Thoughts, Food and Food Thoughts

I’m still not feeling peppy.

The morning post was scheduled from last week, and I didn’t have the energy to take it down before it published. That was last week’s peppiness – not false, just badly timed.

I decided that tomorrow I will be a good teacher, a fastidious student and a team player – all of which I need to be tomorrow – but not until tomorrow. I will be peppy tomorrow.

I will also write “tomorrow” one more time.

Tonight, however, I’m glad to sit on the couch and reflect while my husband plays Skyrim. (KILL ALL THE DARGONS!)

I went to my new job today! Nothing newsworthy happened so we will save that story for another blog post.

I went to my new job prepared, though, just in case. I made a big-girl-job-lady-on-the-run breakfast: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie and Coffee. Big girls drink coffee (and so do caffeine addicts).

The WPC mug was a gift from a scholarship Les helped me receive to pay for a summer class. Just another reason he was awesome.

CoffeeStrawberry-Banana Smoothie
Ingredients
– 12 oz. skim milk
– 5 frozen strawberries
– 1/2 banana
– 1 tsp. honey
– 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
– ripped up spinach

Directions: Blend it all together and drink!

I know. Spinach, right? Well, I have read a lot of bloggers do this. I put a lot of trust in to those ladies this morning, allowing them to be in control of my breakfast.

Good thing, girls, it turned out tasty. I couldn’t taste the spinach, which is what I expected.

Second bit of food: Re-purposed leftover P.F. Chang’s. What do you do with not enough Mandarin Chicken to fill you up?

P.F. Chang's Leftover FoodPut the leftovers over spinach. Ta-da! Salad!

Since I was at school and work all day, and I knew I would not want to cook when I got home, I planned an easy dinner.

This is the next installment of semi-homemade with skinnyshae!

Crunchy Onion and Chicken Noodle Casserole
Ingredients

  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can  CAMPBELL’S® Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 1/4 cups  milk
  • 2 cups (4 ounces)  FRENCH’S® Original French Fried Onions
  • 1 cup  frozen vegetables of your choice (Peas and Carrots!)
  • 2 cups  cubed cooked chicken or turkey
  • 2 cups  curly egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups  shredded Cheddar cheese
  • added spices: garlic, black pepper, paprika, thyme

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir soup, milk, 1 cup French Fried Onions, vegetables, chicken, noodles and 1/2 cup cheese in a 2-qt. baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Top with remaining cheese and French Fried Onions. Bake 5 minutes more until onions are golden and cheese is super-awesome melted.

Let’s look back…

I opened milk, a can, another can, another can, a bag, another bag and another bag. I then mixed it all together and baked.

Casserole = absolutely no work.

(Note: I have a picture, but since I’m feeling lethargic and upset, I did not try hard to take a good picture. My picture is not appetizing. Look instead at these lovely cheese covered bread chunks!)

On occasion, I will splurge at the store and buy fancy cheese. Fancy cheese is located next to the fresh fruit & veg section with the olive bar and assorted over-priced nuts.

I usually get the smallest fancy cheese I can find, and it’s usually brie. (One time I got a goat cheese variety, and it was really awful. I like goat cheese, just not at Dillon’s apparently.)

But Dillon’s bakery is neat-oh! because they have premade bread dough. It’s like Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza.

Dinner tonight required absolutely no effort. Schweet.

Eating will require a tad more effort on my part over the next few days. On Sunday, I had no appetite, but I forced myself to eat because I knew I would regret NOT eating later.

Unfortunately, my sad turned in to straight emptiness, which I filled with food. Awesome.

I weigh… too much… and I feel miserably fat.

Tomorrow, if I have time, I am going to run around my neighborhood, and on Wednesday, I’m going to kill it at Shocker Fitness.

Food is fuel, not emotion. Food is fuel, not emotion. Food is fuel, not emotion.

Challenge: I must find a more constructive way to handle stress and sadness. Go! (Ah, crap. This sounds hard.)

