Tuesday, February 28, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge: Week 4

As I mentioned last week, I'm really excited to have my BodyMedia this week while I'm working my butt off in Vegas. Yesterday I went to the gym before heading to the airport, so it was pretty much a "normal" day. Below is a reading from a fairly normal day, and this shows a calorie surplus of 317 which is right where I want to be for building muscle. James Wilson recommended 250-500 calories and I'm just a little scared to go all the way to that 500 mark, so I figure the middle is safe!

I can't wait to see what my stats look like when I get back to my hotel room tonight, I have a feeling my calorie burn will be higher since I'm going to be on my feet all day instead of sitting at my desk. I quickly checked my stats before bed last night and even with just travelling and walking around the hotel my calorie burn was about 350 calories higher than usual.  I figured this would be good because eating out many times a day is rough on a clean eater. At dinner last night I ordered chicken and veggies and asked for no oil salt or butter. Of course, the veggies were completely drenched in butter. Ahh!! In any other circumstance, I would have sent it back, but when you are at dinner with 10-15 people (including your manager and CEO) and it's one of those "no one eats until everyone has their food" situations, you just have to suck it up and deal with what you have. 

Has anyone looked into getting one of these yet? Let me know if you have any questions at all! 

BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using aniron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.  Our 3 part system includes:

1. An Armband that automatically captures data

2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day

3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-tounderstand way(*subscription required)

“Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia viaEmpowHER.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions orpositions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.”

Monday, February 27, 2012

Travel Time!

Hello from Sin City! I'm spending the next 5 days in Las Vegas for work, so I just wanted to share what I brought with me and how I plan on surviving this week while staying as on track as possible. I have already spoken with the conference producers and they will be preparing me gluten free, lactose free food, but I'm still not sure what exactly that is going to entail. I'll have to make do with what they give me for lunch and we will be doing team dinners out every night so I really just needed to worry about bringing snacks and something to eat when I first wake up. Here's what I packed: 

Almond Milk (the kind you don't have to refrigerate)
Fruit for breakfast
Pre measured oats with cinnamon
Pre measured almonds
Raspberry lemon protein bars
Protein powder
Casein protein powder
Travel size amino energy 
Multi/ Digestive Enzyme/Fish oil/Glutamine 

Basically I'm going to be pretty dependent on protein powder over the next 5 days, which isn't the best scenario but at least I can have shakes between larger meals instead of nothing at all. The reason I didn't prepare items like turkey muffins, or chicken is because I'm going to be on a showroom floor, at a booth from 9am-7pm with no where to store things, especially food. 

As far as working out, I called the MGM to see about their gym situation and they said they only had a cardio room. (Someone on here told me the MGM had a weight room which is why I called to double check... but no luck). I will probably just do plyo type workouts in my hotel room, or use Jamie Eason's playing card workout so that I can still get my body moving. I don't foresee myself using the cardio room, but you never know. 

I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post while I'm gone, but I will try! If I don't talk (type?) with you guys until later this week, remember to train hard and eat clean!! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Protein Loaf

When I first started making Jamie Eason's protein bars, I had no idea I would one day become obsessed with coming up with different variations. But, I have. This particular recipe was actually something my mom came up with which makes it even more amazing. Thank you to everyone that has continued to ask about my parents and how they are doing with clean eating, they are doing fantastic! My mom has been giving me some great ideas and I'm so excited things are working out and they're sticking to it.

This recipe is basically a duplication of the blueberry protein loaf, but my mom had the idea to use the raspberry true lemon packets and raspberries, and it came out so good.


1 1/4 cup oat flour 
1/2 cup non fat greek yogurt
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup Stevia in the raw
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Zest of one lemon (optional)
4 raspberry lemonade True Lemon packets 
1 tsp baking soda
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raspberries


1. Combine all ingredients except berries in large mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Place batter in a prepared baking dish, I used a loaf pan but pyrex dish would work too.
3. My batter was thick enough to just drop the raspberries in, but if yours is more liquid-y make sure you roll your berries in oat flour first so they don't sink to the bottom. 
4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

WIAW #14

I very rarely sleep in. I typically have the most energy of my entire day in the morning. Not yesterday morning. I mentioned on my Facebook page that I got up and then decided to go back to bed because I was just exhausted. My BodyMedia device said I only got a little over 5 hours of sleep and I knew my body would not do what I wanted it to do at the gym. Just thought I would share this so that you know it's very important to push yourself and very important to stay motivated, but it is also very important to listen to your body. If you're truly exhausted and not just creating excuses, then it is perfectly fine to just rest.

