Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Car Noises

Hey there SmileHope you all enjoyed this morning’s guest post about losing weight while caring for a family. Katie definitely has some good advice Smile.

My day started off with a good cardio sesh at el gymo this morning:

  • 15 min elliptical
  • 10 min Stairmaster
  • 20 min Arc Trainer

Then I headed straight to Junior’s Tires to get my car looked at. It has been making these weird noises lately that kind of sounded like my bearings (I’ve had problems with those before). I was hoping I could just stop by and they’d be able to take care of it relatively quickly. I came well prepared with breakfast to munch in the waiting room:

bfast cookie

(oats, chocolate protein powder, almond butter, splash of milk, dried cherries, walnuts)

And my laptop to get some work done while I waited (they have free Wi-Fi!):


However, not even five minutes after I opened up my lap top the guy came out and told me that it wasn’t my bearings that were the problem. It was actually a heat shield that was loose (I think?) and I need to take it to a muffler shop to get it repaired. I stopped by a muffler shop on my way home to see if they had time to take me as a walk-in, but they were too busy and I ended up having to make an appointment for next week. Ah well, guess I’ll have to deal with the noise for a few more days.

When I got back to my house I worked on my next journal club for about an hour and then got ready for my rotation. I got hungry around 11:30 and was having a major sweet tooth attack (it’s almost that time of the month too so it’s really bad right now) so I ended up eating a slice of leftover baked French Toast that my mom made last night.

french toast

This satisfied my hunger and my sweet tooth without actually being dessert Open-mouthed smile.

Eating another meal before I left also kept me full for longer, so I was able to turn my work lunch into dinner. The meal was standard packed lunch fare for me: Spinach salad with all the usual toppings


(Notice I took the photo post-dressing this time as opposed to before like I usually do. Gotta mix it up sometimes Winking smile.)

Plus an Everything Bagel Thin with turkey, a Laughing Cow cheese wedge, and avocado:

bagel thin


After my rotation I came home and Skyped for a little while and now I’m going to read my latest book. The next couple days are going to be very busy so I’m going to take advantage of this time to relax while I can!


Enjoy your evening Smile.

Guest Post: Losing Weight While Caring For A Family

Morning folks Smile. I’m very excited today to present you with my very first guest post here on Healthy Berg. I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from women who are trying to lose weight but have a family to care for and/or don’t have a gym membership. While I always try to give the best advice I can, it’s actually hard for me to relate to these women because I’m a student, I don’t have kids, I have a gym membership, and I really don’t have to take care of anyone but myself. Therefore, I was stoked when my blogger friend Katie said that she would be more than happy to write a guest post for me about losing weight while taking care of a family. Katie is pretty much amazing and I find such motivation and inspiration from her and her blog, so I’m honored to present you with this guest post. I hope you enjoy it!


Guest Post: Losing Weight While Caring For A Family

Hi there! I’m Katie, and I blog at Runs For Cookies. I am married with two young children, and over a period of 16 months, I lost 125 pounds—via diet and exercise. Losing weight when you have a family to care for can be very difficult, especially when your spouse works long or unusual hours. My husband works 12-hour swing shifts (sometimes days, sometimes nights). A crazy schedule! We are on a tight budget as well, so I had to work hard to fit exercise and healthy eating into my life, but the end result is a happy, healthy family.


My family (post-weight loss)


I think one of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to cook your own meals. This is automatically healthier for the whole family, and it’s cheaper as well. I chose our favorite meals and changed a few ingredients around to make it healthier. My kids were clueless to the changes, and my husband didn’t mind them. He actually lost 75 pounds “by default” from my healthier cooking! I started using lean meats, whole grains, high fiber pasta, veggies to bulk up meals, cooking spray instead of pouring oil into a skillet, etc. All these changes seemed so small, but they really add up.

To control portions, I only cook what we need. For my family, I cook 4 servings per meal. I eat one, my husband eats one, my kids split a serving (for now—it’ll be interesting to see how much they eat as teenagers!), and the leftover serving is for my husband to take to work for his lunch. That way, there is no “going back for seconds”. One portion is all we need. I use just one pound of meat for a meal. I love making casseroles and skillet meals, because it’s easy to throw in some vegetables to bulk it up. They also are much tastier than just eating a piece of meat with a veggie and grain on the side.

