Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Food Shopping and Menus

I'm just back from Harry's Farmers Market. Lots of nutritious and delicious things all ready to be juiced and cooked.

I've got my menus prepared and they all sound so good. Here's what I'll be cooking up... Leek, Chickpea and Harissa (Moroccan hot chili paste/sauce) bread soup, Indian spiced lentils with spinach and tomato served with toasted naan, Roast chicken, Frittata with cremini mushrooms, edamame and Romano cheese. Rob wanted ham dinner so I ordered a Honey Baked and will serve that with gingered carrots, asparagus and potato gratin and use the leftovers for ham and eggs Benedict for brunch one morning. And you can't have a ham dinner in the spring without my Juicy Sweet Fruit Crumble. I'll be using fresh strawberries and rhubarb, yum!

I met a kindred spirit at the market this morning. The cashier asked if some of my veggies were for juice! We both have the same Jack Lalanne Power Juicer and chatted a bit about juicing and how great it makes us feel until the people behind us started to get antsy. Since I haven't mentioned juicing in a while, I will prod you gently. Get yourself a juicer and get juicing. It's one of the best things you can do for your health and energy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Blogger Issues?

Blogger might be having a problem with loading photos today. I'm having problems on other blogs that I read. Hopefully they're working on it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Photo Day

Happy Sunday! It was such a gorgeous day yesterday but today started out rainy and gray. But the sky is starting to clear and the sun is trying to make an appearance. Last night I made the Thai Beef Noodle Salad that I blogged about the other week and it was awesome. The dressing came out exactly like I remember having at the restaurant. Sweet, sour and super hot, the perfect foil for chilled noodles and all those crisp, crunchy veggies. I highly recommend it.

A taste sensation!

This photo is the follow up to the one of my sister and me from last week. Or perhaps the pre-cursor. New York City, 1986...

Revere Girls

You couldn't have your hair too big in those days. My sister became the master of getting it that much higher, fuller and bigger. She worked magic with a spiral perm, a teasing comb and a giant can of Aqua-Net extra super hold. She's going to kill me for posting this, but I couldn't resist. I love you Girlie!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Leading Lady

There's a scene in The Holiday when Iris (Kate Winslet) is having dinner with Arthur (Eli Wallach) and after he gives her some "brutal but brilliant advice" Iris says, "You're supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God's sake!"

Leading lady, I love that! I know they were talking about romance but there is something very powerful we can take away from that statement. We are in charge of our lives. Life isn't made up of sitting around and wishing. Wishing to be thinner, smarter, richer. Envying people whose lives appear "better" than ours. Whatever better means. Life is made up of choices, plans and goals, making them happen and standing by them. And it's never too late to grab that spotlight as leading lady in your life and make your life exactly how you want it.

Take my friend Val, for example. After finishing college and working in her chosen field for a few years, Val decided she wasn't thrilled with how things were going so she decided on a career change. Not just any career change, she wanted to pursue a law degree! Instead of sitting around being unhappy in her job wishing she was a lawyer, Val took the LSAT exam, got accepted into law school and is now in her second year. Was it easy? No. Has she made sacrifices to make it happen? Sure. But she made her choice and it making it happen. I admire her so much for that.

Life isn't perfect and as we all know, "shit happens." But shit's not in charge, you are. So decide what you want, make a plan and make it happen. And because I love romantic films, I'll quote another. From Working Girl...

"Who makes it happen?"
"I do. I make it happen."

Friday, March 26, 2010

No Weigh Friday

It was tough not weighing in this morning, but liberating. I hope it doesn't come back and bite me in the ass. On the flip side, I had a great non-scale victory this week. I have been walking around looking like a ragamuffin in my XL's for far too long so I ordered new uniforms. Today I'll be going in to work in my new size MEDIUM uniforms, I'm so excited!

I'm just back from the gym, just two more workouts left in Stage 2. I haven't felt like I've been making much progress in Stage 2 until today. I kicked butt and feel strong and empowered. It's a great feeling for Friday morning. I chose not to go to the gym as scheduled on Wednesday, rather I stayed home and spring cleaned the house. Non-stop for about 6 hours, exercise for sure with a more satisfying payoff than a gym session. I function so much better in a clean house, it gives me a peace of mind that I can't get anywhere else.

