Fitness · Health · Self confidence · Uncategorized

Beautiful day for a walk

Screen shot 2013-03-31 at 6.26.57 PM

It was a beautiful day today, so I decided to skip the gym and do my cardio outside. The city I live in is very walker/biker friendly so I went to check out one of the dozens of trails. download-2

I chose the Deible Loop, a nice flat trail on the southern side of the city. It is nicely paved and has a river running along side of the trail for much of the trip.

It was only 1.75 miles, so I planned on hitting the gym for some strength training afterward.

I was walking at a pretty quick pace, but the 1.75 mile loop seemed to be taking a really, really long time. Eventually I came across a 1.75 mile marker and new I had to have taken a wrong turn at some point and was on a different part of the trail. I eventually made my way back to the car in 50 (ish) minutes.

It was more than twice as far as I planned on walking, and it felt good! If my shoes hadn’t made my feet sore, I could have easily kept going — a nice change from barely being able to finish walking a 5K just over a month ago.

After going back and mapping my walk on the computer, it said I walked 3.46 miles. Not too shabby. I’ll definitely do that trail again (and probably try some others.) But next time I am going to take my dog, Duke.

Fun little markers telling you how far you've traveled — as long as you stay on the right trail.
Fun little markers telling you how far you’ve traveled — as long as you stay on the right trail.

When I got home from the walk, I immediately got to work getting ready for my upcoming move. I am really getting excited about it, but there is a LOT to do before moving day in the middle of May. I managed to thin my closet of two garbage bags of clothes that are too big for me (hooray!)

I dropped them off at the Community Partnership, a local non-profit resale shop that uses the funds to give back to the community. The walking trail today was one of their projects.

It feels great to be able to get rid of all those clothes, knowing they will never fit me again!

Goodbye bags of big clothes!
Goodbye bags of big clothes!
Fitness · Goals · weight loss

Progress photos 3-31-13

I couldn’t bring myself to take “before pictures” so I waited until I had been dieting for about two months, now I wish I had taken the photos. I took a set of photos at the beginning of the month and again this morning to see if there was a noticeable difference, and there definitely is.

I am going to take progress photos the last day of every month and post them to watch the difference.

Beginning of March, 2013
Beginning of March, 2013
March 31, 2013
March 31, 2013


Diet · weight loss

3.6 weeks lost this week


I lost 3.6 pounds this week, which means I finally passed that 40 pound marker. Woohoo!!! I’m down 41.3 pounds since the middle of January.

I’m the first to admit when I didn’t earn a weight loss. This week I was absolutely perfect on my diet. I worked out six out of the seven days of the week, logging 38 miles. This week I earned every last ounce.Screen shot 2013-03-30 at 10.28.08 AM

I didn’t make my goal of walk/run/biking more miles than I drove, but I am going to give it another go this week.

I even made it to the gym BEFORE work four our of five days (I don’t go in before work Fridays because I have to go in a lot earlier than on the rest of the week).

I needed something quick I could eat on the way to the gym and my grocery store had a great sale on Luna bars. I’ve heard great things about them, so I picked up a handful. I have only had two so far (lemon zest and chocolate peppermint stick) but they are really good! I’m going to go back to the store and stock up!

I’ll be posting progress pictures later today hopefully there will be some progress to show!

Diet · Food · weight loss

RECIPE: Panko tofu nuggets

The finished product. This whole plate of food is just over 300 calories. Yum!
The finished product. This whole plate of food is just over 300 calories. Yum!

I wanted to try something different for dinner tonight and I was craving chicken McNuggets (gross, I know). Clearly the McNuggets aren’t on my diet so I went in search of something that was. I came up with Panko tofu nuggets. I found a recipe online and modified it (as always). It turned out better than I could have hoped for!

Panko Tofu Nuggets

The ingredients for Panko Tofu Nuggets.
The ingredients for Panko Tofu Nuggets.