Fitting in exercise can be hard when you have young kids, because you obviously cannot leave them home alone while you go for a walk or bike ride. It’s important to pick a goal (for example, walk 4 times per week) and do whatever you need to in order to reach that goal. Take advantage of every opportunity you can to fit in your walk. If your kids go to their grandparents’ house for an afternoon, use that time to fit in a walk.


(You could always exercise WITH your kids as a bonus Smile)


Fitting in exercise can be hard when you have young kids, because you obviously cannot leave them home alone while you go for a walk or bike ride. It’s important to pick a goal (for example, walk 4 times per week) and do whatever you need to in order to reach that goal. Take advantage of every opportunity you can to fit in your walk. If your kids go to their grandparents’ house for an afternoon, use that time to fit in a walk.

If the only time you can walk is when your spouse is home, then plan on doing it on your spouse’s days off, or when he gets home from work. When my husband works nights, I go for a run when he gets home at 6:30 in the morning. When he works days, I run at 6:30 at night. It’s not convenient to run at different times of day, but I do what I have to in order to fit it in.

I have done all of my exercising at home or outside. A gym is just too expensive, and I don't have childcare whenever I need it. I invested in a good pair of shoes and started walking four times per week, following this program by Hal Higdon. I trained to WALK a half-marathon. After that, I was bitten by the running bug, and that's what I've done ever since.

I eventually bought a treadmill at Sam's Club for about the same price as a gym membership ($600). That way I have no excuse not to get my running in during bad weather or if I don't have a sitter. A cheaper alternative would be to use exercise videos at home. You can find videos for any fitness level.

In the beginning of weight loss, it takes a lot of time to get used to a new routine. Every time I cooked dinner, I would have to enter all of the ingredients into a recipe calculator (at in order to find out how many calories per serving it had. However, you only have to do that once. The next time you want to cook that dinner, it's already figured out for you. After a couple of months, I had nearly all of my favorite recipes entered into the calculator, so the work was pretty much done.

I've found that the best time to do this kind of "work" is early in the morning before my kids are awake. I would wake up before my kids and plan out my food for the day. If a recipe needed to be entered in the calculator, then I would do it. I even pre-entered all of my food into the SparkPeople nutrition tracker, so I knew at the beginning of the day exactly how many calories I was going to eat that day. That way, most of the work is done before your kids are asking a million questions (Does anyone eat when stressed from the kids? Definitely ME!)


                          (My morning “me” time)


My biggest time-saver cost me just $5 and it was one of the most crucial keys to my success... a small white board, about the size of a sheet of paper. Each morning (or sometimes at night after the kids are asleep) I write out a tentative meal schedule for the day. I plan out the meals, add up the calories, and then write down a few different snack ideas, like this:



I choose my snacks based on whatever I feel like eating at the moment--it just helps to have ideas written down so that I'm not scrambling for ideas when I'm hungry and reaching for junk. Using the white board is great because you can erase as much as needed if plans change.

Overall, your success is basically determined by how much effort and planning you put into it. If you find yourself making an excuse, try asking yourself, "If my friend made this excuse to me for the same thing, what advice would I tell her?" and usually you will see the excuse through a different mindset. If you accept that it's going to take a heck of a lot of work to lose the weight, then you will be more likely to see success!


Me in 2009 vs 2011


Now be sure to go check out Katie's blog and tell her how awesome she is Smile. Thanks again for writing such a helpful post, Katie!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not Much Going On

Guess who’s counting calories again? This girl Open-mouthed smile. Every time I try to lose weight without doing that, it just epically fails. I’m not happy with where I’m at right now (about 10 lbs heavier than my lowest weight) and so it’s time to really start working hard.


On that note, let’s get today’s eats!

Snack before I left for rotation:


(In case you haven’t noticed, I’m totally obsessed with strawberry banana Chobani but they usually don’t have that flavor at any of the local stores. Meijer must have got a shipment of it in or something last week though so we stocked up! Unfortunately this was the last one Sad smile.)