On that note, it's time for WIAW! I missed it so much last week, and I'm sad that my eats are not that exciting because I literally ran out the door. Ran.

Typical breakfast- 1/2 cup oats with egg whites, cinnamon, protein powder, almond milk, and blueberries. 

I try to never ever have a shake as a meal unless it's right after a workout. But since I was in such a rush this is was the fastest thing to grab, so meal 2 was 2 cinnamon swirl protein bars and a protein shake. This is one time I will tell you not to follow my example... whole foods are best!

I had leftover grilled chicken marinated in Ms. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning so I chopped that up and threw it in a salad with salsa as dressing. Now I want this every day for lunch! It was amazing.

Cottage cheese and raw zucchini with red bell pepper hummus.

Sweet and sour chicken over veggies for dinner. Pre-cut bag veggies are my new favorite. All I had to do was poke holes in the bag they came in and microwave for 4 minutes. So, it literally took me 4 minutes to make dinner after work since the chicken came out of the crock pot. This makes me happy.

Wrapped up the day with casein pudding and melatonin so that I could actually sleep! But don't worry, I didn't... B was up tossing and turning all night, so that means I was too. Oh, well I still had a great leg day this morning! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge: Week 3

So, I am already on week 3 of using my BodyMedia and I am still absolutely loving it. I find myself multiple times a day on bodymedia.com checking my stats and staying on top of where I'm at with calories, physical activity, etc. 

Next week I am going to be in Las Vegas from Monday until Friday for work, and if it is anything like it was last year, I will be getting very minimal sleep, no time in the gym, and eating every 3 hours is going to be nearly impossible. I'm thrilled about the trip, can you tell? Anyway, I'm definitely planning on wearing my device the entire time because although I won't be working out (the MGM doesn't have a gym, they have a cardio room, WTF?!) I will be running around a showroom floor all day long. Right now my steps are pretty low since I sit at a desk all day and I'm not doing any cardio at the gym.

My bodymedia will be SO helpful next week because I will need to gauge my calorie intake based on how many calories I am burning every day. Since I likely won't be hitting up the "cardio room" I will need to eat at a maintenence level. Basically my goal will be to eat the same amount of calories as I am burning so that I don't lose weight (muscle) or gain weight (fat). Without my bodymedia I think this would be a very hard goal to attain-- last year at this event I lost 5 pounds in 5 days. If that happens again I'm going to scream! I've worked too hard to let anything get in the way of achieving my goals. If you're thinking "oh it's only 5 days you'll be fine," well, I wish. In fact, I will be returning to Vegas 9 days after I get back to do it all again! Craziness. I will blog later this week about how I plan to stay on track while I'm at these events. 

Also, just an FYI I've had many people ask me what armband I am using and where to find more information... I have the CORE armband and you can buy it from bodymedia.com or find more information on empowher.com as well. This is what it looks like (don't mind the pinkish redish color... I wore a new red sweater with it and it rubbed off on my band. boo.)

BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using aniron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.  Our 3 part system includes:

1. An Armband that automatically captures data

2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day

3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-tounderstand way(*subscription required)

“Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia viaEmpowHER.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions orpositions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.”

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shoulder Day!

I would just like to take a moment to thank whoever created Presidents Day because I am SO enjoying this day off from work! My best friend was in town from California this weekend so I had a very fun filled and eventful weekend, so this extra day to catch up on sleep was just perfect. 

After sleeping in this morning B and I hit the gym for shoulders and switched things up a little from what we typically do. I am still gunning for those Jamie Eason shoulders, so I always lift as heavy as I possibly can on shoulder day. And every other day... :)

Smith Machine Military Press- 4 sets of 8 at 30lbs + bar, last set drop set.