  • 1 cup Japanese style Panko breading
  • 2 tablespoons Grill Mates Tennessee Smokehouse BBQ Rub
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup light, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Press tofu.
  3. Combine coconut milk, garlic, BBQ rub and Cayenne Pepper.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Cut tofu in half, then in squares 1/4-1/2 inch thick. The more thin the square, the crunchier your nugget will be.

    Just before putting them in the oven.
    Just before putting them in the oven.
  6. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
  7. Dip each tofu square into the liquid mixture, then coat in Panko breading. Place squares on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
  9. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. (I used a homemade honey mustard sauce, a mixture of 1 tablespoon yellow mustard and 1 teaspoon of fresh honey from a friend’s hive.)
  10. Enjoy!

Next time I may try marinating the squares for a while before dipping them in the Panko to absorb more of the flavor. I can’t complain about how they turned out though. They had a very satisfying crunch — definitely going to add this to my favorites list!

UPDATE: I put the leftovers in the fridge for lunch and they lost all their crunch by the next day.

The nutrition information is for 1/3 of the recipe.

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.16.36 PMScreen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.16.44 PM

Diet · Fitness · Goals · Health · Self confidence · weight loss

1,100 calories burned before work. BOOM!


I had about 20 magical minutes at the gym today where I was completely alone. It was wonderful. I took advantage of the alone time to practice my sweet dance moves while warming up on the treadmill.

Surprisingly, after hobbling around last night my knees feel fine today. I still stuck to the stationary bike after a 10 minute workout on the treadmill (No need to anger the workout gods) after being an idiot yesterday.

For a warmup I logged a measly .6 miles on the treadmill in 10 minutes, but followed it up with 11.37 miles on the bike in 50 minutes. That should help my goal of walking/running/biking more miles than I drive this week. So far I have logged 31 miles at the gym vs. 34 driving. I would be ahead of the game if I hadn’t been called into work twice after hours… grrrrrr.

Overall I burned about 1,100 calories before even going in to work today, not too shabby! My Anytime Health app was happy with me 🙂

Picture 3

I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, but I have a feeling that if I keep going the way I have been this week, this could be a big number week for me. Fingers crossed!

5K · Fitness · Health · weight loss

Step ouch, step ouch, step ouch


I have laughed at the above photo many times before. Today, I totally get it.

Yesterday I wrote about how great I was doing on the Couck25K program. I was majorly pumped up over finishing Week 2, Day 1. That enthusiasm carried over to this morning’s trip to the gym.

I hopped up on the treadmill this morning and figured, “hey, this went so well yesterday, let’s give it a go again today.”

It went great. Even only one day later, I felt better and stronger doing Week 2 Day 2. I made it through 1.9 miles in 31 minutes (up from 1.85 miles yesterday — baby steps). I felt great, less tired than I was after I did the program yesterday. I hopped on the bike and 7.71 miles – up from 7.42 yesterday.

While riding, I was thinking “I don’t know why Couch 25K recommends a day off between runs, I feel great — I’m doing this again tomorrow!”

I… am an idiot.

Twelve hours later I am hobbling around like a 70-year-old ex-baseball catcher. My knees get super sore when I even THINK about attempting a flight of stairs.

From here on out, I am going to take that day off between workouts.

Tomorrow it’s all bicycle to rest the knees. Hopefully they’ll be better by Thursday to try Week 2, Day 3!

Now where did I put that ice pack…


5K · Fitness · Goals · Health · Sucess · weight loss

Couch to 5K update

sports race

I have been working on the Couck25K running program for about a month, working toward my goal of RUNNING an entire 5K race by the end of the year.

For the average person, the program is designed to turn a couch potato into a 5K runner in nine weeks. For those of us who have 100+ pounds to lose, it is going to take a little longer.

The C25K app is free, I highly recommend it.
Download the C25K app and get running!

