I picked up my food haul from "Go Go Gail Grub" yesterday -- looking forward to see what someone else's cooking can do for me.
My plan is to have my typical breakfast at work (yogurt and oatmeal), a Go Go Grub for lunch and then a sensible meal for dinner. The grab-a-grub for lunch will be reviewed; look for my updates next week.
(She also threw in some new Organic Muscle Milk for afternoon snacks.)
I kept seeing the ads pop up wherever I went online, so I finally clicked on Grokker.com. Wow -- very cool! The site is in beta but it's a repository of cooking, fitness and yoga videos. Perfect!
While many of the videos can also be found on YouTube, the great thing about Grokker is that you can filter down the type of workout (or cuisine) you're looking for. I'm always interested in neck and upper back videos, because DUH.
This one is an 18-minute video led by Erin Motz, who has a friendly, helpful demeanor. This isn't a fancy video -- it's basically one static camera -- but it's clear and concise (except for that common "my left your right" stuff that doesn't translate) and I really felt some good stretching in my neck and shoulders.
The video is part of a 30-day challenge, but you can jump in to any video you want.
I'm embedding the YouTube video, but I greatly encourage you to check out the Grokker site because there are a load of videos you can watch and save for later (after you sign up).
I used to do a Weekend Wrap way back in the day at my Sun-Sentinel blog The Skinny (which still lives somewhere in the Internet and probably still racks up great pageviews for my former employer).
So since newspapers still haven't figured out the Internet (yeesh) I figured I'd resurrect it over here, throwing in a mish-mash of things that aren't big enough for a full blog post.
Back to the Fitbit
I had been loving my Fitbit Force, despite the fact that it had been recalled. I wasn't having any problems with it and I'd been wearing it since the end of December.
And then ...
That rash started developing right under where the contact was. So I took it off and filled out the form to return it (boo hoo). I had a couple other fitness trackers in the house and I gave them the ol' college try but I really missed my Fitbit. I used one of my Dick's Sporting Goods $10 reward certificates and bought a Flex, along with some extra bands, because FUN!
Then I found something on Amazon that made the Flexes even more fun -- a set of "safety belts" and extra fasteners in a bunch of colors. (You can find 'em HERE.) You get five different color rings and seven fasteners, and they also throw in a few extra of each as a gift.
Check that combo out -- I call it Old School Miami Dolphins.
While I wish I still had the time and my stats on my wrist, it Bluetooth-connects easily to my phone and my laptop so I can keep up pretty easily. And it still can buzz me awake.
'Do you even lift, bra?'
Yesterday, I and 16 other women (most of whom I know through FitBloggin') found out that we were in the inaugural group of Enell ambassadors. Cool!
I'm really looking forward to working with the company and ditching a couple of seriously worn-out "other brand" sports bras that threaten to explode every time I put them on. Last year at FitBloggin' I had an opportunity to try Enell's new Lite bra (at right), which is a little more flexible than its Sport bra. I don't do a lot of super high-impact sports so the Lite seems like it'd be perfect for my endeavors.
Wanna hear a funny/awful sports bra story? Back in high school, I decided I was going to take up jogging. As I slowly ran down the main drag (which, coincidentally is my current main drag), a car full of boys slowed down and yelled at me "BOING-BOING-BOING!" Yeah, I could have used an Enell back then.
Prolonged scale holiday
I'm testing out something for my pal, Diet Free Life developer Robert Ferguson, so I restarted his 3-Week Clean Start program this week, which means that I won't be stepping back on the scale 'til the end of the month. I'm trusting the process and hoping all goes well, but to make sure, I'm logging everything, even the 100 calories of seaweed snack that I'm crunching on while I finish this post (way too late). Did you know Costco has its own multipacks of roasted seaweed snacks? I love them -- perhaps it's because I'm a Pisces.
Yeesh -- did that sound flaky or what?
Wait, did I say lots more?
Actually, I wanted to mention that my sister is starting her "Fed by Gail" meal-delivery plan next week. We decided we were going to start with lunches and I have five meals waiting in my freezer for her to pick up this weekend.
I also wanted to share a great way to enjoy hot dogs if you don't feel like spending your calories on a bun.
I've seen carrots in hot dog buns but I much prefer hot dogs in lettuce buns. Make sure you find good-sized romaine lettuce leaves -- then you can load 'em up with sauerkraut and other fixin's. These were Jennie-O's new Jalapeno-Jack uncured turkey dogs, so they didn't need a lot of fancying up. They're really good and 80 calories apiece. I had two with a side of french fries green beans.
Hey, remember when I called this blog Shrinking Sisters? Here's one from my sister, Carol, who will be weighing in every Monday, because I'm making her food.
Staring me right in the eyes. Mentally, I'm ready; already started my membership to AARP, wearing reading glasses, inordinate numbers of "non-pigmented" hair appearing on my scalp. But physically, I'm not where I want to be.