After cleaning I went outside and prepped the largest of three (what will soon be) flower beds in the front yard. I dug up three scraggly shrubs and a bunch of weeds, turned the soil and raked it smooth. Gardening is definitely physical, perhaps that's why I've shied away from it in the past. Spring is coming along nicely even if the weather has been hit or miss. I noticed my Japanese magnolia had started blooming on Monday and has really come along this week.

Monday morning


I've done mostly container gardening but this year I'm branching out. I'm doing flower beds and we're planning our vegetable garden for the back yard. I've always wanted to learn how to garden but it always seemed too much like hard work. But now things are different. I want to learn new things and even better if they demand some physical activity. Are you an avid gardener or are weight issues standing in the way?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Try Something New: Grass-Fed Beef

Cows are meant to eat grass. Choosing grass-fed beef is better for your body and better for the planet. But all that aside, good quality grass-fed beef tastes amazing. It's rich and beefy and awesome. Since we're aiming to eat a more plant based diet, we've decided on the "less meat, better meat" approach. The good stuff is more expensive so instead of eating huge Flintstone size cuts of factory meat, I buy one 8 ounce steak for Rob and I to share. And 4 ounces of beef is plenty to eat at one sitting. How would you like to have this for dinner?

Grass Fed Sirloin and Citrus Salad

It's so easy, too. To serve two people for dinner you'll need a whole tender Boston lettuce torn into pieces, 1 pound of lightly steamed and chilled asparagus spears cut on the bias, one small bulb of thinly sliced sliced, three small Italian blood orange segments, 8 ounces of grass-fed sirloin, seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked to your liking and thinly sliced, and a sprinkling of goat's milk feta crumbles. Your favorite dressing will do, just use a light hand. I used homemade vinaigrette made with grainy Dijon mustard, the juice from the orange segments, white balsamic vinegar and Sicilian olive oil. Toss all the veggies with the dressing in a large bowl, portion out into serving bowls, top with cheese and sliced meat. Devour!


If you'd like to read more about the health benefits of grass-fed meat, click here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Fitness Paradox

"I'm just too tired to workout today!" How many times have you said that and your fitness plans flew out the window in lieu of an hour or two in front of the television or Facebook? I know I've said it countless times over the years.

Since I stared this journey to save my health and improve my fitness I have done tons of reading and research about healthy eating and exercise. Some of that reading has been in health and fitness based women's magazines like Body+Soul, Health, Prevention, Self and the like. There are always interviews with celebrities as well as with women who have changed their lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise. There is always the question asking where their boundless energy comes from. And no matter whom the interview is with, the answer is always EXERCISE!

I've been reading these magazines for years and only just noticed this. Perhaps because I have learned that it is 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, true. Case in point, this past Friday's shift at work my relief called in sick. I wasn't sure when I was getting out of there and was afraid that I would be stuck pulling a double and ruin my plans for the hike up the mountain on Saturday morning. The director of nursing (bless her heart) came in to relieve me but I didn't get home and into bed until almost 1:30am. Now I haven't seen that morning hour is a very long time since putting myself on a fairly strict sleep schedule (rest is one of the most crucial elements of good health) and I knew I was going to feel rough in the morning.

Rob was awake before 8am which in turn woke me up. Ugh! I was so tired and grouchy I didn't know what to do. What I did know was that I did not want to go for a walk. "I'm just too tired to exercise!" But I knew that if I didn't, I would be tired and grouchy all day and my warm, sunny First day of Spring Saturday would be ruined. So I juiced, got myself together and off we went. It wasn't easy going up that bloody hill but as I was doing running sprints down the mountain road with the sunshine warming my face, the endorphins came flooding in. I was in a really good mood for the rest of the day. I pottered around the garden, sat on the deck and caught up on my magazines and I slept so well that night. Just what I wanted.

There is no doubt about it, exercise gives energy, improves mood, decreases stress, enhances sleep and is just plain good for the body. So the next time you find yourself falling into the too-tired trap, gird your loins and get moving. You will be so glad you did.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Photo Day

I thought it might be fun to make Sunday random photo day. I'll be posting one or more random photos from my life, past or present. I love taking pictures and have so many I'd love to share.

Since I haven't posted any recent progress photos of myself, here is a snap of my lovely sister and me taken while I was in Boston earlier this month. My sister knows just how to pose for photos. I think she may have attended the Barbizon school without telling me.