It took me a couple weeks to get to the point where I could complete all of day one (5 minute warmup, followed by eight cycles of running 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds). I just kept working at it until I was able to somewhat comfortably complete it. Today I moved on to Week 2, Day 1 (5 minute warm-up, six cycles of running 90 seconds and walking 2 minutes, followed by a 5 minute cool down.)

I was expecting it to take me at least a week to be able to complete it without having to walk one of the running segments, but I did it on the first try! It wasn’t easy. I really wanted to quit on the last two cycles, but I kept going and I finished it. It felt great!

I didn’t even have shin splints, thanks to the new kicks!

I had been tracking my progress doing week 1 over and over again by watching my speed and distance increase. I knew it would go down a little bit because I would have to slow my pace moving on to the next step of the program, but overall, I was pretty happy with how it went.

5K Progress

Week 1

30 minutes total (5 minute warmup, followed by eight cycles of running 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds)

  • Attempt 1 — 1.68 miles
  • Attempt 2 — 1.73 miles
  • Attempt 3 — 1.78 miles
  • Attempt 4 — 1.78 miles
  • Attempt 5 — 1.82 miles
  • Attempt 6 — 1.71 miles (sore knee)
  • Attempt 7 — 1.89 miles

Week 2

(5 minute warm-up, six cycles of running 90 seconds and walking 2 minutes, followed by a 5 minute cool down)

  • Attempt 1 — 1.85 miles

Hopefully I will be able to comfortably do week two in under two weeks. Fingers crossed!

Also, I have set a goal for myself to walk/run or bike more miles than I drive in my car. Today I logged 9.27 miles (1.85 walk/run and 7.42 on the bike).

Weight loss goal for the week: 3 pounds

Diet · Food · Health · Recipes · weight loss

RECIPE: Reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne

Delicious, reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne.
Delicious, reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne.

Holy deliciousness Batman!

I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest for a lower calorie lasagne using strips of lasagne instead of pasta. I like lasagne. I like zucchini. Clearly, I had to try this. I find it difficult — it not impossible — to follow a recipe to the letter. Instead, I use them as a guides, throwing in my own ingredients and substitutions along the way. Here is how I made my delicious dinner:

Reduced-guild lasagne

Brown turkey and garlic in a skillet.
Brown turkey and garlic in a skillet.
Boil strips of zucchini/summer squash.
Boil strips of zucchini/summer squash.
Add tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Add tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Place zucchini on the bottom of a 13x9" pan.
Place zucchini on the bottom of a 13×9″ pan.


  • 5 zucchini or summer squash (I used a combination of both)
  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 15 ounces of low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 pint fresh mushrooms
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Start by grounding the turkey in a skillet with Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of garlic stirring occasionally
  3. Slice the zucchini in thin slices to be used as the “noodles”
  4. Boil sliced zucchini for about 3-5 minutes
  5. Drain the fat out of the turkey
  6. stir in tomato sauce
  7. Stir in mushrooms
  8. Line bottom of a 13×9 pan with the sliced zucchini
  9. Add the turkey/mushroom/sauce mixture for the next layer
  10. The next layer should be ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  11. Place another layer of zucchini followed by another layer of the sauce mixture
  12. Top off with remaining mozzarella cheese
  13. Sprinkle Cayenne pepper on the top before placing in the oven
  14. Bake for 20 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

The Cayenne pepper is optional. I cook with it a lot because I’ve heard it can help boost your metabolism. I’m not sure if that’s true, but either way I’m OK with it because it tastes good and is calorie-free.

I really, really enjoyed this recipe. It is really filling and serves a lot of people. I served mine with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

The finished product: Serves eight at 253 calories a piece.
The finished product: Serves eight at 253 calories a piece.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Clothing · Fitness · Health · Sucess · weight loss

Sneakers, a hike and a fresh pair of blisters

My new running sneakers. You'll be able to see me coming!
My new running sneakers. You’ll be able to see me coming!

