My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

And Now, For My Regularly Scheduled Post

So, this is my third post to the day.  My first two were attempts to insert a video into a post via Windows Live Writer.  The first try was a complete dud, but on the second we had success.  So, check out Testing 4, 5, 6 to see the Quickie Fitness Blender workout that I did yesterday. 

Today I did an even quicker BobHarperLIVE workout.  It was an 8 minute AMRAP workout.  There were 3 exercises – thrusters, side to side jumps, and walking lunges – and you did the circuit for as many rounds as you could in 8 minutes.  I think I did 6 rounds.  By the end of the 8 minutes I was sweating like a pig.  I am always amazed at how good of a workout all of Bob’s stuff is.  Who would have though that 8 minutes would be all you need for a good workout.  I was glad it was only 8 minutes, though….my legs were really feeling it on the walking lunges.  In the end, those 8 minutes were tough minutes:
BH AMRAP 8 min 62 calories in 8 minutes works out to 465 calories an hour.  Not too shabby!

I tried a new recipe tonight:  Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken.  I got everything into the crock pot before I headed out the door for work, shredded the chicken before my workout, and then we ate after my workout.  This was DELICIOUS!   We ate it with a few crushed tortilla chips, some shredded cheddar and a dab of sour cream.  This was another hit with the family…with the oldest having seconds – when that happens you know it’s good!
skinny taste sante fe chickenAnd the best part about this recipe…4 leftover meals in the fridge!  Leftovers ROCK!!

Tomorrow I’ve got an easy workout day on the schedule.  I play hockey at 7:30pm, which will be a walk in the park compared to all of these killer circuits and kettlebell workouts that I’ve been doing lately.

Well…I guess that’s it for today.  Three posts is more than enough!  Thanks for putting up with those other video trial posts.  Hopefully when I want to put a video in next time I will remember how to do it and it will work.

Do you have any great, healthy crock pot recipes. 
What’s your favourite workout video?

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Looking Ahead to a Great Week

Today was a lazy day, but I still got quite a bit accomplished!

The day started fairly early at the rink watching my son’s hockey game.  They played well, but in the end, lost 3-2. 

After the hockey game, I came home and treated myself to a little nap.  I was just so tired, and really didn’t have too much to do today, so just crawled back under the covers for an hour or so.  I woke up feeling a bit more rested.  I really need to do a better job of going to bed earlier.   I’m tired of being tired!

This afternoon I put all the Christmas decorations away and got the tree out of the house.  The thing shed like crazy and there were needles all over the place.  I was kind of surprised it didn’t just crumble to bits and pieces when I moved it.  Apparently we weren’t the best with watering it! 

After finishing up with the Christmas stuff, I flipped through my Zinio editions of Clean Eating magazine, and got to work on my meal planning for the week.  I’m not sure why, but I chose the Comfort Foods edition as my starting place, and didn’t get past that edition!  I found 3 fantastic recipes to include on this week’s menu:

    1. Mexican Lasagne
    2. Chicken & Zucchini Alfredo
    3. Hearty Sausage & Cheese Frittata

I also have a crock pot recipe from skinytaste.com that will be part of the menu:  Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken. 

I’m looking forward to eating well this week…and of course, cooking clean will result in lots of leftovers, which means I will be eating well at lunch-time this week too!

Along with my meals, I also planned my workouts for the week.  I’ve got a combination of BobHarper.com workouts and FitnessBlender.com workouts scheduled, as well as my weekly hockey game.  

In the end…this is how my week ahead looks. (today was actual food and workouts..the rest is the plan)
plan jan 6-12

Tonight, after doing groceries and getting the kids started with showers and on their way to bed, hubs and I went for another walk around the neighbourhood.  It was a nice night and I covered another 3.22km.  Hubs back was bugging him, so he bailed around 2k and I did the last bit on my own.  Unfortunately my phone died before I made it all the way back home, but I know the total distance since it’s the exact same route I did last time. 
jan 6 walk It was a good walk, and each km was faster than the one before. 
jan 6 walk breakdown Seems like I really picked up the pace once hubby bailed on me!  I’m enjoying these walks, so hopefully I can keep them as part of my regular fitness routine.

Now, it is WAY later than I had intended to be finishing this post.  But…I got side tracked watching the season premiere of The Biggest Loser.  I’m looking forward to following the contestants as they go through their weight loss journeys.  I’m loving that Bob and Jillian are back…I actually never watched the seasons that they weren’t on.  I forgot how much people cry on this show…although I’m pretty sure Jillian would make me cry too!  MyTrainerBob is awesome….I love his website and workouts, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he motivates his team. 