Skinny shopping list

Today is grocery day! Another chance to save money, use coupons and still eat healthfully.

Let me tell you… Not easy, but I’ve got to do it, and I usually don’t do the best job. I just keep trying.

I found a skinny shopping list – the groceries of skinny people – to “follow” on my trip today. I wonder how well I’ll do…

Skinny Shopping List
Apples… are full of fiber and uber delicious. Similar to the sugar boost of a large candy bar, apples can boost your energy while filling you up with enough fiber to keep your full for far longer than a Snickers. Pears have more fiber, but “they’re ripe for half an hour!” (Eddie Izzard). Both fruits are rich in pectin, which lowers blood sugar.

I pick up five or six green apples every shopping trip. Better or worse than red or pink? I’m not sure. Green apples are sweetly tart!

Berries… are high in fiber and packed with antioxidants. Naturally sweet and filling, berries are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Plus, Women’s Health Magazine once advised that you should stuff your face with them.

Berries are expensive and do not come in portion sizes that I desire. For instance, a package of blueberries QUICKLY rots from the bottom up. If I do not eat ALL of the berries (huge package) the same day I bring them home, I cannot eat any of the berries.

Crunchy veggies… such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, are low in calories, high in fiber and full of potassium and calcium. Green leafy veggies are loaded with calcium – some even more than milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower are pretty much “banned” from the house. Husband hates broccoli, and I hate cauliflower. I’m willing to eat as much cabbage as I possible can, though. LOVE cabbage. Green cabbage on the list!

Mushrooms… blech! Low in calories but unfortunately disgusting. No mushrooms in my house!

Nuts… awesome! Protein, fiber and healthy fat found in almonds, walnuts and peanuts! LOVE! However, I cannot keep nuts in the house for very long. Husband covers them in peanut butter for double the yum and devours them in one setting. All of them.

Have you ever fed a behemoth? It’s hard. (Behemoth is one of my GRE words!)

Oatmeal… We have oatmeal, I just need a recipe for oatmeal that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

Beans… are not glamorous, of course, but they are super nutritious. Dana @mylittlecelebration puts them in brownies! My next mission in baking? Putting protein and fiber filled beans in something sweet and sneak feeding it to my family or husband.

Beans on the list!

Quinoa… is too expensive for my wallet, but it is a protein-filled whole grain of goodness! No quinoa for us this week.

Fish… is on the menu at least once a week at our house. Easy to flavor and quick to thaw and cook. Check out my baked tilapia! It’s so yummy.

Our frozen store is running low. Tilapia is needed!

Lowfat yogurt… is filled with all the good things you’re supposed to get from dairy products. Buy plain or Greek yogurt and sweeten naturally with berries or nuts.

Husband and I tried Greek yogurt… twice… and we really wanted to like it, but it’s just so gross. We have Yoplait Lite! in the fridge. No yogurt this trip.

Eggs… Oh. My. Goodness. I love eggs. Eggs are good with everything, just like apples or crackers. Spicy eggs, sweet eggs, savory eggs, you name it, I’ll eat it. And we’ve only got three left! :( Eggs on the list.

Olive oil… should be used to cook everything. It’s just that awesome. But we’re stocked so no olive oil for me this week.

What’s the first step?

Finding recipes/food that we’ll eat for the next two weeks, and then I will gather my coupons, make my list and go hunting for the best and healthiest deals.

Wish me luck! Update when I get back from the store.

Clean bill of health!

On Monday, I went back to my doctor to get this checked out. (Caution Male Readers!)

For the past six weeks, I struggled to reduce the (overly) large amount of caffeine I drink on a daily basis by MORE THAN HALF.

Well, I did it!

My doctor told me she could really tell I cut back on the caffeine, and then she said that I had to keep it up.

I believe her exact words were: “And not a pot of coffee a day.”

And she said it with a “doctor glare.” You know the one.

Weird thing: We discovered I have one big rib on the right side. It’s just larger than all my other ribs. (I checked.) Fantastic.