Seated Arnold Press- 3 sets of 8 at 20lbs, last set drop set
Lateral raises with cable superset with machiene fly's 3 sets of 8 at 55lbs

Upright rows 3 sets of 8 at 40lbs superset with front raises 

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I'm off to see The Vow with the beautiful Channing Tatum. Don't tell B I said that! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I had every intention of not blogging today since I'm still regrouping from vacation, but after I made dinner last night I thought you all would be very mad if I didn't share this with you. Before I share the recipe, do you find it ridiculously hard to re-adjust to life after vacation? Not only did I go back to work with 219 emails to go through, (literally) but then there is the unpacking, sorting through the mail, grocery shopping, laundry, and the overall adjustment of not waking up to a pond with swans in it is killin' me! Luck is on my side though, because I didn't realize it was a 3 day weekend until today. Thank. Goodness. 

While I was taking care of one of these chores, I stumbled across the idea for last nights dinner. I'm totally that person that grabs a magazine while checking out at the grocery store and tries to flip through it as quickly as possible, hoping deep down the line takes a little longer just so I can read more magazines. When we were grocery shopping the night we got back (and I practically only had one eye open) I grabbed a clean eating magazine while we were in line, but only had about 2.4 seconds to look at it. I flipped to a page with a picture of a stuffed poblano pepper but didn't get the chance to look at what was in it. BUT, the inspiration was still there!

Poblano Pepper 
Salsa Chicken
Toppings of choice:
Red onion
Pepper Jack Almond Cheese 
Greek Yogurt
(It would also be great with spanish style rice, but I try not to do starchy carbs with dinner)

1. Make salsa chicken by placing chicken breasts, one bottle of salsa, and one can diced green chili's in the crock pot for 5 hours. 
2. Roast poblano pepper in oven at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the outside starts to turn black. 
3. Slice pepper down the middle and stuff with chicken and your favorite toppings. 

So glad I was the annoying girl that picked up a magazine in the checkout line! Yum!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guest Post: The Athletarian

Here is the other guest post for this week! Thank you so much Christina :)

Hi everyone!  My name is Christina and I blog over at The Athletarian.  I was so excited when Little b asked me to guest post for her.  I am fairly new to her blog and am loving everything about it!  She posts amazing recipes and workouts and provides awesome motivation on her Facebook page.

 I wanted to talk a little about my past experience as a cardio junkie versus my current love for weight lifting.  I used to be one of those girls that you would see at the gym on the treadmill, bike, stairmaster, or elliptical.  I used to spend a minimum of two hours on those machines thinking it was the best thing for me and my body.  The result?  I was too skinny, with little definition, absolutely no strength, and zero confidence.  The only good thing that came out of it was the preparation and base it gave me to run a couple of half marathons and one full marathon.  Don’t get me wrong - I still love running.  It is my favorite form of cardio but unless you are training for a serious race, two hours is absolutely not necessary.

After doing a lot of my own research and salivating over the girls in Oxygen Fitness, I realized what I needed and wanted to do.  I found out that becoming a prisoner to cardio machines was not the answer to achieving my goals.  I wanted (and still want) to be strong, fit, healthy, and confident.  I started strength training about a year ago and have found a new love.  Hitting personal records in the weight room has become equivalent to setting race records for me.  I love the way it makes me feel when I lift something that’s heavier than anything I have ever lifted before.

My one fear was always regarding my food intake.  If I wasn’t doing two hours of cardio a day, it meant I was going to put weight on, right?  Not the case.  Little b just talked about this in her recent post.  If you are keeping your diet clean and are consistent in your training, you will get the results that you want.  Of course, everyone is different and you will need to do some tweaking to determine what works best for you.  It took me a while to learn for myself but I now know that clean and wholesome food (check out b’s recipes for ideas!) paired with consistent strength training and limited cardio (about 30 minutes 3-4 times a week) is the answer.

I’m always trying new things and looking for fun ways to get fit and eat well.  Check out my blog  and my Faceb if you would like to follow along!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge: Week 2

You know how I am an over-thinker and let my brain think way harder about things than it really should? Well, my BodyMedia is making it pretty apparent that this is a problem. Brittany, stop thinking and just sleep. I am really anal about getting to bed by 8:45 [yes, you read that right, 8:45!] so that I can get up at 4:45 every morning. Before getting my Bodymedia device, I thought this was a perfect plan, 8 hours, and I'm good. Well, clearly I am in fact only getting 6 hours of sleep! 6! How am I even functioning. I have always been someone that needs 8 hours of sleep, so seeing that I am really only getting 6 quality hours was really shocking. 

