Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pasta Zero + Wheat Germ Giveaway

Good morning!

I’m just popping in today for a quick giveaway!

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I was recently sent some coupons to try out Nasoya’s Pasta Zero spaghetti and fettuccini.

Shirataki SpaghettiShirataki Fettuccine 

The pasta is low carb, has only 20 calories per serving, and is fat free, vegan, and gluten free. The Shirataki noodles are a traditional Japanese noodle made from chickpea flour and I was excited to try them! Unfortunately, I had trouble finding them in my local supermarkets and when I emailed my contact from Nasoya, she discovered that the product locator did not find any stores within a close radius to me that carried the product. I feel bad just hanging on to the coupons, so I want to send them to a couple of you guys to try the pasta for yourself!

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I also have one more coupon for a jar of Kretschmer Wheat Germ leftover from my review I did in November. I was holding onto it because I was hoping to find the honey crunch flavor, but I haven’t had any luck so I’m going to throw that coupon into the giveaway as well.

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I’m trying to spread the Facebook and Twitter love, so I’m including my followers in the giveaway. Here’s the low down:

  • I’ll pick three winners, one for each coupon.
  • To enter, leave a comment on this post, on my Facebook page, or tweet at me (@healthyberg) which product you’d like to try.
  • If you like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you will automatically be entered into the giveaway. You don’t have to comment to be entered but you will receive an extra entry if you do.
  • I’ll randomly pick the winners on Monday!

As always, thanks for reading and following my blog. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a WIAW post, or even just posted a whole day’s worth of eats, so I thought it might be fun to take advantage of this lovely Wednesday and do just that!

You can head over to Jen's blog to see what all the WIAW hype is all about – she came up with the idea and has been hosting it for a couple of years now. It’s fun to check out all the different blogs and see what everyone else has been munching on lately!

Obviously, since it’s Wednesday morning, these are actually Tuesday’s meals. Before I get to those though, I do have to throw out a little disclaimer here: Yesterday was a really good day in terms of staying on track with my calories. I don’t want to mislead everyone into thinking that I’m “perfect” every day, because we all know I’m not. Monday was actually a really bad day. My weight was up a little from the weekend and that bummed me out, which lead to some emotional eating. What the heck is up with that?! It doesn’t make sense. A person trying to lose weight shouldn’t want to eat more when they are frustrated, yet I do. So ridiculous. Anyway, after a long talk with Eric yesterday morning I had a bit of an attitude adjustment and I felt a lot better. I CAN do this!

Okay, let’s get onto the eats!

Breakfast: 

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I made a two-egg omelette with spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese and ate it along side two slices of this bread:

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I got it at Target; I LOVE their breakfast breads. My favorite is the apple fritter. They are so delicious and the perfect compliment to eggs in the morning. Believe it or not, I’m actually really good at making a loaf of this last for an entire week. I limit myself two slices per day and only eat it for breakfast. It gives me something to look forward to in the morning Open-mouthed smile.

To make my omelette, I sautéed the mushrooms and spinach in one pan and cooked the eggs in the other before combining the two and folding the egg patty in half.

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I always feel so healthy when I sneak vegetables into my breakfast Winking smile.

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All together:

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So good.

Onto the next meal!

Lunch:

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I made another veggie pizza for the week (this one had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) and I’ve been packing it up every day for lunch.

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(There’s two pieces under there)

Along with the pizza, I had a Fiber One bar and a Chobani Greek yogurt. I was stoked when I saw two new flavors at Target this week: banana and pear!

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The banana was good but not my favorite, but I really liked the pear flavor. I’ve kind of been going through a pear phase right now so that might have something to do with my fondness of it, but it’s delicious!

Dinner:

So, dinner last night was supposed to be this:

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On Monday I took out my new crock pot that I got for Christmas and decided to test it out, and I cooked a whole chicken and a bunch of veggies all day while I was at work.

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The chicken turned out fantastic – it was perfectly cooked and just fell apart when I picked it up with a fork. For the veggies, I used sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and carrots, but I think they cooked a little too long.

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Additionally, the sweet potatoes didn’t taste that good after cooking in chicken juice all day. I don’t like white potatoes and didn’t think it’d be an issue using sweet potatoes, but it was just not a good idea.

Well, I have a ton of leftovers from Monday night and was planning on eating them all week, but last night I was just totally not feeling it. Chicken and overcooked veggies did not sound appealing to me at all after my long day at work so I decided to make something else. I’ll use up the chicken and veggies later this week (or I’ll just freeze the chicken and eat it later), but last night this was really all I wanted:

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Another great Target find – this pizza is SO good.

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I used to love Amy's Kitchen pizzas, but this Archer Farms Spinach and Goat Cheese pizza is way better than any of those. It takes willpower not to eat the whole thing in one sitting, because I know I could!

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While the pizza was cooking, I also snacked on an unpictured banana. Great dinner!