What am I doing with my face?
As my nephews would say, "I look coooooky!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

I adore Jamie Oliver. On my first trip to England in 1998 I saw his show The Naked Chef and I was stuck. I bought his first book, The Naked Chef, before I returned to the US and have followed his career ever since. It's one of my favorite cookbooks, Jamie was the chef who inspired me to cook with lots of fresh herbs. I don't think I'd ever used fresh thyme until I made his Tray Baked Pork Chops with Herbey Potatoes, Parsnips and Pears which is still a staple recipe in my kitchen.

Jamie made waves in the UK trying to promote healthy eating and healthy meals in public schools. His Eat to Save Your Life special is a must watch. You can view it in eight parts on YouTube here. I was really excited to hear about his latest project Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. The show premiers on Friday March 26th on ABC, with a sneak preview on Sunday. He's bringing his healthy food philosophy to the US and I can't wait to hear what he has to say. Will you be watching?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Weigh-In

Happy Friday! It's a gorgeous day here and though I have to work, I am thrilled to have a warm, sunny day. The herbs I splurged on at Whole Foods on Wednesday are luxuriating in the sunshine right now. They are organic, regional from a farm in North Carolina and they are beautiful. I chose tarragon, Italian parsley, Italian oregano, rosemary, mint, African basil and peppermint. I'll be taking them in at night until I transplant them after April 1st. I can't wait to get my kitchen garden going again.

The nice weather is going to carry over to Saturday, so Rob and I are going to head up the mountain for a long overdue trail walk. Then we'll spend the rest of the day pottering around our yard, making plans for flower beds and the vegetable garden and soaking up lots of sun. Don't you just adore springtime?

About the weigh-in, I'm down a pound to 177.5 and have frustrated myself by obsessing about the scale this week. This has prompted me to do something different. I'm going to start doing monthly weigh-ins. I'm going to attempt to stay off the scale until April 1st then not get on it again until May 1st. 175 is looming and you know it's a pretty big deal for me to get below that and it's never going to happen if I keep hopping on and off the damn scale every five minutes. I have been lax about tracking my calories so that will change. I don't want to let extra snacking calories sneak up on me. I must keep reminding myself, health and fitness first, scale second!!!

As for my workouts, stage 2 of The New Rules of Lifting for Women is tough which is amazing for getting the endorphins flowing. I had three excellent workouts this week and feel like I'm continuing to make good progress in the fitness department. I can't say enough good things about weight-lifting. I'd rather do an hour of heavy lifting then pound away aimlessly on the treadmill for the same amount of time. It's hard but it is so much fun and keeps the muscles guessing and with a program like New Rules it changes often enough to keep it fresh and interesting. If you haven't tried it, give it a go. You're never too heavy, too old or too anything to start lifting weights. You won't get big, bulky muscles but you will get fit, strong and improve balance and coordination.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Goodie: Nancy's Cultured Cottage Cheese

What comes to mind when you think of cottage cheese? For me it's the words "diet plate." You know, that hideous bland mound sitting on a sad, little lettuce leaf, the last thing you'd ever order in a diner. Since I started weight training, I have been looking for ways to boost my protein intake without having to rely solely on lots of meat. Cottage cheese was suggested to me as a great source of lean protein but I was skeptical. But I have found the most delicious cottage cheese that's so good and so nutritious that I actually enjoy eating it.

Nancy's Cultured Cottage Cheese is awesome! It's rich, creamy and tangy. It's low in fat, high in protein (14 grams per serving) and loaded with probiotic cultures. It's a nice change from Greek yogurt and is quite a bit more filling. I like it over any kind of fruit, especially a creamy, ripe anjou pear, topped with a handful of Kashi Go Lean. What's better than a bowl of creamy, sweet, tangy and crunchy?

I had no idea that cottage cheese was so versatile until someone shared this Stumptous link with me. The bean and avocado salad sounds so good! Have you had cottage cheese recently? If not, give Nancy's a try. It's good stuff.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Best Salad Ever!

Rob doesn't travel out of town for work nearly as often as he used to but when he does, I head down to Jeff and Donna's for a visit and dinner. Jeff is a really good cook but he was busy with work most of the day so he took us to Houston's last evening. They have a really nice menu and I decided to take a chance of one of the delectable sounding entree salads. Entree salads are ho-hum at best but the selection was outstanding. Here's the menu so you can see what I mean. I chose the Thai Steak and Noodle salad and it was the best salad meal that I've ever had.