When you expand the sleep duration section of the dashboard, it gives you a graph showing when you slept, then when you hover over it, it show either "laying down" or "sleeping" so that you can see when you are getting quality sleep. Not only am I not falling asleep until about 45 minutes after I lay down, but I wake up 10+ more times per night! I think this has to do a lot with my constantly racing brain and my inability to just shut it off. I'm tempted to let B wear my band for a day because I guarantee you his sleep efficiency number is very close to 100%. I need to get on his level. 

Why does sleep even matter you ask? Well, during sleep is actually when your muscles repair themselves and grow. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause increase cortisol levels and a decrease in glucose and insulin sensitivity. Of course, none of these things are good when you're in the muscle building or fat reduction game, so shoot for your 8 hours! [says the girl who gets 6 hours of sleep per night]. I'm really hoping to see this number go up by the end of the 6 weeks, but I'm not sure what else I can do... maybe get in bed at 6pm?

BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using aniron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.  Our 3 part system includes:

1. An Armband that automatically captures data

2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day
3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-tounderstand way(*subscription required)

“Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia viaEmpowHER.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions orpositions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Post: Fit Foodies. Healthy Life.

Hello from Napa! I asked my friend Monika to do a guest post for me while I'm away... she's a law student that still manages to eat clean and she's following Jamie's program too! 

Hi everyone! I'm monika from Fit Foodies. Healthy Life. (previous the Skinny "Faktids") and Britt asked me guest post while she is away on her amazing trip to Napa (slightly jealous!)

Because she's away on a vacation and I know one of her goals for February was to enjoy the trip and not feel guilty if she didn't eat clean the whole time, I though the perfect topic for the post would be 'finding a balance'. 

I am huge on the idea of living a balanced life and not going too far extreme in any direction. That can mean something different for everyone and what I think is balanced will most likely not be what you all think is balanced. That being said, everyone has their own way to balance things in their life and it's important that they find out the best way to do that for themselves. 

It is easy to submerge yourself in something new - like clean eating or working out - and go all out for the first 12 weeks (or however long the initial plan you have is). The challenge comes when the real world happens and you can't keep going like you have been. This could be because of stress, work, school, kids, family, friends, events, whatever. The point is: life will happen. And when it does, you will have to adjust and find a way to keep your healthy new habits you've formed, but still account for life

I do this by making conscious decisions about what I am doing so that I don't feel like I have to do something, or eat a certain way, or go to the gym. I choose to get up early and go to the gym before school instead of going at the end of my day. I choose to eat healthy a majority of the time and sometimes I consciously choose not to. Perfect example: This week we went to dinner at our favorite fancy pants restaurant because we have a friend in town. My most favorite thing to get at this restaurant is alaskan king crab legs (and dip them in melted butter) - they are seriously like heaven in my mouth.  I can tell you right now that anytime we go to that restaurant I am getting those and I am not feeling guilty about it. I'm also probably having a glass of wine - another thing I love. Obviously, I don't do this every day, but when I do, I do NOT make myself feel bad about it. I don't go do extra stuff at the gym to make up for it. I simply enjoy it. 

Because I don't feel guilty when I indulge occasionally, I also don't feel restricted when I eat clean the other 98% of the time. I don't feel like I can't have something because I know I can. I just choose not to. 

Another thing that I think is hard to balance is time. I am a full time law student, working, doing an externship and on law journal. There are a hundred things I should be doing at any given moment but I will not give up my time for me. This includes blogging and the gym. Someone asked me the other day when I was feeling overwhelmed, 'Why don't you just stop blogging?' My immediate response was - NO WAY. It is the only thing keeping me SANE! If I stop working out and taking time to blog - which I genuinely do love - I am not a happy person. I am tired, grumpy, stressed, etc. For me, my balance is making time for these two things when maybe I should be doing something else. In the long run, it's not the end of the world if I don't get straight A's or the laundry doesn't get folded this minute.

So find your balance. Find a way to live the healthy life you want and keep the healthy habits you are working so hard to form. Find a way to account for life and not beat yourself up about it. Find a way to make 'you' time for the things you enjoy. 

Trust me - it will be much easier to keep it up for the long haul if you are enjoying the ride :)


Friday, February 10, 2012

Survey Time!

I have always been a sucker for surveys, and I have fallen to the pressure yet again. Okay, fine there was no pressure and I totally want to talk about myself. 

