Calorie Counting

I had a hard time keeping my eyes open yesterday.  I woke up, made breakfast and took a nap; I went to the doctor, made lunch, and took a nap; I had a snack, watched some Netflix, and took a nap.  Are we seeing a repeating pattern?

The good news is I made it to the doctor yesterday and listened to him get a little angry at his staff for telling me I couldn’t come in yesterday and instead wound up in the ER.  Have I told you I love my doctor?  He took a look at my tests from yesterday and felt around the area of my spine that was in pain.  He thinks it’s a tension headache as we store most of our stress in our neck, shoulders and upper back.  He recommended more yoga (it’s a good thing I’m committing to 3 days / week with the Yoga Challenge), wrote a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer, told me to take it easy and come back to see him next week.

I’m not completely sold on the tension headache but I’m moving more each day and I have been pretty stressed out so I guess it does make sense.  I just can’t explain the pain I felt on my spine on Thursday; almost like someone took a hammer to your spine over and over.  It was far from pleasant.

But I’m on the road to recovery and that’s the most important thing.

Anyway, I wanted to check in with the FitMixer bootcamp.  I’ve mentioned the workouts have been awesome and I’ve briefly touched upon the calorie counting but I think there’s more to be said, especially now that I’m 1/3 of the way through bootcamp.

I’m not one for counting calories.  I eat with intention and strongly believe that we can enjoy all foods as long as it’s in moderation.  But that doesn’t mean I’m in any way perfect and this has been a reminder that I still have work and obstacles to overcome.  Like stress or boredom eating.  We all do it.  And if you say you don’t, then I challenge you to count your calories (every bite you take in) for a week and then tell me you still believe that statement.

Because I’ve found myself walking to the kitchen while I’m bored looking for a snack, only to realize I’m not actually hungry.  I never really considered myself a boredom eater, so it’s been interesting to catch myself in the act a few times.  I’m working to break this habit.

Beside when you become aware of the foods you’re putting in your body, their nutritional value and compare it with your goals for the day, you get a real sense of the term “empty” calories. For example, marshmallows are a real weak spot for me.  I love nothing more than a soft fluffy and melty marshmallow.  And I can eat 4 of those big marshmallows for only 100 calories.  Doesn’t seem bad until you eat them for your afternoon snack and realize you’re still hungry and they’re not going to hold you over until dinner.  Does it mean I skip the marshmallows? No, but it does mean I only eat a couple, ripped in 1/2 and topped on 2 graham cracker squares.

Sometimes with a few chocolate chips too! ;)

And let’s not forget my favorite dinner as of late: a huge salad topped with 1/2 avocado, 1/3 cup defrosted frozen mixed veggies tossed in a light balsamic and topped with either 2 over easy eggs or a veggie patty.  Seems like a lot of food while I’m eating it and yet it comes in right around 300 calories.  That meal holds me over; that meal is a much better use of my calories.

Conclusion: calorie counting isn’t that bad. It’s eye-opening and definitely a helpful tool for those looking to lose weight or even just get a better sense of their eating habits.

Is it something I’m going to continue post-bootcamp? Not regularly but from time to time, yes because it’s a great way to just check-in with your eating and hunger.

Have you ever counted calories? If so, did you have any revelations or conclusions?  If not, would you ever?

Photo a Day June

Did you know yesterday was National Running Day? Did you go for a run to celebrate?

You better believe I did! I made it short and sweet because yesterday’s FitMixer bootcamp workout was a toughie, I felt a little low on fuel and I knew I still had a 10 min walk home from the gym. There was to be no fainting – listen to your body!

A few months ago I jumped on board with the “Photo a Day” on Instagram. Then I completely lost motivation and couldn’t get past a few days without skipping several. I decided to try it again this month. Really just because I enjoy taking photos and it helps build habit and improved photography skills (even if it’s just on my iPhone).

Here’s my photos from this past week.

I know it’s not Monday and I’ve shared numerous posts about my love for Bon Iver, but as I was sitting on my couch yesterday afternoon doing some writing, I had Bon Iver playing through my AppleTV when I suddenly realized there was a music video playing. The beauty of the video matched the song perfectly and I couldn’t tear my eyes away; it was just too beautiful. So I’m sharing. Deal with it.