I promised. Of course, I might have to break that promise come August.

School is soon! I’m excited, but only because I need to accomplish things. I need to accomplish papers and speeches and teaching.

Ugh. I’m not good without school, I suppose!

Unfortunately, with school comes Ramen Noodles and all-nighters, which leave me too exhausted to workout.

I’m gonna get fat. Boo.

Currently, my workouts and diet are going… OK.

Dieting is just no fun, and daily I learn that I eat too much by counting calories. Counting calories is impossible.

I did Pure Cardio of Insanity today, and it went well. I pushed my body until my legs went out and I fell on my butt.

Twice.

Yeah, I went back for more.

And I died! (Eddie Izzard)

Well, my computer is acting weird, and I have studying to do… Hate on the GRE with me!

Also, I have a gross giant zit on my face. I would show you but the picture wouldn’t turn out right.

WEIGHT DROP!

While I truly believe that I will gain weight by the end of Insanity instead of lose weight…

I LOST 4 POUNDS!

Woo hoo!

I’m so excited! Can’t you tell?

I feel good today! Good workout today! Still bites on the dieting front. :)

I’m a busy bee right now, but when I get a break, I’ll let you know how my six-week checkup for this problem went.

Workout hiatus

I am on a workout hiatus – and I’m not even sure I am using that word correctly.

How long has it lasted?

Almost a week.

I feel bad. I do not have a good reason. I am simply lazy.

When I workout next, it’s going to hurt…

Why is exercise the only path to weight loss? (And diet… diet and exercise.)

According to an article by Livestrong, weight loss requires cardiovascular exercise, such as Insanity, which is practically nothing but cardio. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30-60 minutes of cardio daily.

Problem: Link to the article is broken… Sorry…

That 30-60 minutes must run outside of our normal daily cardio activities, such as climbing stairs in the house, vacuuming and walking to and from the car everywhere we go, which burn barely enough calories to impact our fitness regime.

We have to do more, but it doesn’t have to suck… of this I beg to differ. The following exercises are based on calories-lost by a 160 pound person in one hour.

Running is the best exercise you can do to burn the most calories in the least amount of time. Running at 8 mph –roughly a 7.5-minute mile –you can burn 986 calories in one hour. If you add hills (incline on the treadmill) or sprints (book it!), you can add even more calories burned.

However, who in their right mind runs for an hour at that pace? Break in up into 30- or 15-minute intervals, which also sounds pretty terrible.

Rollerblading –much more entertaining than running –ranks among the highest calories burns at 913 burned in a one-hour session.

I haven’t been rollerblading since I was in middle school.
I was in better shape when I was 12.

Tae Kwon Do is a total body workout that builds cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, movement, coordination and strength (but, then again, so does yoga). In one hour, you can burn 730 calories.

Jump rope, which I hate, can burn 730 calories in an hour.

Why do I and many other women of my category of… size… hate jumping rope? It hurts the chest area. Ouch!

The resistance of a stair-climber machine can burn 657 calories in one hour as well as build lower-body strength. Horse calves! Don’t let the Stair Master be your only cardio activity.

Jogging, much like running, burns a lot of calories. Some are not so hot at running a mile in 7.5 minutes –namely me –and jogging at 5 mph for a 12-minute mile sound way better! One hour can burn 584 calories.

Basketball and football also burn 584 calories in an hour.

What about soccer and softball? What about tennis? I don’t know. You’ll have to check those on your own!

Swimming is a great total body workout because you use almost every muscle in your body. All strokes increase cardio and muscular fitness while burning 511 calories an hour. Swimming is not simply for leisure. Have you ever felt exhausted after taking a few laps around the pool?

Floating doesn’t count.

Cardio can be fun! You can do cardiovascular exercises you actually enjoy, instead of continuing to stamp out miles on the track.

However, there is a form of exercise you must do that is only as fun as it can be.

WEIGHT TRAINING.