So, I got tagged by Lori at Get Fit Naturally and here are the rules:

1.       Post these rules.
2.       You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3.       Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4.       Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5.       Go to their blog or facebook page and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6.       No stuff in the tagging section about you, you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Random Things About Me:

1. I have 5 tattoos.
2. I am terrified of the grill. BUT over the last few weeks I have been getting over my fear because B has been home late a few nights and dinner has to get made! He actually caught me in action last week. 

3. I have dark brown hair naturally but I dye it black because I hate the way it looks when it's brown. Even though no one else ever notices when I get my hair done. Bummer.
4. I hate drying off after a shower. I would prefer to just stand there with the towel wrapped around me until I'm dry. It drives B crazy! hahaha. 
5. I'm horrible at cleaning off dishes all the way before I put them in the dishwasher, so sometimes they're still dirty after it's run. That drives B crazy too! :)
6. People think my mom is my sister. Often. 

7. I wear fake eyelashes everyday and have for many years. It's so much easier than mascara!
8. I LOVE the movie Grease. LOVE love love. Like, I know every word.
9. I have to sleep on the side of the bed that is closest to the door. Don't know why. 
10. I have a teacup chihuahua named Martini, but she lives with the parentals.

11. I play the lottery pretty often, because I need to win. So many plans, so little dinero. 

Here are the questions Lori asked:  
Favorite Book? I wish I had one, but nothing is coming to mind...
Weights or Cardio? WEIGHTS!
What is your biggest fear? I hate bridges. 
What is your favorite TV show? So hard, but I love Greys Anatomy. And Pretty Little Liars. 
What is your favorite food? Don't you eeeven make me choose! 
What is your most beloved item? My Sex and the City Bible. That's what I would grab first in a fire! After my cell phone. And my boyfriend.
What is your favorite gift to yourself? I love treating myself to a pedicure!
What is your favorite drink? I'm a green tea lover.
What would be your dream job? Professional blogger? :)
What is your least favorite vegetable. Artichoke. Not because I don't like them, but because they're dangerous! 
What is your favorite memory? My family's cabin in Big Bear, CA.

Since this has already pretty much saturated the blog world, I going to break all the rules because I'm a rebel and not tag anyone, but I want to hear some of your answers! Answer 3 questions from above! {Yes, I'm making you, plus it's Friday what else do you have to do? :)}

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats

I have a confession to make. 

I haven't been eating enough food. 

If I had a dollar for every time I told B "You have to eat to grow" I would be writing this from a tropical island. [I'm writing this on my couch while watching The Biggest Loser, thus there is no one that actually delivers on the "if I had a dollar" statements. Dangit.] I know you have to eat lots of clean food if you want to put on a decent amount of lean muscle, but until I recently started seeing how many calories I burn in a day, I never really realized just how much food that meant! In my post yesterday I mentioned I burned about 1500 calories... well, apparently I lied because someone on Facebook called me out on it last night, so I double checked and what do you know, I burned more like 1700! If I was trying to lose fat this would be great, but I'm not, in fact James Wilson told me yesterday I should be in a surplus of calories in the 250-500 calories range! That's a lot of calories people! This means I could potentially be eating up to 2200 calories on heavy lifting days. Absolutely crazy. I highly recommend you figure out your daily calorie burn if you have specific fitness goals in mind, because had I known this back in November when I started lifting to gain muscle, I would have started eating more and would probably have put on a lot more muscle by now. Oh, well good news is I get to up my calories! 

I started my calorie increase by adding a half of a banana to my overnight oats and in doing so I found the key to making gloriously fluffy oatmeal! 

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 a banana, mashed + 1/4 banana for topping (optional)
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
4 pasteurized egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk 
cinnamon to taste 

1. Combine all ingredients except banana in a bowl and mix well. 
2. In a separate bowl use a fork to mash up banana and then whip it into the rest of the mixture. You should whip until it is smooth and completely mixed in with oatmeal (no chunks!) 
3. Cover bowl and place in fridge overnight. 
4. Add sliced banana on top and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.