And finally, I’m throwing a question out there to all of my amazing blogger / tech savvy friends : If I want to make a text box with the html code for the Fitness Friday button, how do I keep from it reading the html code so it shows as text? (Please excuse me if this is a dumb question but I can’t seem to figure it out!)

Cheers

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Did you do anything fun?

Since I was working most of the weekend, the highlight for me was Justine’s bachelorette party. I’ll be honest, this would probably be the highlight even if I wasn’t working the weekend. It was definitely some of the most fun I’ve had in quite some time.

We had a great group of ladies out to celebrate and now I really can’t wait for the wedding in July!  But with that, I need to pick out a dress.  EEK! Anyone out there see any cute (and affordable) dresses that would look good on me and be perfect for the wedding?  I repeat affordable…sorry, I’m on a budget!

Anyway, despite working most of the weekend, I do have the pleasure of having the next few days off work to relax and rejuvenate.  (And catch up on sleep!)  I honestly have no plans other than tackling my to-do list (which is fairly reasonable in length) and relaxing.  I want to do nothing else.  Sorry but I think it’s deserved.

Cheers to the next  couple days off.

cheers Food for thought: 

Music Monday / Born and Raised

I keep planning to share one thing with you but then things change or a new album I can’t stop listening to comes out and I have to make a sudden change of plans.  This would be one of those times.

If you know John Mayer; if you like John Mayer, then I must urge you to seek out his newest album Born and Raised.  I’ve been hearing the single “Shadow Days” on the radio but was super excited when I saw the album was released.  And then I was bummed when I had to wait a couple days before it appeared on Spotify.

Yes I was so excited for the album but wanted to make sure I liked it enough to buy first.  I’m pretty sure that means I’m part of the reason the industry has a hard time selling records these days – except that I DO plan to buy the record!  It’s just that good!

I spent my time at home with this album on repeat as I relaxed and laid around writing and relaxing.  Now because this blog is all about my honest opinion, I must tell you this album isn’t one of those albums where John shows you this whole other side of him or his musicianship.  This is the John Mayer that we all know and love.  Personally, I’m okay with that.  But to each his own.  But you won’t know until you give it a listen.  So take a listen.

And can I just quickly say that John Mayer needs to cut his hair! I mean come on…you’re not at Berklee anymore. ha!

What new music have you listened to this week?

She Said YES

Before you get all excited, it’s not me.  I’m just as single as I was yesterday. HA!

Yesterday was Justine’s bachelorette party and we had an amazing and fun time!  That night wouldn’t have happened if she didn’t say yes.  Maybe more on that later, maybe not.

Then there’s this:

She said yes too.  But before she could say yes, I was a blubbery crying mess over here.  You can’t take me anywhere.  Or show me sweet YouTube videos that have gone viral.

Note: grab a box of tissues before this one.

Balance

I’m on my way back to LA. And I’m not happy about it. In fact, I anticipate I’m pouting in the airport / on the plane while you’re reading this. I also anticipate this is making many people laugh.

But it is the truth. Please don’t make me go.

The good thing is that at least today I’m going back for something super fun, not straight to work. It’s Justine’s bachelorette party day! This also means it’s going to be a long (fun but long) day and if anyone has an in with a caffeine IV, please let me know. I anticipate loads of coffee over the next 24-48 hours.

I also anticipate this means I may be a bit cranky at work on Sunday. I mean, coming back from a few days off, with little sleep and a strong desire to leave LA (yes I’m still trying to figure out where to) but I might look a bit like this:

Consider yourselves warned.

Okay not really, I plan to go in with the best attitude I can muster because quite honestly, that’s how you make it through each day – the best attitude you can pull together is sometimes the only thing that lets you keep your balance.

I’m working on my balance. It comes with time and it comes with practice. But I’m working on it.

Happy Saturday to you all! Any fun plans for this long Memorial Day weekend?

Mine is Justine’s bachelorette party! Otherwise it’s workworkwork!

Foodie for a Day // FitMixer

When I signed up for the LiveFit program back at the beginning of the year, I decided not to follow the meal plan. What I needed was a workout to change things up and keep me motivated and I’ve always been pretty proud of my eating habits, at least most of the time.