I actually had something good for lunch today though (as opposed to yesterday when I was stuck buying my lunch). In my lunchbox was a spinach salad:


(spinach, dried cherries/cranberries, feta, and sunflower seeds with raspberry vinaigrette)

Plus some leftover BBQ pulled pork that my mom made that I put on an organic hamburger bun:

pulled pork

pulled pork2

SO GOOD. I think BBQ pork has become one of my favorite foods, I love it! I ate the rest of it right out of the bowl when I came home Open-mouthed smile. I would order pulled pork sandwiches more often in restaurants, but they always have so many calories. So lame.


Well, there’s not too much going on right now, so I’m going to get some work done and call it an early night. I’ll see ya tomorrow with a special guest post!!

Falling Back In Love With Strength Training

I must say, as much as I hate getting home after 8:00 (I’m working 12-8 at my rotation every day this week), I am loving having so much time in the mornings. Today I woke up at 7 am sharp and hit the gym. It felt so good to start my day off with a good workout; I miss being able to exercise in the morning. It gives me energy to get me through the day and I don’t have to worry about it when I get home and I’m tired.

I’ve sort of been slacking on strength training lately and I’m not really sure why. I think I just got sick of it and jumped on the cardio train. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, since cardio is essential for fat loss, but I can’t completely neglect weights either because I want to build muscle. Today’s total body workout was just what I needed to bring back strength training without completely skimping on cardio:

  • 1 mile run
  • Lateral raises 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell press 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Bent-over triceps extensions 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Alternating bicep curls 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Bench step-ups 3 sets x 12 reps (each leg)
  • Lat pull-downs 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Straight-arm pull-downs 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Seated calf raises 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Crunches 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Leg raises 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Side bends 3 sets x 15 reps (each side)
  • 15 min elliptical

I know it sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that I did the whole routine using super sets and triple sets to save time and increase the calorie burn. It probably took me around 45 minutes or so to do all of the lifting. I think I’ve fallen back in love with strength training again Smile.


Since I’ve gotten used to eating within 45 minutes of waking up, I was absolutely starving when I got home! Breakfast came in the form of an Everything Bagel Thin with egg whites, muenster cheese and strawberry jam:




This bagelwich never gets old Smile.


See ya later!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meatless Monday

The weekend is definitely catching up with me today, I am so tired. I was up at 5:30 this morning to pack up my things, write a quick blog post, and hit the road for home. I stopped at the Bagel Beanery on my way out of Grand Rapids for some breakfast:


(cinnamon raisin bagel with honey cream cheese)

I ate it on the way as I tried my hardest not to fall asleep on the 2+ hour drive. I was pretty relieved to when I got home and as much as I wished I could have just passed out and napped the rest of the morning, I had to get ready for my rotation. I did have a little surprise waiting for me on my desk though:


I’ve mentioned before that this is my favorite health/fitness magazine, and I can’t wait to dive into it and get some workout ideas for the next few weeks. I always find such motivation in these ladies; they are diet champs!


Speaking of diets, here’s lunch:


After a weekend full of junk food, it felt so good to get some nutrients into my body!


(Spinach, feta, dried cherries/cranberries, avocado, walnuts, and sunflower seeds with light raspberry dressing)


Unfortunately, we’re running low on food in the house and I didn’t really have anything to take for my afternoon meal. As much as I love my packed lunches, I ended up just buying something in the cafeteria. Just like the last time I bought my lunch, nothing really sounded appetizing. I settled on a veggie burger:

veggie burger

Plus fruit:


This actually wasn’t a bad meal. The veggie burger was good, and the fruit was delicious. I almost went back for a second cup but didn’t want to spend the money.


Well, I’ve got a magazine, a book, and a topic discussion calling my name so I’m out!


P.S. For those who were wondering, no I do not intentionally avoid meat on Mondays. It just happened to work out that way today and it was all I could come up with for a post title Smile.

Accidental Shoplifter

Well look, if it isn’t Monday again; nice to see you!


Winking smile

Haha. Today is going to be a little crazy. Since I don’t have to be at my rotation until noon this week, I decided to stay an extra night in Grand Rapids and drive back this morning. When I get back I’ll have to get ready and if I have any extra time I’ve gotta use it to work on some of my many projects I’ve got this week, since all I did was procrastinate yesterday, per usual.