I'm not sure what the banana did or if it was the whipping but the oats were definitely at max fluff capacity! Okay, I'm off to eat my life away in hopes of gaining muscle and not fat. Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIAW #13

Oh my goodness it's Wednesday! This means only 3 more days until I get to take a break from pulling my hair out at work and go on vacation! I probably needed to start packing like, yesterday because I am the worlds worst packer. My entire closet will end up in my suitcase, I'll be throwing stuff in the last minute as we're running out the door, I'll take over half of B's suitcase, and I'll still get there and 'not have anything to wear'. I just know it. Happens every time. So, if anyone has any packing tips send them my way because God knows I need them. I'll also need to figure out what food I need to bring. Gah. Lots to do still!

Now, WIAW veggies edition. Well, it's supposed to be veggie edition but as you'll see I didn't really do great in the veggie department. Better luck next week. 

Overnight oats with blueberries on top. B's overnight apple oats looked tastier than mine. I was jealous, so I stole a bite without him seeing. Shh!! 

After a heavy back day I had this carbed up version of my pumpkin protein shake. I added an additional 1/4 cup of oats to up the carbs. I tracked my calories a few days last week just to make sure I was hitting the numbers I wanted to and think I can up my carbs a little, especially pre and post workout.

Cinnamon crock-pot chicken and 1/2 yam for my mid morning snack. Recipe will come eventually! 

Chicken fajitas and spanish style brown rice for lunch. 

Then it was about 3:30 and I was pulling my hair out as usual. It was one of those days (I tend to have a lot of those days, unfortunately) that in the past I would have gone home and poured myself a very large glass of wine. Nowadays, a Kombucha really does the trick so after a little debate in my head I grabbed my keys and headed around the corner to Sunflower Market. I knew I would be short on time and that I had a call at 4pm, but it's really close and I knew I would just be in and out. HA. No such luck. First, I get there and Kombucha is on sale so they are out of the flavor I had been craving. So, I spent like 5 minutes reading through labels of all the other flavors trying really hard to decide which one to get, but we all know that is no quick process because I over think everything. Even my Kombucha flavor. I decided on Cosmic Cranberry and headed to the shortest cash register line. Don't worry, it wasn't really short it just appeared that way and I didn't get back to my desk until a few minutes past 4. Just my luck! Anyway, it was all worth it because the cranberry flavor was awesome!! Highly recommended. Okay moving on. 

Spicy Tilapia and Zucchini sticks for dinner. Yes, this is the tilapia I accidentally poured balsamic all over instead of liquid amino's. B came to the rescue and rinsed it off for me, and I really couldn't taste it at all. Crisis averted. 

Then casein pudding right before bed. 

Also, I've been asked how many calories I eat a lot lately, so I tracked today's food and here's how it came out:
1696 calories; 146g carbs; 34g fat; 213 protein; and according to my bodymedia I burned about 1500 calories yesterday. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge: Week 1

I am a part of the blogger network over at EmpowHER.com  which is an award winning social health website for women, and they gave this amazing opportunity to try out the BodyMedia Fit System and blog about it over the next 6 weeks. There are 5 other bloggers participating and you can check out their experiences with the BodyMedia Fit System by going to empowher.com/bodymedia. 

I have been wanting to buy a heart rate monitor for a while now, but just haven't got around to it so when I got this opportunity I jumped! There are ways to estimate how many calories you burn while at rest, and you can say you average x amount of calories during a workout, but there isn't really a way to know for sure without a heart rate monitor. This becomes even more important when you have a specific goal in mind like gaining muscle or leaning out. The BodyMedia has helped me get a much better understanding of how many calories I'm burning in a day, but look what else it does too!

This is a screenshot of my BodyMedia dashboard. All you have to do is wear the armband on your left arm, and then when you're ready to check your stats you plug it in to your computer and it pulls this right up. First it lists your calories burned,then consumed (I didn't log in this particular screen shot), the difference between the two, how many steps you took, how many hours you slept (coolest) and then your weight. All aspects are measured by the armband except your weight and calories consumed which you manually put in yourself. You can expand each of the sections to take a look at a breakdown of each. Above, I have the calories burned section expanded to show my day, so you can see at the beginning of the graph is where I worked out.

My goal over the next 6 weeks is to carefully monitor my calories burned so that I can make sure I'm actually eating enough to achieve my goal, which is to gain muscle. Remember, you have to be in a surplus of calories to gain muscle and I think this device will really help me make sure this is the case. (I need to adjust my current weight to 104 since that is what I weighed at the gym today.) Also, I want my quality sleep to increase! I thought I was sleeping 8 (quality) hours a night, but apparently I'm really only getting about 6 hours. Let me know if you have a BodyMedia and what you think about it!

BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using an
iron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and
you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.  Our 3 part system includes:
1. An Armband that automatically captures data
2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings
throughout the day
3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-tounderstand way
(*subscription required)

“Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia via
EmpowHER.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or
positions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Red Bell Pepper Hummus and Cardio

Oh Monday. My favorite. 

I thought I would start today by addressing a question I seem to get often, which is "how much cardio do you do?" First it is important to realize you have to decide what your goals are and then from there figure out what is going to work best for you. I am more than happy to give you guidelines and point you in the right direction, but ultimately you have to do what will produce results for your body, and that may be different than what I am doing. With that said, I have done NO cardio since the beginning of November when I finished the LiveFit Trainer. I take that back, I didn't actually finish it- I got through week 2 of phase 3 and then stopped because the carb cycling and intense leaning out was not what I wanted to do at the time, and I was sacrificing too much muscle in the process. So, since then I have just been lifting heavy trying to increase my strength and grow my muscles as much as possible so that I can create a really solid foundation. Remember, it is very important to increase your lean muscle mass because that will in turn increase your metabolism, which will cause your body to burn more calories even while you are sitting on the couch watching TV. I tend to be a hard gainer (meaning it's hard for me to put on muscle) so I've been eating as much as I can and leaving out the cardio so that all my calories go to building muscle. I actually just stepped on a scale for the first time in a long time this past weekend, and my weight is in the exact same range that it was during trainer, which just goes to show you can stay lean without cardio, as long as you keep your diet clean, clean, clean. I will probably continue working out this way until mid March-ish and then start doing HIIT again a few times a week. Ideally, I won't have to change my diet much (because I love my carbs) but my goal is to actually have abs this summer so we'll see what I have to do to get there! Don't you worry, I'll keep you posted :)

Also, here is a fantastic recipe I played around with this weekend!

1 large red bell pepper
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans, drained 
3 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup tahini 
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp minced garlic 
juice from one lemon 

1. Roast bell pepper at 375 for about 20 minutes or until skin starts to turn black.
2. Remove outside layer of skin and place bell pepper in food processor along with all other ingredients.
3. Blend! Place in refrigerator to cool. 

Enjoy your Monday! (If that's possible...) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blackberry Protein Shake

I think I have a small appliance obsession. Do you have a Ninja? If not, go to Target and buy one. Now. {PS It's on SALE!}

I got my Ninja mixer a few months ago and I'm pretty sure there has not been a single day that has passed that it did not get used. Beyond it's great mixing capabilities, it's awesome because it actually comes with two mixers, a momma and a baby. There is a small one that is perfect for quickly dicing up veggies and the big one is great for post workout shakes. Ninja people are not paying me to write this or anything [although that would be welcomed!] I'm just genuinely in love with my mixer. 

Oh, and I can't forget to mention that the deal around the B's house is the cook doesn't clean, or in this case the shake maker doesn't clean. I get to have all the fun with the Ninja and make so many delicious post workout shakes while B has to clean. I love it. But don't tell him.

1/4 cup blackberries
1/2 frozen banana (this is key for the thickness)
1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt
1 tsp cinnamon (or more if you're me)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3-4 ice cubes

This was a great change from the typical pumpkin shake, and not to mention very pretty to look at!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIAW #12

I'm really hoping the second half of the week goes faster than the first half. That is all I will say about that.

Time for What I Ate Wednesday!

Oatmeal and egg whites (mixed together) with a handful of blueberries, then I headed to the gym for a crazy back day! 

Green pumpkin protein shake to recover!

I know, you can say it. TYPICAL! :) 

Leftovers from our easy steak dinner for lunch. Note to self: cut steak at home next time. Plastic knives and steak do not work well together.

Two turkey meatloaf muffins on a bed of romaine lettuce with salsa. I haven't made these muffins in a very long time but they are so easy and good, definitely going to start making these weekly again. 

Spicy rubbed cod with broccoli for dinner. I wasn't the biggest fan of this, I think I overdid it a bit on the seasoning. B on the other hand went back for thirds. Go figure.

We wrapped up the night with the most gory movie ever. Drive with Ryan Gosling, sounds innocent enough, right? Not! I do not recommend you eat dinner while watching this. Just saying. 

Happy Wednesday! 

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