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Have you got your meals and workouts planned for the week ahead?
Did you watch The Biggest Loser?  What did you think of the season premiere?

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Totally Random Tuesday

I am resurrecting Totally Random Tuesday so I can write about a few things that are not related at all!

1. I tried 2 new Clean Eating recipes. Yesterday I made Coconut Curry Chickpeas:

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And tonight I tried the Pumpkin Pasta Surprise:

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Both of these were very good, but I think I liked the chickpeas better because they had a bit of a kick! I need to remember to bring some Sriracha hot sauce to work tomorrow to give my chickpea leftover lunch an even bigger kick! Both recipes can be found in the Best of Clean Eating cookbook volume 1.

2. I am sore today from my awesome circuit workout yesterday! I am getting back on track with my BobHarper.com workouts. Yesterday was “quick core and lower body” and HOLY COW…my lower body is feeling it. I think the best move and the one I am feeling the most was the dead lifts. They really work!

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3. Tomorrow is my “Favourite Things” Christmas exchange with my hockey girls. The concept was suggested by my friend Kathy (you may know her as Jack Rabbit, my super fast running buddy). I’ve got my goodies bags packed with a few of my favourite things, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else brings as their favourite things. We always have a great time when we get together, and I’m sure tomorrow night will be another fun Corona Crusher party.

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How was your Tuesday?
I hope it was totally random!

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Oops, Where’s the Veg?

So last night, right after I signed off from writing my post, I made some crockpot oatmeal. This was the simplest recipe: chop a few apples, and then throw them into a crockpot with some oats, cinnamon, flax, chia seeds, almond milk,

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give it a stir, turn to low and 8-10 hours later you’ve got a delicious breakfast.

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This recipe made LOTS. I had breakfast at work today,

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and probably have another 4 or 5 breakfasts left, waiting in the fridge. And you know how much I love leftovers. They seriously make my day!!!

Lunch was another leftover meal…some of last night’s Buffalo chicken with buttermilk-feta sauce and spicy escarole. It was just as good today as it was last night.

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Tonight’s dinner was supposed to be Mulligatawny Soup…but that didn’t quite happen. Hubs was out for his work Christmas dinner, so wasn’t going to be here, and my older son wanted the leftover buffalo chicken…so I made the boys buffalo chicken wraps. I was going to have some leftover chicken and sautéed baby bok choy after doing my Bob Harper workout, but when I finished my workout (today it was yoga!), I wasn’t really hungry.

So, instead of eating a real meal, I had popcorn while I watched Modern Family. Not the best. Especially since today was supposed to be an “eat lots of veggies day” for the Elf for Health challenge. The only veggie I had today was a bit of the spicy escarole with lunch….unless you count popcorn as a vegetable??

As I mentioned, today’s BobHarper.com workout was Yoga. This was the first yoga workout that Bob has done. Just like everything he does, this was some pretty intense yoga. My legs were shaking, my abs were aching, and I was sweating at the end of the 20 minutes. How does that happen…yoga is supposed to be all zen! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be feeling this tomorrow!

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How many servings of vegetables did you eat today?
Do you end up a sweaty mess when doing yoga?

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A Tasty Tuesday

Today was a pretty good day.  I ate clean (for the most part), got lots done at work, and completed my Elf for Health challenge.

Breakfast and lunch were leftover frittata from last night.  It was still very tasty, and I kicked it up a notch with some spicy Salsa Casera and Salsa Verde.  Totally yummy!  Leftovers totally ROCK!

After work, I came home to start prepping tonight’s dinner.  Today was a new recipe:  Clean Eating Buffalo Chicken with Buttermilk-Feta Sauce and Spicy Escarole.  The chicken breast needed to marinade for a half hour or so, and the Buttermilk-Feta sauce needed to sit for a bit too, and that  gave me just enough time to get my BobHarper.com workout of the day in.  Today was a quick “Cardio Challenge”.  After 20 minutes or so of jumping around my bedroom like a crazy person, dripping with sweat…I was done.  These workouts are the BOMB!!!

sweat motivates

Hubs got home from work as I was in the middle of my workout, so he kept things moving on the dinner front.  He got the chicken into the oven and he sautéed up the Escarole.  The end result…OH.,,MY…GOD!  This dish was freaking DELICIOUS!!!

buffalo chicken escarole

It was so flavourful.  The chicken was moist, the buttermilk-feta sauce was perfect, and the escarole was super spicy!  Hubs and my l3 year old liked it too.  My son actually had 3 servings!  He wasn’t crazy about the escarole (he found it too spicy), but the chicken and buttermilk-feta sauce hit the spot for him. Despite the number of pieces of chicken he ate, there was still enough left for my lunch tomorrow, plus a number of pieces of chicken that we can probably turn into some yummy buffalo chicken wraps in the very near future!