My "diet" has always been, well, very unplanned. Unlike my sister, Gail, I do not plan my meals. If I remember to take something out of the freezer for dinner the next night, that's a big deal. I want to eat well and that requires thought.
When Gail told me she was test-driving another food-delivery meal plan, I was jealous. How awesome would it be to have meals magically appear at your door! No thinking, no prepping. Just eating! But those programs are always cost prohibitive for me. With Gail bring an amateur chef, I posed this to her: When cooking for her family of 3, why not throw another serving in, pack it up in a reusable container and do the cooking for me?
I suggested lunches and dinners, and I'm looking forward to what this could bring me.
Yes, it's technically Sunday on the East Coast and I am up way too late, but wanted to get in the review of my workout, which actually wasn't a workout at all.
Some months back I bought the very lovely and expansive Baladea fitness and wellness system. I don't even remember how I found out about it but I was entranced by its orange and pink color scheme and its "girls day at the spa" vibe.
The set consists of 8 DVDs, which includes interval training, strength training, aerobic dance, another slower dance DVD, power yoga, yoga and relaxation. It also comes with an eating plan, recipes and a resistance band.
I thought I popped in the yoga DVD, but it was actually Calm -- which is done flat on your back, eyes closed in corpse pose.
But I needed it, since I worked out hard the past two days and was sore as heck. I took the opportunity to slowly stretch my wound-up neck muscles to the left and right during the 20-minute DVD.
I also did what you're not supposed to do and opened my eyes so I could see what was going on. The images in the DVD are lovely -- women in coordinating yoga outfits on orange yoga mats beside an outdoor pool with a firepit and flickering candles. Very spa-like. But you'll never know since your eyes are supposed to be closed during the practice. So now you know.
There was lots of deep breathing, lots of exultations to "let it go" (and not in the shrieking Disney way) and lots of visualizations, which I really liked.
Holly Perkins leads all the workouts and her friendly, calm persona was nice to follow while my eyes were shut.
It's no secret that I love smoothies of all stripes, and my goal is to come up with ways to pack in as many nutrients as possible without breaking the calorie bank or having to resort to protein powder.
Don't get me wrong, I love me some protein powder. A large swath of my pantry is devoted to tubs and bags of protein.
But I had bought a tub of low-sodium cottage cheese (yes, it exists!) so I thought it would work great in a smoothie. Friendship makes the cottage cheese, and as a bonus it's also higher in protein than most cottage cheeses (16 grams per half-cup serving). Though it's not a salty tasting food per se, regular cottage cheese is surprisingly high in sodium, and this low-sodium variety feels more like ricotta cheese than lumpy cottage cheese.
I figured the cottage cheese would make a great cheesecake-like base for a smoothie, so I grabbed my bag of Wyman's frozen strawberries (I talked to the Wyman's folks at BlogHer Food and they were generous with their coupons) and went to work. I like Wyman's frozen berries because they're less humongous than other brands of frozen fruit so they're more flavorful and less like fruity ice cubes.
I ended up with a thick and creamy Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Smoothie that packs in a fair amount of protein and fiber without a lot of calories.
You'll find that I add half a frozen banana to pretty much all my smoothies -- they really help thicken the smoothie and they add sweetness without having to add much sweeteners.
Strawberry-Banana Cheesecake Smoothie
1 cup frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup Friendship no-salt-added cottage cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon honey or agave
Crushed ice, if you still have room in your blender cup
(It's noodles! From zucchini! So they're zoodles!)
I amuse easily.
Because this made me giggle -- long, neverending strings of zucchini that I made with a Veggetti, which turns vegetables into noodly things.
Last summer I bought myself a spiralizer, but the Veggetti is much easier to use, store and clean. It's also small enough to stash in a drawer. You can toss it in the dishwasher, too, just be careful of the blades inside.
The zucchini noodles I made were made on the thick side of the Veggetti. There's also a thinner side for making angel hair-sized noodles.
The thinner side works great with carrots, which work better in their raw state, for salads and sandwich toppings.
The first time I tried it, it didn't work well because my zucchini wasn't big enough.
All jokes aside, the Veggetti works better with bigger vegetables so they can get a better connection with the blade.
And you end up with cool, cone-shaped leftovers!
The Veggetti also comes with a protective holder that you attach to the short end of the vegetable and a recipe booklet.
So what do you do with zucchini noodles? First off, you need to sweat out their extra moisture, or your dish will end up watery. Just stick 'em in a large skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes to steam off that moisture.
I put two zucchinis worth of noodles in a ceramic dish, covered them a cup of marinara sauce and 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella and made kind of a baked spaghetti pie.
Since the zucchini was cooked from steaming out the moisture, I baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until the cheese started to bubble and brown.
(There are zucchini noodles hiding under all that.)
Want to win your own Veggetti plus a $25 Visa card to buy all the zucchini you want? Then check out the Rafflecopter below and do as it says!
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