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.)

Stadium Circuit + SMART Motivation

Shocker Fitness kicked my butt.

Sitting literally hurts.

I joined the party a tad late. After staying up until 1 a.m., I was not moving too quickly at 6:15 a.m.

Could not fall asleep = explanation.

Oh, well! I got in most of the warm-up and every second of the dreadful workout.

Oh, dreadful, you say?

Quite.

For lack of a better way to explain…

Warm-Up

Fast Runs (Sprints)
8-60’s

Stadium Circuit
Round 1

20 seats // 15 arm dips

30 seats // 20 split squats (10/leg)

40 seats // 30 abs*

Full stadium

15 butterfly crunches

30 leg raises (15/leg)

15 mountain climbers

15 pushups

up/down incline running**

Round 2
30 seats // 10 incline pushups

40 seats // 20 lateral squats (10/leg)

50 seats // 30 double-leg raises

Full stadium (approx.)

10 double-leg thrusts

…and this is where we stopped.

In its entirety, the workout consisted of three full rounds – all of which are strikingly similar in butt-kicking abilities.

Exhibit A: My butt. (Ouch.)

We stopped because we ran out of time. No one made it to Round 3, and I think only one woman made it all the way through Round 2.

(In the 5:45 a.m. session, one guy made it almost through Round 3, according to Coach Em. Holy cow. Two of the women in my session had just finished Shocker Fit Xtreme… which just makes them crazy to do the circuit, too, in my opinion. Power to you.)

*I do not remember what these are called, but it where you sit on your butt and your legs go in and out. Like a V-up, but not so much V.

**Under the stadiums, there is a path people use to get up and down to different sections. It is a slight incline, and we had to walk down, run up twice. (For lack of a better term?)

All of that. All of that was death. I’ll be sore in the morning, but it was a good workout!

As a continuation to my blog about motivation on Monday, I would like to add more specific tips from Find Your Motivation by Greg Presto for Livestrong.com.

In the beginning, the article focused on dopamine and chocolate and habits, which had nothing to do with motivation that I could tell.

I kept reading out of curiosity.

Presto connected the ideas by stating that motivation is the driving force behind our bad habits, and that we need to refocus our motivation to good behaviors (which I ‘spose you cannot call a habit).

I only liked one of the tips. I think, for people who do well with rules, it could be effective. (Plus, I have totally heard this in grad school as what researchers need to do to accomplish big research projects. There! Education for the win.)

The article said to be S.M.A.R.T. about our goals.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely – all of which should describe goals.

Going in to detail…

Specific – I want to work out three days a week, or I want to eat a vegetable-based meal three nights a week.

Measurable – I want to lose X pounds, inches, etc., or lower cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Remember to measure before and after!

Attainable – Don’t set goals that are physically, mentally or emotionally impossible for you to do. (I used to do this. It’s not fun. It feels like failure every day. Don’t do it.)

Realistic – You will not lose 10 pounds in two weeks. Instead, try: I want to lose 10 pounds in three months, which is much more realistic (and attainable – I did it!)

Timely – Short-term goals are more specific, measureable, attainable and realistic than long-term goals. Think about it! Is anyone really following their five-year plan? No! Five years is a long time just like losing 20 pounds is going to take a long time.

How effective tips like this are I don’t know.

However, my advice: “Shut up and go” is not specific or measurable. Most of the time it’s not remotely attainable. Plus, it is always good to get a second opinion (and third and fourth and…).

News: 2011 Prairie Fire Race Volunteer! Well, you’re lookin’ at one!

I’m not running in the race, although, I wish I was, but I will be at Mile 11 on Sunday, Oct. 9, with the DietsinReview station filling water cups! Runners get thirsty. :)

Check out Prairie Fire here, and I’ll see you at the race!

Conquer defeat, build motivation

I woke up (not so motivated) at 6:15 a.m. and hurried (read: trudged) to the track for my Shocker Fitness workout.

Sometimes, especially when I am sleepy, I’ll tell myself that I won’t push myself, that I won’t work too hard, because, honestly, I do NOT want to be at the track at 6:45 a.m.

Too early. Read here.

I am mentally defeating myself before the workout has even begun.

During a quick warm-up lap around the track, I tell myself that I can go slow, plod along instead of pushing myself. It is the warmup, after all.

However, after moving through the rest of the warmup, I stop listening to the little voice in my head and just let my feet hit the track. I feel like I can push myself harder.

Today, I did.

We ran 150’s, which, to say the least, are not my favorite workout. I like short sprints and relays much more than 150’s up and down the track. (Running for endurance is not my favorite exercise, either; I much prefer running for speed, and then promptly pooping out.)

However, after the running part of the workout, even though I was tired, I pushed myself during the strength-training part of the workout. I did real pushups today! No knees, please. :)

After the strength circuit, we moved to stadiums, and I pushed harder again.

I love stadiums, I really do, but I am not a fan of just climbing to the top and walking back down the stairs.