This morning I’m off to a cycling class and then I’ve got the later shift at work tonight. Happy Hump Day Smile.


What’s the best thing you ate yesterday?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Skiing at Crystal Mountain

Good morning! I had such a fantastic weekend and I hope you all did as well!

With all this crazy snow that we’ve been getting lately, Eric and I decided that Saturday would be the perfect day to get out there and do one of our favorite winter activities: skiing! He actually went last weekend with some of our other friends, but I had to work so I had to sit that one out. Last year I didn’t go skiing once because I was so busy with rotations and other engagements, and I hadn’t gone yet this year either so I was more than ready to hit the slopes. The weather prevented Eric from driving up on Friday night (we had horrible snow storms and the roads were aweful), but by Saturday morning the roads were much better so he got on the road nice and early. He arrived at my apartment at around 9:30 am and shortly after that we loaded up my car and drove about thirty miles to one of my favorite ski resorts, Crystal Mountain.

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We were only there for five hours, but we did a lot of skiing during those five hours We pretty much just went up and down those hills all day with about an hour break for lunch. We rode up every chair lift and tired to hit most of the slopes at least once, but we definitely had our favorites that we went down multiple times. Obviously, we had to get some pictures at the top of the mountain.

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We also took advantage of one of the less crowded lifts in the back to get a few shots.

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The hill in the picture above was one our favorites. It was steep enough to get some good speed, and it also had a couple of little jumps off to the side towards the bottom that I could go off. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get any air whatsoever, but they were still fun Open-mouthed smile.

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We had eaten breakfast fairly early that morning, so by time 12:30 rolled around we were starving and more than ready to head into the lodge for some food. Neither one of us were in the mood for typical lodge food, so when Eric suggested eating at one of the sit-down restaurants at the resort I was more than game. We ended up going to The wild Tomato, which was downstairs below the main lodge cafeteria.

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The restaurant offered a full lunch menu as well as a breakfast buffet, which was still available when we arrived. However, after glancing over the menu I was sold when I saw the Italian Ciabatta Panini.

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Holy moly – it was delicious!

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The sandwich was so flavorful – I was very impressed. I loved the roasted tomatoes! The sweet potato fries were excellent, too.

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To go along with my meal, I had a peppermint patty to drink!

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Hot chocolate + peppermint Schnapps = heaven.

Such an awesome lunch! This was a million times better than the cafeteria food. I will definitely come back to The Wild Tomato next time I’m at Crystal.

When we headed back out on the slopes after lunch, I decided to move out of my comfort zone a little and attempt to do some moguls. Mogul skiing involves skiing through a bunch of “bumps” on the hill, and it is quite challenging. I am terrible at it, so I maneuver through the moguls at snail’s pace. However, it looks really cool to see advanced skiers and snowboarders make their way through the moguls. They just bounce around and make it look so easy!

Even though I was pretty self conscious and knew that I wasn’t any good, for some reason Eric asked if he could take a video of me skiing down the moguls. He wanted me to post it on the blog, and he kept saying “come on, your fans are watching!” I hate when he says that, because I don’t call my readers my “fans,” lol. I got so embarrassed but he wouldn’t shut off the darn camera so I finally just did it. Here’s the video in case you want to see what I consider “mogul skiing,” haha. The conversation between Eric and I at the beginning of the clip captures our relationship quite well Smile.

nice screen shot! ha

We spent another hour or so on the slopes after I was done playing around with the moguls before we decided to call it a day. We came home, changed and grabbed a bite to eat, and then headed back out to see a movie that we both have been looking forward to seeing.

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Oh my gosh, this movie was so scary! I won’t give away anything, but we both really liked the plot. It was different and original (something hard to find in scary movies these days) and the ending was totally unexpected. If you like scary movies I’d recommend seeing Mama – we both liked it a lot!

We were both pretty tired by the time the movie was over, but when we found out that one of our close friends from pharmacy school was in town we just couldn’t turn down an opportunity to see her. Our good friend Amanda and her boyfriend were in Traverse City for a little weekend getaway, so we met up with the two of them for a couple of drinks downtown.

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We went to two different bars before finally calling it a night. What a busy day – we were totally exhausted! It was so worth it though for such a great weekend.


Now that I’m nice and rejuvenated it’s time to get this week started on the right foot with a workout! Off to the gym I go Open-mouthed smile. Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Weight Loss Update

I guess it’s about time to finally address the white elephant in the room: how is my weight loss going? I have clearly been avoiding this topic, but it’s because it’s not easy to address the touchy subject when 2012 was such a horrible year in that department for me. I put on about twenty pounds last year and I can really see a difference in the way my clothes fit (or don’t…) and in recent pictures of me, especially the ones taken at Christmas.

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For comparison’s sake, here is me at Christmas two years ago:

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Not to toot my own horn, but I was lookin’ good back then! I want to fit into those clothes again – I still have them but I can’t get those darn pants over my ass. It’s a little discouraging, but I try not to focus on it because it just brings me down. All I can do now is move forward, and over the past couple of weeks that’s exactly what I have been doing!