I did a search for the recipe and found it! I had to share it with you because, my goodness, it is so good. It's not exact but looks really close. My salad had some chunks of avocado rather than cucumber so it's an easy swap. The dressing was outrageous. I asked for it on the side and used about two tablespoons of it. The combination of flavors, colors and textures was unique. It had crunchy, hot, sweet, chewy, freshness, so good! I'm definitely going to be making this salad for Rob and look forward to having it again.

What's the best entree salad you've ever had? Please share the recipe, too!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Office Project V. 2.0

What a productive weekend! We made the final tweaks to the office yesterday and not only is it tidy, it's a room we both really want to be in. Rob hung all the framed photos that made up the "Wall of Shame" at our old house but spent the last 4 years wrapped up in a box. I framed some new photos, too and am really enjoying having them to look at.

It turns out I didn't need Craigslist after all. Rob remember that his old desk, which isn't much more than a rectangular table, was up in the room over the garage. We brought it down and set it in the corner and it's perfect. I think people often forget (I know we do) to shop their own closets, cupboards and storage areas before running off to the spend money on something they may already have. I will definitely remember for next time. And I found a steal at Lowe's, a beautiful roll of carpet remnant priced at $15 that we cut to size for chair mats. Got to love a bargain like that. Have a look-see...

Walls of Shame and "new" table

Floor Mat and my old desk chair that
my butt couldn't fit in, now back in its place

Rob also hung up some pretty shadow boxes that my sister bought for me in the guest room and now that room is complete. We have the next set of house projects lined up, things that should have been done long ago but now we're ready to get them done. We bought the paint to refresh the furniture in one of the guest rooms along with decorative knobs for the dresser and night stand and selected some color swatches for the front door. I have wanted to paint that front door since we first bought Shady Dame and it's finally going to be done. I'll post a picture as soon as it's done.

I've been to the gym and my quads and glutes are having words with me. And they aren't nice ones. I've got most of the laundry done (clean towels and bedding yay,) made homemade protein bars adapted from the recipe in the new rules book and have homemade chicken stock simmering on the stove. Eating healthy and exercising has made me more of a productive person, has made me want to get things done, take on new challenges, learn new things. Instead of thinking about doing/learning/going and then burying those thoughts under a pile of Twinkies, brownies and burritos, I feel light and free to DO. I wonder why that is, I will explore that more in another post.

I must go and check on the stock. I hope your Monday is hassle free and happy!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Ultimate in Delicious and Nutritious

I'm always looking for new ways to make my meals nutritious and delicious and today I hit the mother lode!

Bacon & Avocado on Whole Wheat
serves 2

2 100% whole wheat English muffins (I used Trader Joe's whole wheat British muffins)
1 ripe Haas avocado
4 slices cooked until crisp turkey bacon (The Trader Joe's uncured is so good, I actually prefer it to the traditional pork bacon, shocking I know but true.)

Split and toast the muffins. Mash the avocado and spread it on the toasted muffin halves. Top each muffin half with a slice of bacon (cut in half to make it fit.) Devour!

Each serving provides 334 calories, 18 grams of fat (13 of those grams are healthy fat from the avocado), 20 grams of protein, 34 grams of good carbs and 11 grams of fiber. Add a handful of juicy green grapes on the side and you have a complete totally tasty and satisfying meal.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Office Project Competed!

I'm so excited. I took a little time this afternoon to finish organizing my office and now I have a serene and tidy space to work in. I need a mat to put the chair on and I'd like to find a table for the now empty corner on which to wrap gifts and do the occasional craft, I'll have to have a look on Craigslist. Some family and vacation photos on the walls and I won't ever want to leave.

Here are the before and after shots...

The Desk. What a mess!
No wonder I did everything on the laptop in the kitchen.

Tah-Dah! That's where I'm sitting right now, ahhhh.

The shelves of doom!

To the left the shelves are gone leaving space for a work table

My secret shame

Shame no longer. Now this is the closet of a proper Virgo!

Almost three months into the year and my number one goal is completed and the number two is well under way. It feels good. Now it's time to think of a new goal to set for myself.

How are your goals for 2010 coming along?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Weigh-In and Retraining Taste Buds

Woohoo! Just two pounds up post vacation, not too bad considering how much I enjoyed myself with food and wine. I should be back to 176.5 for the next weigh-in. First day back at the gym, the first workout New Rules Stage 2. It was fun doing new weight bearing contortions and I loved being back on the elliptical trainer, I actually missed it. I will be sore tomorrow but I welcome it.