One: I am pooped out 2/3 of the way up, and two: I do not want to go up again once I get back to the bottom.

Instead, I ran up 30 seats, about halfway, and walked down slowly, and then repeated that five times. Much more enjoyable. More sprinting!

(Secret Goal: I want to run up the entire stadium in one setting, no breaks, just sprinting and climbing. I know, once I get to the top, I will fall down dead, but I still totally want to do it. Look at me and my fitness goals! Doing sooooo well.)

Sorry, my point…

Every morning I wake up as a defeatist, mentally destroying my motivation and my ability to do well before I even set foot on the track.

But the track and the group do something to change that.

When I am on the track, I do not think (mental break!), I just go.

Ashley told me to do this during a workout when I was feeling especially nasty toward the thought of exercise. I tried it, and have been using the method successfully ever since.

Also, exercising in a group, Shocker Fitness members, and with coaches, Em and Nate, increases my motivation and my ability to do well even when I am silently defeating myself inside.

Have you ever suffered from the same motivation defeat? Do you mentally destroy yourself before a workout?

It’s OK. I understand.

I used to destroy myself before every workout. I was anxious about every workout. I was anxious about the whole process of getting fit and healthy. I had no confidence in myself… mentally. Read here.

It took me a long time to realize that I just needed to have confidence in my body. If I tell my body to do something, it won’t argue, it’ll just do it! The mind talks back, but the body is obedient.

(I think that also has something to do with willpower.)

I am not anxious about fitness anymore. I am not worried about failing. I have confidence in my body, even if I have to tell my brain to shut up in the morning.

The workout is not painful, mentally, any more. My workout is something I make. I make my workout.

And that is the best advice I could give anyone working toward a healthier lifestyle. Do what you made, and you’ll succeed, even when you feeling like you’re failing.

…again, straying from the point.

After the work out this morning I was STARVING. Sooooo hungry.

I ate a giant bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios, pretty sure it was at least 1 1/2 cups, and one whole, huge banana.

Breakfast!zomg. It was so good.

After breakfast, I read a bit o’ Burke, and then took a power nap before getting ready for my day. I love morning naps.

Husband and the cat were playing video games when I woke up.

Hobbes the CatWe have such a cuddly kitty cat!

How do you conquer defeat?

Morning fuel? Cheerios are the shiz. :)

Fitness + Food: My turning point?

I missed my workout on Wednesday from sheer exhaustion. I did not wake up until 7:30 a.m., and Shocker Fitness began at 6:45 a.m.

Wednesday FAIL.

Wednesday WIN? I weighed in at 130 pounds! OMG! Ten to go! :)

Fortunately, I dragged myself out of bed this morning and got ready for Shocker Fitness (after unloading the dishwasher and picking up the bathroom), and then pumped my muscles in a relay circuit and running up stadium seats four times totaling an hour-long workout.

All on a half cup of coffee.

(Not on purpose. I only had time for a half cup. I’m drinking more now, no worries.)

What I am saying is… Because I missed Wednesday, I made up for it today, while attempting to promote this thing, and now my body HURTS.

Hurts in a good way, no more of that nonsensical pained butt muscle.

I’m excited about this particular soreness, which is strange. Usually, I hate that I’m sore. It annoys me… But I am enjoying these workouts!

Next thing…

Remember I’m addicted to yogurt?

Snack timeWell, I also might be addicted to eggs.

These rather new yogi and eggy obsessions come as a surprise. (And by new I mean that, while I have always enjoyed both yogurt and eggs, I have never enjoyed them as much as say… French fries.)

Why is this even relevant?

Well, the good news is that I enjoy eating healthful foods, such as protein-crammed eggs and calcium-loaded yogi.

More good news: French fries and fried thing appeal to me less and less, as when I go out with friends, I tend to order a salad.

(Unfortunately, when I was hurt, I snarfed some fried things like a crazy person. Le binge.)

I suppose I feel better about myself because I finally enjoy exercise (for the most part) and because eating healthy food isn’t such a chore anymore.

I is gettin’ healthy! :)

I suppose since I feel healthier, my skin and hair will become healthier and my face might just clear up from this I-am-a-teenage-boy thing it’s doing…

Who knows? Issues with the way you look don’t always just clear up when you clean up your act, but it sure is helping.

Where was your turning point? When did you feel what you had been doing for so long was actually working?

Today… Maybe, it happened over some time.

P.S. Husband and I decided on Heidi Klum hair.

I made the appointment for Wednesday at Sabo Salon in my hometown, only 15 minutes from Wichita – not a long drive.

My mother’s or my aunt’s (I don’t know who knew who first) friend has cut my hair for a while now, and I really like her, so I do not want to jinx (knockin’ on wood) it by going to someone else! She is responsible for this cut, which I loved…

(I think my hair was thicker then… I’m thinning out… seriously… I might go bald.)