During the month of December and the first couple weeks of January, my weight fluctuated back and forth about five pounds, but the past two weeks it has steadily been moving down. My “starting” weight was from a Monday, but I’ve been doing official weigh-ins on Friday mornings. Since last Monday, January 14th, I am down 4.5 pounds. It’s nothing to brag about because I still have a long way to go just to get back to where I was at the beginning of last year – let alone at my lowest weight – but it’s progress. I’m actually a little frustrated this morning because for the last two days my weight has been down another pound, but this morning it jumped up. Grr. Ah well, such is life.

My goal is to lose 50 pounds this year, and I would like to lose about 2 pounds per week. Here’s what I’ve been doing differently since I started losing weight again:

  • Calorie counting. I use Lose It to track calories (you may read my reviews on different calorie counting apps in this post) and I can’t emphasize enough how much calorie counting (or counting WW points, etc.) makes a difference in weight loss. I’m definitely not perfect, but during the week I’ve been pretty good about tracking breakfast, lunch, exercise and snacks. This lets me know how many calories I have left for dinner, and I usually guestimate those calories.

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(source)

  • Not going completely overboard on the weekends. Okay, technically there has only been one weekend so far that I’ve done this, but keeping it under control on Friday night and Saturday is so important for my weight. I have a tendency to completely overdo it and have an “anything goes” attitude once Friday rolls around, and it almost always results in a higher number on the scale on Monday. It’s okay to relax and splurge a little, but going overboard is not acceptable. My goal is to maintain on the weekends and lose during the week!

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(My breakfast last Saturday – I stayed on track with eggs, toast, and fruit while Eric ran out and picked McDonald’s. Oh, to have the metabolism of a boy…)

  • Following an exercise schedule. This is another thing that is absolutely vital to keep me going to the gym regularly. I like having planned workouts that I can cross off. If I don’t have a specific workout planned, the chances of me going to the gym drastically decrease. Additionally, I hate going to the gym without a plan because I just end up wasting time and wandering.

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I am lucky to have so many people in my life who support me, and I hope that you’ll continue to follow me on my weight loss journey. I’ll be posting updates periodically, and soon enough – as in, when I’m comfortable with it – I’ll start posting weigh-ins again, too. As always, thanks for reading and good luck to all of you who are on your own journeys this year!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Upper Body Workouts

I’ve been sticking to my January workout schedule to a tee this week!

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I like having a written out day-by-day schedule to keep me on track but I am always flexible if something comes up, I want to switch days around, or I just want to do a different kind of workout. For example, last week, I didn’t follow the schedule at all, but I still got in five workouts!

Here’s what I had planned:

Monday: legs, cardio
Tuesday: back/shoulders, cardio
Wednesday: long run (2.25 miles)
Thursday: chest/arms, cardio
Friday: cardio, abs

And here’s what I ended up doing:

Monday: 45 min cardio
Tuesday: legs, 30 min cardio
Wednesday: short run (~1 mile), 20 min Stepmill
Thursday: 30 min cardio
Friday: 60 min cycling class

As you can see, I nixed all the upper body workouts and focused on cardio and lower body – I even attended an unplanned cycling class! The reason I focused on lower body was because I actually hurt one of the muscles in my back during my crossfit workout I did when I was at Eric’s and it took the entire week to heal. I messed it up pretty bad! I couldn’t even sleep for the first couple nights after I hurt it. I’ve never tweaked a muscle in my back like that and I hope I never do it again. Not fun.

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Anyway, since it’s almost the end of January, I thought I would share the two upper body workouts that I’ve been doing this month (click here to see my leg workout). One focuses on back and shoulders and the other focuses on chest and arms. They both left the respective muscle groups tired and super sore the next day, so you know they’re decent routines! To keep myself from getting bored, sometimes I’ll do them in a circuit-style manner, and a lot of times I will superset the exercises.

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Back and Shoulders Workout

  • Pulldowns 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Bent-over row 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Dumbbell pullover 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Seated overhead press 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Lateral raise 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Front raise 3 sets x 10 reps

Chest and Arms Workout

  • Dumbbell press 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Dumbbell incline fly 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable curl 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Pressdowns 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Seated alternating dumbbell curl 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Overhead triceps extension 3 sets x 15 reps

I follow up both of these workouts with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio, usually on the Stepmill.

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(source)

I’ve mentioned it before, but I absolutely love the Stepmill. The one pictured above is actually the exact one that I use at my gym, and it never fails to give me the most fantastic cardio workout ever. It’s much lower impact than running, but gets my heart rate up like no other cardio machine (besides the treadmill) can. I know it’s intimidating and it’s tempting to quit once you realize how difficult it is, but I highly recommend giving it a try!

Well, that’s all I got for the workout updates!


Questions for you all:

Have you been focusing on strength training at all this year?

What is your favorite cardio machine?

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