I took a ‘me day’ Saturday and went to Columbia to get my gait analyzed and buy a new pair of running shoes. After they had me answer a bunch of questions and recorded me running and walking on a treadmill, they narrowed what kind of sneakers down to about a half dozen. I went with these hot pink New Balances. Once I start walking at night when it gets warmer, you’ll be able to see me coming!

Then I went walking around the mall and got a new pair of ‘goal pants.’ It is going to be a while before I can fit into them, but they should help keep me motivated. It was great to go into the stores and find I am down two sizes! Trying on clothes was a lot more fun. I also got myself a pair of black workout pants with hot pink stripes up the sides to match the shoes.

It's hard to tell from this cell phone picture how long and steep this part of the trail is. It was harder than it looks.
It’s hard to tell from this cell phone picture how long and steep this part of the trail is. It was harder than it looks.

On the way home I saw a historical marker just outside Jefferson City, so I drove out to take a look to see what it was. It turns out it was Clark’s Hill — a section of the Lewis and Clark Trail along the Missouri River. It was only a mile hike, 5. miles out and .5 back, so I decided to go ahead and walk it.

It was a pretty short hike, but very hilly and super slippery in places because of the recent rain and snow.There was one particular steep part that I didn’t really notice until after I was at the bottom of the hill. As soon as I got to the bottom, I turned around and realized that, in a few minutes, I was going to have to turn around and walk back up the damn thing.

I was glad I got out and walked it, even though I got some blisters thanks to the new shoes. It is just one more thing I am doing differently in my life. I don’t think it would have even dawned on the old me to hike the trail, I would have just kept on driving by.

Post-hike photo.
Post-hike photo.


Diet · Food · Health · Recipes · weight loss

RECIPE: Kick-ass low-cal soup

Delicious low-calorie soup.
Delicious low-calorie soup.

“Don’t you dare call that my soup Lynn Marie.”

That’s what my aunt said to me when I told her I tried to make her soup recipe — with a few modifications.

She sent me the recipe yesterday, explaining it was delicious and, even better, very low calorie. I’m willing to they anything that fits that description.

Here is her recipe:

Freedom soup

  • 1/2 large red onion sliced and halved
  • 2 cups cubed turnip or rutabaga
  • 2 cups sliced carrot (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups cut green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 head med. cabbage cut in med. shreds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 6-8 cups fat free beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cubed zucchini


  1. In large pot- spray bottom with nonstick spray.
  2. Saute first 4 ingredients for 10 min.or until turnips are el dente. (use some of the broth if necessary to keep from sticking).
  3. While sauteing, prepare next 4 ingredients and combine in bowl.
  4. When turnips are ready, add broth, cabbage mixture, oregano, basil,salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil over med heat.
  6. Simmer 10 min.
  7. Add Zucchini and simmer another 10 min.

And here’s what it turned in to…

Kick-ass low-cal Soup

  • 1 large sweet onion

    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.
    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.
  • 5 large carrots
  • 2 pints of mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 8 ounce can of sauerkraut
  • 1 summer squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups fat-free beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic
  2. Add mushrooms (quartered)

    Looking yummy!
    Looking yummy!
  3. Saute for 5 minutes
  4. Add squash, zucchini, carrots, 1 cup of broth
  5. Saute for 5 more minutes stirring occasionally
  6. Add remainder of broth, the rest of the ingredients and two cups of water
  7. stir, cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes
  8. Enjoy!

I’ll have to compare it to the original recipe next time I go home, but I was repay happy with how it turned out. It is super-healthy and filling. The only down side is that it is pretty high in sodium (thanks to the sauerkraut and tomato sauce).

This makes a LOT of soup. I’m guessing about 12 1-cup servings. (The nutrition label is for 10 servings). I had some last night and will have some for dinner tonight. The rest I am going to put in single-serving bags and freeze for quick meals when I’m in a hurry.

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