Now, let's talk about taste buds. Do you think that taste buds are something that can be trained to delight in healthy food? Absolutely they can! Case in point, before I left for Boston I made a huge pot of minestrone soup. I proclaimed it the best soup I've ever made, so rich and tasty, almost like a vegetable stew. I brought a container of it to work for supper last evening. On the first taste I couldn't believe how bland it tasted. Of course it tasted bland, after almost a week of eating rich and tasty food like Santarpio's pizza along side hot sausage and grilled lamb, Steak Diane and Chicken Marsala at Cheesecake Factory, grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches, cheese and salami with dates washed down with crisp Sauvignon Blanc, you get the idea.

Now it's time for me to retrain my taste buds to crave all the delicious and nutritious food that will fuel my body with energy, give me a clear mind, even keeled moods, great sleep and a happy outlook. All that food I listed above tasted wonderful, but that's all it's really good for, to enjoy on special occasions but not for optimal healthy living. I'm going to cleanse my palate with crisp, juicy apples, fresh vegetable juice, pure water, carrots and celery dipped in hummus and big, fresh salads and lean meats. I want my taste buds working for me, not against me. So just as I worked out my muscles, so my taste buds are going back in training.

If you want to read more about retraining your taste buds, have a read of these articles....
Retraining taste buds.
Eating Well magazine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Whipped Cauliflower

Speaking of whipped, that's how I feel right now. Travel, coupled with several days of eating rich foods (worth it) and drinking lots of wine (not so much) always leaves me feeling very low energy. So I'm resting today, eating clean and light and drinking tons of water because that's what my body needs right now in order to get back to my life.

I returned to find that my husband, the fabulous handy man that he is, had installed shelves in my office closet. As soon as I organize those shelves with all my stuff, I'll post before and after pictures. It's going to be quite the transformation.

My friend Lara, who is also a reader wanted to know about my Whipped Cauliflower recipe. What do you think of cauliflower? Boring is the first word that used to come to mind but I have fallen in love with cauliflower, it really has so many delicious applications. A cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower is very healthful. The compounds contained in cruciferous veggies may help prevent cancer. But beyond that, cauliflower is versatile, easy to prepare and yummy.

My husband loves mashed potatoes but they are heavy so I wanted to come up with a way to make cauliflower as rich and luxurious as mashed potatoes but lighter and healthier. I've made mashed cauliflower before but it always came out watery so I eliminated the water! Start with a 1/2 cup of 2% milk and a tablespoon of butter in a heavy bottom saucepan, toss in a whole head of cauliflower, roughly chopped. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, almost falling apart and most of the milk is absorbed. Transfer the contents of the pan to the food processor along with a 2-3 ounce chunk of Neufch√Ętel cheese (that's the 1/3 less fat version of cream cheese.) Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth. The texture is amazing, it's rich and creamy and satisfying like mashed potatoes. It's so delicious, you won't think of it as a "healthy substitute."

I like cauliflower sauteed with cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and Indian spices and also sauteed with onion, red pepper flakes and white balsamic vinegar and tossed with toasted walnuts and a bit of ricotta salata (dry, salted ricotta cheese but you can sub in feta for a similar effect.) There are so many ways to prepare cauliflower, check out this Google search for more recipes. What is your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back at Home

As much as I hate to tear myself away from my family, it is wonderful to be home at Shady Dame in the company of my husband. It was fabulous to come home to find buds on my Japanese magnolia and on the dogwood trees and was so excited to see this...

The first daffodils have bloomed! Spring is certainly on the way and I am so ready for her to arrive.

I'm all unpacked and the laundry is almost done. I have missed blogging but rather enjoyed being unplugged from the Internet for a week. Other than my moderating duties at BPAL.org and the blog, I can see myself spending even less time in front of this screen.

I'll need to be spending that time at the gym as I'm definitely bloated. I have not been on the scale since right before I left and I know that I have gained. It's funny, before I could never tell if I gained one pound, ten or twenty but I can definitely feel and see the 4 or 5 that I piled on while I was away. But how could I resist the best pizza in the Universe and the canoli that I had been craving since Fourth of July? We were very active, though and we did get in an amazing morning at the beach walking and running in the sun, so it wasn't all pizza, wine and treats.

What really amazed me this trip was just how much bigger the airplane seats and airplane bathroom seemed. It sure makes the whole air travel experience so much more enjoyable.