Lunch was leftover pizza and fruit from Saturday:


Side note: This Pizza Hut ham and pineapple thin crust pizza (large) is only 240 calories for a slice. Win.

After lunch my day was spent catching up on blogs and reading. I really did want to get some work done, but I just never get days where I can sit around and do nothing all day so I decided to take full advantage of it. Eric however stayed hard at work all afternoon (kudos to those non-procrastinators) and was ready for a break around 5:00. The study break took us to Target, where he could do his nerdy thing and look at computer games:


And I could pick up my next book.


That I almost stole…


I can’t believe I did this, but while we were at the store we got into a serious conversation about how much we wanted popcorn and ice cream (we didn’t cave). He ended up not buying anything so we never went to the check out stands, and I got so caught up in our conversation that I walked right out of the store with the book in my hand! We got half way to the parking lot before I exclaimed, mortified, “OMG! I didn’t pay for this!”

I ran back into the store and the lines were pretty long, and since I was so embarrassed I just threw it on a shelf and ran out. I basically shoplifted without knowing it, and I still can’t believe I did that. However, the scariest part is that nobody saw a thing and if I was *that* kind of person I totally would have gotten away with it.


After my little accidental-shoplifter debacle, we came home and Eric cooked up some dinner.


This was a spinoff of chicken parmesan, and it was delicious! I served mine over a bed of spinach for some veggie action:


Mmm mmm good Smile


After dinner we went downtown to meet up with a friend for a little while. On our way out, we discovered a bunch of broken Twizzler pieces all over the steps leading up to the apartment. Seriously? I think God knows that I can't have sweets right now and is trying to tease me. I’m not amused.


Alright, time to hit the road! See ya in Traverse City Smile.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

“Back To School” BBQ

Hey hey, hope everyone is having a great weekend so far. Mine has been fantastic Open-mouthed smile.

Yesterday morning I drove down to Grand Rapids for a day of fun with my friends. A lot of my friends who are in the class below us (the third year pharmacy students) decided to move into the same apartment complex that we lived in for the last year and the one that Eric still currently lives in. (Aimee, Eric and I used to live in a three bedroom townhouse, and now Eric lives in his own studio apartment and Aimee and I are both in different cities.) Anyways, since our friends start classes on Monday we decided to have a little “back to school” BBQ to celebrate the end of summer, even though us P4s have already been on rotations for a month now.


Eric manned the grill:


And cooked up some delicious burgers and hot dogs.

Aimee baked fresh cookies and homemade dip, and I provided a fruit plate. We had a nice little spread!


My plate:


I made up for my lack of cookies with lots and LOTS of chips and dip. Probably not the best decision for my waist line, but that dip was sooo good!


Everyone chatted and had a great time while we enjoyed our lunch.



P4 Group photo:


“Signature pose” photo:


(We call this our “signature pose” because we almost always take a picture exactly like this at every get together we have. I think I have about 30 of them on my computer, and it’s fun to look back at them and see how much we’ve changed over the years Smile.)


After we were done with the BBQ we went down to 28th street where they were having a car show all day and checked out some of the cool cars.


I really don’t know much about cars, but it was fun listening to my friends chat about them Open-mouthed smile.


When we got bored with the car show we went and hung out by the pool for a while before ordering a pizza for dinner. Thin crust with pepperoni and bacon on Eric’s half and ham and pineapple on mine:


While Pizza Hut’s cheese lover’s with alfredo sauce holds a special place in my heart, sometimes I’m just in the mood for a thin crust. This pizza definitely hit the spot.


We spent the rest of the evening at a friend’s apartment playing drinking games like the good old days Winking smile . We ended up at a couple of bars downtown before calling it a night at around midnight.



I always crash at Eric’s when I’m down in Grand Rapids, and I’m sure you know by now that means I’ll be eating eggs and turkey bacon in some form or another for breakfast Winking smile. Today’s creation was a scramble consisting of eggs, turkey bacon, red onion, habanero peppers, cheese and some leftover steak that he had. We wrapped up the mixture in a couple of tortillas and it made for a pretty good meal!


(Paper plates = less dishes = win)


I’ll be spending the rest of my day relaxing and working on projects here in Grand Rapids before I head back up to Traverse City. I’ve got lots to do so I know I’ll be keeping busy.


Have a great Sunday!


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