Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ode to Oatmeal

Through trying various diets, I've come to the conclusion that the perfect weekday breakfast for me is plain oatmeal with fresh fruit. It tastes great after a morning workout, is easy to make at work, and keeps me full all morning. It also seems to keep me on track all day - meaning that I tend to eat less at other meals and crave less snacks, all day long, on days I start with oatmeal.

Along with my oatmeal and fruit, I will also usually have either an orange, a hard boiled egg, or a Greek yogurt. Lately, I have been loving the Greek yogurt!

Recently, while I was doing the strict Paleo/Whole 60 diet, I gave up oatmeal and Greek yogurt. The point of a strict Whole 30 or 60 plan is to eliminate any and all foods that may not be agreeing with your body. I did feel great after completing the Whole 30. I slept better, had more energy, and just generally felt happy. However, it is not reasonable to give up all sugar, wheat, grains, dairy, etc. long term.

What I learned is exactly how sensitive my body is to refined carbohydrates like white bread, crackers, cookies etc. I'm also as sensitive to wheat bread and wheat crackers. In addition to being addictive to me, these foods make me feel sluggish and tired.

After the 60 days were over, the first thing I added back into my diet was dark chocolate. Of course! Then, I added dairy back to my diet, and as long as I eat it in moderation, I'm good. Then I added back in the oatmeal last week, and realized how not only is it okay, it is the best possible weekday breakfast for me.

My favorite healthy dinner is ground turkey, a bit of cheese, and salsa. It takes about 5 minutes to cook the ground turkey, so it's perfect for week nights when I get home from the gym. I ate this meal twice this week - and no matter how many times I eat this meal, I never get sick of it.

I had a great workout week this week too. I had two personal training sessions, I did one spin class, went to Crossfit twice and accumulated over 2 hours of cardio on my own. Again, see how red my face is! This was after sprints on the rower and then 15 minutes on the step-mill at a really hard to maintain pace.

The week was all hard work, both in the gym and at the office. By Friday night, it was time for some fun, so we went out for martinis. Life is all about balance right?

On Saturday morning, as usual, Jaxson followed Ed around the house, howling in the deep, commanding voice he only uses for Ed, when he is trying to order Ed around. The order was "take me to the park, now!"


It's always and adventure getting to the dog park because of the extreme excitement of the dogs. Non-stop barking and trying to get into the front seat. But, once they run around, they turn into little angels.

After the dog park we went to a baby shower, and then met up with my sister for a quick snack/dinner. My sister particularly loves it when I take random, candid pictures of her, and the post them online.  Isn't she cool?

And now I'm off to zip up my suitcase and head to Dallas for the week...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guess what I did?

Yesterday and today...I ran. Okay, well really more like jogged. But, I'm "running" again! Only for 5 minutes, which is when I start to feel the slightest twinge in my foot. Not pain, just a sensation. I'm being really careful not to over-do it, but I am at the 6 week mark of when I broke the bone, so I can start seeing what the heel can handle!

This morning was a gorgeous spring morning, so I grabbed the slower of the two dogs to be my running buddy.

Ed and Jaxson came with us, but ran so fast that we lost them and didn't know which way they turned. Oh well, Mario and I do not appreciate running snobs anyway!

This weekend has definitely been the best part of the week. What a rough week it has been!

Monday was the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. Such a scary, horrible day. I knew 4 people running the marathon, and numerous coworkers were down in the city watching the race. Cell phones were down, so it took hours to find out if everyone was okay. That day I was even worried about Ed getting home from work safely because at first they tied an unrelated fire at the JFK library to the bombings.

On Tuesday night, I had to stay late at work, but I still managed to get a good workout in on my own, using the rower. See how red my face is?

Then on Wednesday I had my wisdom teeth out. I was terrified of the laughing gas and anesthesia. Turns out that was the easy part - the recovery has been the worst. Its now day 5, and it still hurts and I can barely eat solid food.

On Friday morning I was awoken around 2am by sirens and helicopters. The chase for the bombing suspects was in full force one town over. My town was placed on lock down, and I pretty freaked out, so we stayed in and watched the search on TV all day. All businesses in my town, including my office, were closed. It was surreal seeing places we frequently go on TV inundated with hundreds of cops, FBI, SWAT teams, and special forces and seeing the Best Buy parking lot turned into a "staging" area.

