 
Paula ended the class with providing us with seven vegetarian meals (mains, side, and dessert.) Many of the main courses contain beans. I'm thinking that I may just have to explore with beans. Why not? I'm not the biggest friend of beans, but this is also just due to lack of bean experience. If I want to change my lifestyle, I have to branch out!!

My goals for the week: 
  1. Drink one green smoothie every day
  2. Make one main course suggested by Paula
  3. Explore all the local health store to see what I can buy where (it's a three-day weekend!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I have found that scheduling workouts is a very personal decision - in that no one schedule will fit everyone. Some people like to get up in the morning, others shy away from ever getting a workout in before work. I'm really struggling with trying to juggle everything that I want to do... Ideally, I'd like to swim twice a week, run twice a week, bike three times a week, and continue to do Pilates Reformer twice a week. Yeah... that's two, four, seven...NINE workouts. And let's not pretend that I'm that excited about spending so much time working out! There's a lot of TV and knitting time I also need to schedule!!! Oh, and sleeping. Perhaps a shower or two. What's going to happen to the pile of books I want to read?

Seven days a week and nine workouts... With at least one day off, that means at least three days I'm going to have double up on the workouts.

Spinning/biking as well as the Pilates Reformer classes are set in stone...hmmm.... I can throw in a run before the Pilates Reformer class and a swim workout on Saturday/Sunday since more lanes will be open. But I still end up with one swim workout that needs to be done during the week. With all the swim teams taking up most of the lanes during the time I would like to swim, this means one morning workout a week. I think that's doable... Right, well... that's done now.

And what are the chances that I'm going to stick to 9 workouts a week? Well, stay tuned and find out! I'll be updating my daily mile so you can keep me on track :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

I fell in love with spinning... again

I took my first spinning class a few months ago after triathlon training was done for the most part. I loved spinning class. I went three times each week and got a wonderful workout. It was one of the core reasons why I lost 30 pounds this year! But when I hit a weight-loss plateau, I thought that if I took a break from spinning and do some other exercises, it would jump start my weight loss again. But instead I slowed down and I stopped working out bit by bit.Over  Christmas, I ended up taking a 3 week break from working out.

So with the new year starts the new workout schedule and today it was back in the saddle. I couldn't stop smiling for the first 30 minutes in spinning class. Each song rocked and I pushed and pushed myself. And then the first twinge - that I wasn't quite as fit as I used to be. My heart rate was higher than I thought it should be and my muscles weren't working as hard as I used to be able to. My stomach was telling me that I was pushing myself.  And I loved the feeling knowing I was pushing myself beyond my limits again. I still can't stop smiling!

You know that stinky sweat that comes out of you when you haven't worked out in a while? Yeah... I smell. Andrea, there's a reason why I didn't wait for you after your Pilates class! Thank god I live by myself.

My muscles are tired and protest being used to get me from the kitchen to the couch... god that feels good again.Is there such a thing as spinning class high??

Oh, and funny German coincidence. In German, "spinnen" is the verb "to be crazy." My parents (who live in Germany, are German, speak German...) love to use the play on words. My dad will ask me "Did you spin today" and just chuckle like he just made the funniest joke. Yeah, dad... I spinned today :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blog Updates

Hey look!!! My blog is looking a little meatier than it was yesterday!!

I'm committed to working on developing a nice blog, so I'm stealing a lot of ideas from other people :) I've added a couple of pages to my blog this morning and working on filling it in a little bit more. My goal is for my blog to actually be interesting!!

I would like to add another page in the past week about gear and clothing that I really enjoy/can't do without. It's one of the things that I really enjoy reading in other people's blogs so why not have my own recommendation corner? I know what works for me won't necessarily work for everyone else, but there's that old adage "why invent the wheel." I know there are other overweight, busty, excited female triathletes out there! While I hope that the overweight part goes away in the next year, my experiences may help others....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Team Tough Chik

With the new year, a friend (thanks Andrea!) convinced me to sign up with Team Touch Chik - a woman's apparel line which also created a team to support women of all sizes and abilities. I'm a sucker for anything that makes me feel like I'm a little cooler than I am so I'm now a Touch Chik!!

It's also convinced me to get back into the blogging world and share my experiences - not sure if anyone will actually read this. I have been so inspired by the women who are out there blogging about their struggles and their triumphs that I thought I would give it a try. Who knows, maybe something good will come of this!!

So check out Tough Chik - they have great jerseys and apparel.