Apologies

Again…

Wow.

Sorry, friends!

What for?

I am sorry I haven’t shared recipes.

I am sorry I haven’t taken pictures of those recipes I haven’t shared.

(The fish I made last night looked and tasted awesome. Cooking and I are speaking again.)

I am sorry that I haven’t shared any of the workouts I want to try… in the future… when my butt muscle doesn’t hurt.

I am sorry I haven’t been even REMOTELY beauty-oriented.

Yeah, sorry.

My excuse: Ihavesomuchhomework! I have so, so much homework.

Not happy.

I plan on completing a lot of assignments and readings this week in hopes of freeing up some spare time. Right now, the only time I have is just before bed, and I’m so tired that opening my laptop is the farthest idea from my mind.

Bed time is officially 11 p.m. I usually cannot keep myself awake later than that. (And on Friday and Saturday, Husband and I went to bed super early. We both tuckered out before 10 p.m. Of course, he got up because night is day for him!)

I need a ghost writer… blogger… for whenever I’m too pooped to blog. Any applicants? It’s unpaid, but, like I was told once, it comes with a lot of atta-girls! (or boys it’s whatev). I was also told brownies, but I’m not good at baking so you won’t get brownies.

Until I get that ghost blogger, better posts to arrive after I am healed and can actually workout, and when I am caught up on reading.

Eargh. Grad school might be the death of me.

Tell me: How are YOUR workouts going? Got any food recipes to share? I’ve been bookmarking thousands on some friends’ blogs I follow. Check them out on my blogroll.

Quick Weight Update: Thankfully still sitting at 132! (Without vigorous exercise. I’m worried.)

#MotivationMonday + the 1st day of school

#MotivationMonday is a Twitter thing.

Have I told you all how very very much I love Twitter? I love it so much that I used the same word twice in a row in a sentence… and that’s saying something.

Grammar Hammer can fall upon me today!

So Twitter is amazing… that’s not the point. The point is that if you search #MotivationMonday on Twitter, you can find thousands of other people in the Twitterverse sharing their motivation!

They just give it away! I love #MotivationMonday, hashtags – in general – and Twitter. Good fun!

Monday, August 22, 2011 @ 2:45 p.m.
My first class of the new semester is to be held at 3:30 p.m. I need to prepare for it, but I wanted to blog so badly.

Yesterday, as you are probably aware of, was laundry day. I spent an entire day setting up my curriculum and creating syllabi for my classes that I didn’t have any time to blog at all. I was also doing a great deal of research on Numana and The Campus Kitchens Project. No worries! I’ll be explaining them more later on because they have so much to do with nutrition, food and hunger.

What’s a “skinny” girl’s blog for if not to promote charities that feed the food-insecure in her community?

Well, if it’s not also that, then I don’t know what it’s for anymore! :)

How do I feel about my first day back after a long, what some people may call “relaxing” summer?

Excited. Anxious (the good kind). Exhilarated.

PUMPED UP (KICKS)!

I have my folders ready and two different colors of pens and a highlighter and a marker to write on the board (it’s for teaching) and paper clips and EVERYTHING. And paper.

What am I missing? Textbooks. But they’re in the mail!

School is where I belong, and I belong to school. I’ll never get a real job. :)

BEFORE the school day began, however, I belonged to the track, and it kicked my A-S-S. No joke.

I ate like crap all weekend. My admittance. There it is.

Crap.

Crrrrraaaap.

Yummy fried things and delicious Thai things.

Absolute crap. (And I would make the obvious analogy if I didn’t think it would make me barf.)

I want to eat like 14 apples to just clean out my system. I love apples. Shouldn’t be hard. (Note: It’s WAY hard to eat more than one apple at a time. Ugh. The fullness.)

Monday Sprint Day with Ashley didn’t feel so awesome weighing as much as I do and carrying around the excess nonsense that I am.

She pushed me hard, kicked my butt and made me keep moving. I love that girl.

We ran a 12-minute warmup mile. Yes. That is the best that I can do. We also stretched, loosened up the hip joints and… left our shoes on our feet. :(

I wanted to run barefoot in the grass on the football field, but it was wet from the rain. Barefoot running + wet grass = skinnyshae falling on her face. (Remember why I can’t go ice skating?)

Since the rain ruined the field, we sprinted 8-100’s with squats, jumping jacks and up/downs in between intervals.

I. Wanted. To. Die. No! I felt like I was dead.

I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t get my legs off the ground, couldn’t get my elbows back, couldn’t do… anything!

Depression almost got me, but Ashley pulled me up, put me back on that track and told me to “push off” my feet and get my knees up. She also gave me a head start and yelled: “Don’t let me catch you!”

Yeah, right. Like I have a choice. She’s a bullet! :)

Twitter may be only fingertips away, but Ashley gives the kind of motivation that just doesn’t quit. I wish I could bottle her motivation and sell it to people…

I’d be so rich.

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.