I felt overwhelmed watching the showing of law enforcement work to protect us. And all of the departments did an amazing job. It was certainly a relief when they caught the second suspect. I'm ready for things to go back to normal, as much as they can, given that there are victims who have a long recovery and are without legs, and given that 4 innocent people lost their lives. I hope that this coming week is uneventful and that the healing continues for all.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Patriot's Day!

On Saturday morning I felt blah and lethargic. I didn't help that it was cloudy and gray out. I just did not feel like going to the gym. We took Jaxson to the park and then I took a long nap. When I woke up, I felt much better.

I realized I was in the mood for a long bike ride.  We have never been to the Minuteman Bikeway, even though it is only 20 minutes from our house. I found a bike rental shop online, and we were on our way. Unfortunately, we only had an hour and a half to bike because the store was closing at 5pm.

I would highly recommend The Bike Stop. It was right on the trail. You literally get on the bike and start riding. The bike was also the best rental bike I have ever ridden. Very comfortable and a smooth ride.

So, about the bike trail. It's called the Minuteman Bikeway. And Monday is Patriot's day, a holiday in Massachusetts commemorating the first battles of the Revolutionary War which took place in Lexington and Concord. The bike trail goes through Lexington. That explains why, as we were biking, we started seeing colonial-looking people in the woods. As we got closer, we realized we had happened upon a full reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle between the Colonists and the British.

"The British are coming! The British are coming!" I was pretty excited. Colonial Times was definitely my favorite time period in history class. I remember I crafted a whole elaborate colonial village as a history project in middle school. I also remember some of my favorite books from school were The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Scarlet Letter about the Salem witch trials (from before the Revolutionary War) and then My Brother Sam is Dead about the Revolutionary War.

Me biking alongside the Minutemen!

Our workout was probably only 45 minutes long since we stopped to watch the battle, but it was totally worth it. We were so lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.

After we returned the bikes, we went out to dinner at our usual pub. I had a great salad and stuck to soda water with lime for drinks.

And I ended the night with a treat.

So, my bike trail has the Revolutionary War. What does your bike trail have?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Planning for the week

This is not a normal week. This, infact, is an awful week. One I have been dreading for months. I am getting my wisdom teeth out on Wednesday. Therefore, I only need food for myself for 2 days.

Menu for Monday and Tuesday

Pre-gym snack: bananna and coffee

Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, oatmeal with berries, and coffee

Morning snack: cottage cheese and an orange

Lunch: spinach, sprouts, chicken, cheddar cheese, walnuts, apple, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots

Afternoon snack: frozen grapes (to replace my more frequent trips to the office candy jar), peppers with guacamole, and popcorn

Dinners: Sunday will be salmon on the grill, Monday burgers on the grill (without the bread) along with a veggie stir-fry, and Tuesday will a huge salad from the Wholefoods salad bar - because I can't have breakfast before my wisdom teeth surgery

Healthy foods after wisdom teeth

Coconut ice cream
Greek yogurt
Cottage cheese
Protein shake
Green juice
Chicken noodle soup
Scrambled eggs
Bananna ice cream
Mashed sweet potato


Sunday: Long bike ride
Monday: stepmill, weight lifting, and swimming in the morning, spin in the evening
Tuesday: cardio in the morning, air bike and pull-ups at night
Wednesday-Thursday: off
Friday: personal training... maybe

I'm really focusing on my eating this week because...

I'm off to Wholefoods. Hope you have a healthy week!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The week in review

The first half of the week went very well since I had prepared a bunch of healthy options for the week last Sunday.

On Monday morning, I did a combination of spinning on my own and the step-mill before an hour of personal training. On Monday night, I skipped my usual spin class to work late. I took a rest day on Tuesday to get ready for my business trip to Florida.

This was my breakfast on Tuesday - spaghetti squash, broccoli, sweet potato, asparagus, and some cheese, along with my favorite green juice from Wholefoods. Tuesday night I was up late packing.

Wednesday morning I took an hour spin class before personal training. My spin teacher commented that she could tell I really fighting myself not to stand (I can't because of a broken bone in my heel). Really? Ya think? Have you tried doing spin for an hour without standing?

Wednesday afternoon I flew down to Florida. We landed after it was dark, and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Despite it's name, they have a great diet menu. I got the white bean chicken chili with rice, and the menu said it was under 590 calories. Works for me!