Women especially need to get into the weight room to build muscle tissue. We are not naturally inclined to build lean muscle like men –who can build muscle like little protein machines. (Well, hulky protein machines.) Good example: Women body builders have to use some kind of hormone therapy to build all that muscle.

What? You don’t think it’s important? Here are 12 reasons as to why you should.

  1. You’ll lose 40 percent more fat.
  2. Your clothes will fit better.
  3. You’ll burn more calories.
  4. Your diet will improve.
  5. You’ll handle stress better.
  6. You’ll be happier.
  7. You’ll build stronger bones.
  8. You’ll get into shape faster.
  9. Your heart will be healthier.
  10. You’ll be more productive.
  11. You’ll live longer.
  12. You’ll be even smarter.

Boot camp workouts? Yes. Please.

Insanity?

…Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.

A better workout

It’s true.

I did not have workout anxiety today.

In fact, I had workout excitement.

MOSTLY because I had to sit on my butt all day, and didn’t have quite as many opportunities to get up and move around.

I was stuck there.

Don’t get excited for me! It’s not that much of an accomplishment. I still did not really enjoy the workout much or at all.

Cardio Power and Resistance is HARD. Why? Because it feels like you’re running and doing a squat at the same time for 30 minutes, which is not a feeling I enjoy.

Who knew? Ha!

I have to be careful, I’ve noticed, on my left leg/foot/ankle. During hard landings, I feel like I’m pinching something that makes my leg spasm. Uncomfortable. (Hard landings as in stomping the floor during High Knees or Hurdle Jumps. I’m trying to land softly.)

Good news: I discovered an “enjoy your workout” trick.

“Oh, do tell!”

Yell at the TV.

I yelled at the television like 50 times in my 42-minute workout DVD. (The first 10-12 minutes are warm up, and then stretch, and then about 25 minutes total of working out.)

So, if you hate working out in your living room to Insanity DVDs like I do, yell at the TV. Scream at it.

It pretty much worked.

More good news: I’m doing well with eating this week!

Next thing!

I thought I’d show you my “gym.”  :)

Working Out in Living Room
My program/trainer/DVD!
Need a Yoga Mat for Insanity Workout DVD at Home
My mat! I do not technically need to use a mat, but there is dog hair all over my floor, so...
Keep Cool with a Fan during Workout at Home
A fan to keep me cool because it gets hot. And a dog bone for my suddenly missing workout partner.
skinnyshae ready to workout to Insanity DVD
And THAT is my stellar headband. :)

So that’s me getting ready for my workout. I’m dead right now. No. You don’t get a picture. It’s time for a shower.

Is this positive? Is this a positive attitude? I’m trying!

Here’s something positive: Husband is cooking dinner tonight! :)

Ugh… I might be dying.

Two words: Bikini Bootcamp.

Zomg, death.

I want to attempt -and I stress the word “attempt” -to get into shape this summer.

Yes. We’ve been here before. Don’t you think I hate it, too?

I failed miserably to get into shape in grad school this semester. While I was doing really well at the beginning of the semester, toward the end, I pooped out. Complete physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

Grad school does that to a person. I’m looking forward to sleeping this summer. :)

AND getting into shape. My grandparents have a pool, and I’ll be bored without school so I’ll be there ALL the time. I would, however, like to look less whale-ish and more hotness.

Can I pull it off?

No. There is no hope, but I have hope! (Ugh.)

Bikini Bootcamp is a personal-training thingy at the YMCA. On top of my membership without personal training, it’s $74 more for the month.

I know, right? I hate spending money when I could just do it myself! But I have commitment issues. Exercise and I are seriously off-again right now and I need some motivation and some accountability.

Serious accountability.

Plus, I can’t spend the entire summer lying around on my duff! That’s just silly.

Bikini Bootcamp v. Insanity. Well, both programs remind me of soccer practice. I’ll let you know my decision.

(However, it’s more fun to work out in a group than it is to work out in my living room… with my dog… and the stupid cat.)

Gah! And I’m going to have to eat better! Less red meat… and beer… :(