I hope you are all doing well and if you get a chance to check out the free book The Full Plate Diet, please let me know what you think of it. Air travel wears me out so I'm going to cuddle up on the couch with Rob and enjoy the evening. See you back here soon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Full Plate Diet

I came across this site a month ago, downloaded the book and read it straight away. Turns out it's on the best seller list. I think it's just great that the authors have made it available free online to everyone. Information on about healthy eating should be free for everyone! You know I'm not about "diets" in the sense of strict, temporary, on-again/off-again measures but the Full Plate approach of eating high fiber foods is definitely worth investigating. High fiber means more volume, more volume means more fullness.

The book presents a lot of good, solid nutrition information as well as some very interesting statistics. I learned that avocados are very high in fiber. I knew they were amazing for healthy fats, but fiber, too? BONUS! The information is straightforward and well presented. I don't necessarily agree on their viewpoint of meat and dairy, but learning about the health benefits of fiber was definitely worth the read.

I'm not going to do a formal review, but rather point you to it and encourage you to read it. If you do, please come back to this post and let me know what you think.

Check out the website here: Full Plate Diet
Get the book FREE here: Full Plate Diet Book

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just One Thing: Exercise

Our bodies were designed to move, not sit idly for hours on end. People can argue at length about what is healthy and what is not but no one can deny that physical activity is good for our health. Our bodies and minds can reap rewards now and for years to come with just 30-40 minutes a day.

Physical activity can take so many different forms including dancing, gardening, group boot camp, nature walks, playing Frisbee, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, walking the dog, running on the beach, shoveling snow and building snow men. It's not meant to be punishment or take you away from things you love to do, physical activity can be fun and can enhance the overall quality of life.

If your doctor prescribed an ointment for you to apply to your infected right eye twice daily for 10 days, there is no doubt that you would follow his advice. The health of your eye depends on it. By the same token, the health of your body depends on getting some daily physical activity. So write yourself a prescription and get moving.

Read more here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another Creative Leftover Meal

I guess meatloaf got it's bad reputation over the years from being bland, overcooked bricks being passed off as dinner. Maybe I'm in the minority because I really enjoy good meatloaf. I made it the other night using white meat ground turkey flavored with Montreal chicken seasoning, shredded apple and chutney then frosted with BBQ sauce. I know it sounds weird but it is so tasty! The accompaniments were roasted baby broccoli and whipped cauliflower.

For leftovers this evening, I pulled out the George Foreman and made meatloaf panini. Homemade heavenly whole wheat bread layered with Alpine Lace lower fat Swiss cheese (this is the one reduced fat cheese that melts like cheese is supposed to melt,) whole grain Dijon mustard, baby salad greens and thinly sliced turkey meatloaf. Pressed on the grill until crispy on the outside, melty-cheesy and warm on the inside...yummy.

So this crazy Atlanta winter has thrown us another curve ball. Snow in March, ugh! I'm sure it caused all sorts of problems at the airport today but my flight is listed as on-time at the moment so hopefully I will be off without a hitch. I have a couple of posts scheduled to pop up while I'm gone so watch this space. Have a fantastic week and I'll see you in Boston!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I just love feeling like I've gotten things done, that feeling of accomplishment. I completed Stage 1 of New Rules today, I'm done with the laundry, dinner is all ready, I'm all packed and there is nothing on my to-do list but have a little relaxation time before I travel. That feeling of lightness, of having free time doesn't come around often but when it does it is heavenly! What do you do when you have a block of absolute free time?

Here is how my final workout went. Stage 1 special workout B, the set up is the same as the workout I did on Friday, do all 5 exercises the I did them in the very first B workout, as many reps as possible.

Deadlift (45 pound Olympic bar)~40 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Shoulder press (7.5 dumbbells)~ 30 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Wide-grip lat pull down (36 pounds)~ 30 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Alternating lunges~ 30 to each side, rest 60 seconds.
Swiss ball crunches~ 100!!!! Jump on the treadmill for some vigorous walking because this workout really energized me.

I know stage 2 is going to be tough but I am really looking forward to it.

I want to thank reader Leila for giving me a Sunshine Blogger Award. :)

I'm supposed to pass it on, so it's going to Lori at Finding Radiance. She's the one who inspired me to start heavy lifting the New Rules way. Jump over to her site and be sure to enter the Attune pro-biotic bar giveaway she's holding.