So then I was debating signing up for FitMixer. Obviously you all know I ultimately decided decided to sign up but seeing as this bootcamp was going to cost me money, I knew I wanted to go all in – exercises and nutrition plan. In my week 1 recap, I touched on the calorie counting as being one of my toughest challenges so far. And while this is still challenging, it’s been eye opening and getting easier. I’m fully supportive of the whole food tracking aspect of the bootcamp.

While the cost of the bootcamp was initially scaring me away, I was able to justify it because they were sending us the full cost of the bootcamp in FitMixer products. So add that with the personalized nutrition plan, daily workouts and amazing support group and I realized I would MORE than get my money back. This was an investment worth making.

But this question stood: would I like the product?

Photo courtesy of Janetha

I had the opportunity to try the FitMixer Amino at Blend and knew from that first sip to the end of the workout that this was the real deal. It powered me through my workout and since has continued to power me through some pretty tough bootcamp workouts.

The verdict? LOVE IT!

They also sent me Chocolate FitMixer Slim and Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder. I am loving the Chocolate Slim as an afternoon snack with a piece of fruit! It tastes like chocolate milk – yummy!

Then there’s the Vanilla Milkshake protein powder. It’s delicious but boy is it vanilla-y. I’ve only mixed it with water or blended it into a smoothie and the vanilla definitely stands out – not necessarily in a bad way though. I’ve been mixing it with banana, spinach, or frozen berries. It’s been easy to blend up a smoothie in the morning, pour it into my Blender bottle and then just shake it back up for a mid-morning snack.

Delicious. All delicious.

Great products; awesome bootcamp; amazing people.

On A Plane Again

First of all, I want to take a moment to thank every person who answered my call for answers. It’s really interesting to get some insight into everyone’s journey and reassure my journey is pretty much in alignment with everyone else’s. Our twenties are a time for some major change and development and it seems that’s been the case for all of us.

While you’re all reading this I’m either sitting at the airport or on a plane. Lucky for me, I was able to book a last minute trip home to see my family – and while my sister is also in town!

You know when you hit that point that you just need a refresh? You need to step away and take a break? That’s the point I hit.

Yes I went to Blend a few weeks ago. Yes it was an amazing weekend that I can’t wait to relive next year (#blend2013). But I came back to a whirlwind and I’m in need of a reset.

So off I go for a few days of what I hope to be relaxing, fun and filled with good company.

And if I’m lucky, maybe even one of these!

Her Name is Betty

Call me crazy but I named my car.  Her name is Betty.  Don’t ask me why but I named her Betty.  She seemed like a Betty.  In fact, she seemed so much like a Betty I just started calling her Betty and then eventually realized I’d named her without thinking about it.  Betty fits, don’t you think?

And I have a new fascination with heated seats.  I used to think they are weird and they kind of are, but keeping it nice and low feels amazing on my back.  I now have them on (low) almost every time I drive.

And then there’s the sun roof.  A perk but nothing I’d ever consider a necessity, even living in SoCal.  Well that may have changed.  A few drives with the sun roof open on a gorgeous day and I may be hooked!

Call me crazy but I named my car.  Seeing as I’ll be paying for her for the next several years, I want us to have a good relationship so she lasts for many more beyond that.  Welcome to the family Betty!

Have you ever named your car? 

Did I just prove I’ve gone crazy and need sleep?

Happy Sunday!

A Call for Answers

I want to take a survey.  You can answer it if you’re in your twenties.  But I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts if you’re past your twenties.

  1. Overall, how would you describe your twenties?
  2. What were your goals during your twenties?
  3. What were your primary interests in your twenties?
  4. What were the three most fun and exciting aspects or events of your twenties?
  5. What were the three most challenging aspects or events of your twenties?
  6. If you could go back to your twenties, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?  Do you have any regrets?
  7. Do you have any other words of wisdom that you think could be of value to women in their twenties today?

You can answer one, a few or all.  And if you’re comfortable leaving your age, I think that would be pretty interesting as well.

I’m reading a book called 20 Something, 20 Everything which is about the journey of growing up.  It hits on the struggles of our twenties by sharing the stories of women who have already gone through it.  It’s filled with questions and “exercises” to help you think about your past, present and future and therefore help you find your best path.

Whether I take anything away from the book at the end is unknown, but it’s at least interesting and thought provoking which is good enough for me.

Happy Saturday!  Any fun plans for your weekend?  

I’m working all weekend to prepare for a spontaneous trip later this week.  Stayed tuned…