My meeting on Thursday was at 8:30am. It takes me about an hour to get ready, when I am really trying to look my best. I straighten my hair, wear make-up, and iron my clothes. These are all things I do not normally do.

 Elevator shot. I was just praying no one got on and caught me.

I am a huge fan of Hampton Inns for business travel. Not only do they have great service and clean rooms, they also have healthy options for breakfast. I had to fill up since our meeting was going to last all morning. I had oatmeal with walnuts, two eggs, some grapefruit and pineapple, and coffee.

This shot is from outside the office of the client we were visiting. Looks more like a resort to me than a corporate HQ. When I got into the meeting, I was like "I'll have a Bahama Mama Please." Oops.

Breakfast kept me full until 1pm when we got back to the airport. I picked up a salmon burger and chocolate protein bar before I got on the plane. I also had an apple and the free Terra Blue chips.

Taking off from Fort Lauderdale, we flew directly east. I think the island below is Bimini. All I know is it looked nice so I yelled "Pull over the plane. I have to use the bathroom". It didn't work, and alas, before I knew it I was back in gloomy, cold Boston.

I thought it was cool that we landed side by side with a Southwest flight. I was all like "c'mon want to race?" to the passenger in seat 23F on that flight. You can also see Castle Island below the wing. This an oceanfront park and my absolute favorite place to walk/run in Boston.

We landed at about 4pm, so I went back to the office for the rest of the day. That night Ed and I went out to dinner to celebrate a very successful business trip for me.

Don't judge.

I ended the week with a nice Friday morning workout. I took a 45 minute spin class and then had an hour-long personal training session.

And the highlight of the week? As he approaches his second birthday, Jaxson is finally calm enough to sleep through the night in our room. He no longer wanders the room looking for items to steal and chew. He is so proud of himself that he is now sleeping in our room. He wakes up with a big doggy smile. We're proud too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting back on track

This weekend was hands down one of the hardest of my life. My uncle passed away suddenly. Maybe when I can get my thoughts and emotions together enough, I will write something that does justice to what an amazing uncle he was.

But tonight I did go through Facebook and look at all the pictures he left comments on. Every time I read his comments they make me laugh. He was the funniest person I know.

Out of the blue, he posted this picture of me.

His caption: " this is my loving niece lauren we had such great hopes for her ,sadly though she turned out to be...yeah you guessed it a redsox fan.we think she went to the dark side right around the time she married...we don't even like to say his name just this once ed.even if we had apicture we wouldn't put it up! haha".

And then he commented on this picture.

Comment: " maybe ed could remove the trash from a top his noggin other than that a nice looking couple."

So how did I cope with my grief? I hate to say it, but with food - or abuse of food to be more specific. I ate cookies, chocolate, a brownie, macaroni and cheese, and doritos yesterday. It was not good. I told Ed last night that I was very worried about it - since this kind of overeating happened a few times since my Paleo challenge ended. He reminded me that I am a changed person, and not the out-of-control sugar addict I felt like last night. He promised to help me get back on track today, which he did. I had a healthy omelet for breakfast. A salad from the Wholefoods salad bar for lunch, and apple and a handful of nuts for snacks, and salmon and vegetables for dinner.

I spent some time this evening prepping food to make sure I have healthy options to grab all week. I cooked some spaghetti squash.


And I cut up some peppers to dip in guacamole and hummus. This will make a great work snack, since I need to be extra careful to stay away from the candy jars this week.


I bought some fresh asparagus at Wholefoods and chopped that up.


Then I sauteed the asparagus along with broccoli, mushrooms, and one large sweet potato. In addition olive oil, I used garlic powder, minced onion, oregano, and salt to season. It came out delicious. I like adding the sweet potato because it brings a nice contrast in taste and texture to the mix.


There is one thing lately that made me crack a smile... We had to bring the dogs to "overnight camp", and Jaxson wanted to ride on my mom's lap - just like he did when he was a puppy.

Then and now.  

It doesn't work so well now that he weighs 75lbs. Also, note the innocent baby look he had back then, as compared to the rebellious teenager look he has now.

Anyway, now it is time to start the week. I have meetings all day Monday and Tuesday, and then I am going to Florida on Wednesda y for a sales meeting. Down on Wednesday, back on Thursday = exhausting.This meeting is also going to require a lot of preparation, which I'm not sure how or when I will get it done. Happy almost Monday!