After dinner, I got right to completing today’s Elf for Health challenge.  Our task for the day was to clean out our fridge and pantry.  I actually did my fridge on Sunday night when I put all my groceries away, but my cupboards were in desperate need of a good clean out. 

before
Our task was to get rid of all the unhealthy food and anything that was expired.  This was perfect timing for this task, since my cupboards were so full, I could hardly fit any new groceries in.  For the most part, the cupboards were full of healthy food, with the exception of a shelf of kid’s cereal and lunch treats.  There was, however, a LOT of expired things in there.  In the end, I got a big garbage bag full of bad food, which freed up a LOT of space.  Everything now fits without risk of falling out any time I open the door! 

after

The shelf of kid’s cereal and the not-so-healthy lunch treats are still in there.  This is okay, since I don’t eat any of that crap anyways. 

I do, however, have a weakness for Bugles….which I ate a bowl of while writing this post.  I don’t keep stuff like that in the house, but hubs put them in the grocery cart on Sunday.  Anyways, now they are gone and I won’t let him buy them again anytime soon.  Or, I could get some self-control and just not eat them. 

No junk food

And now I need to wrap up this post and make some crock pot oats for my breakfast tomorrow.  One of my fellow elves, Alyson posted a recipe the other day that I want to try out.  It looks pretty good and simple, so I figured I would give it a try.  I will let you know how it turns out in tomorrow’s post. 

How was your Tuesday?
Did you eat anything super tasty?

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Monday…No One Likes You!

Ugh…Monday.  Seriuosly…Monday’s BLOW!

There, now that I have that out of my system, let’s get on with this post.

Today is the start of the second phase of the Elf for Health Challenge.  I’ve been assigned a new Elf and as soon as I’m done this post, I need to send her an email.  This week’s Challenges are as follows:

Monday:  Drink you body weight in ounces of water.  I drink water all day at work, so this one wasn’t too hard for me.  I’ve slowed down a bit since I’ve gotten home from work, but I hope to drink another Litre or so before I go to bed, and that should put me over my goal.  Yay!

Tuesday:  Clean out your fridge and pantry.  I cleaned out the fridge yesterday when I was putting the groceries away, but I definitely need to do my cupboards.  They are a disaster and there is no room for anything.  I’m afraid of what I will find when I get in there tomorrow!

Wednesday:  Eat veggies at breakfast and lunch. Don’t save them just for dinner, veggies are good to eat any time of the day.

Thursday:  By coffee for the person behind you in line.  I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I do love my Starbucks Chai Latte.  I guess Thursday I will hit the drive through and pick up the tab for the person in the car behind me.

Friday:  Workout with a buddy.  Normally I workout alone.  Hopefully I will find someone to workout with me.  Maybe I can convince my sister to do my Bob Harper Workout of the Day with me, before we celebrate making it to the end of the week with Pizza and Beer!

Saturday:  Donate to a holiday charity in your area.  This will be a great activity that we will do as a family.  My kids take a lot of things for granted, so it will do them good to realize there are many people who struggle for even the most basic things. 

With these daily challenges, and my meal and workout plan already set for the whole week, this is going to be a very organized week.  I think that’s great, since work is so friggin’ hectic, it’s nice to not have to think about the rest of this stuff.  The plan is all set…all I have to do is do it!

Speaking of workouts…today was my first day back at the BobHarper.com workouts.  Man…I LOVE these workouts.  I’m psyched to get back into them and start seeing results again.  After a quick warm-up, the main workout was an AMRAP for 9 different exercises for a total body workout.  There were push ups, bicep curls with shoulder presses, skaters, mountain climbers, and a few other exercises that totally challenged my balance…which could really use some work.  I almost fell over a couple of times!  Thank God I do these workouts alone and no one sees how ridiculous I look!

Dinner tonight was a Meatless Monday Frittata.  This is a favourite with my little guy.  Tonight’s version had red and yellow peppers, zucchini, asparagus, low fat cheddar and some low fat feta.  It was delicious…and there are 2 nice big pieces left for breakfast and lunch tomorrow!
frittata 
Okay…my post is done.  Now I need to email my new elf.

How was your Monday?  
Have you ever drank your body weight in ounces of water? 

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Getting Things Organized

Today was a great day.

It was very relaxing and low key…which was just what I needed.

After a little sleep in, it was off to the rink to watch my little guy’s hockey game.  I absolutely love watching him play.  He loves hockey so much, and it shows every time he steps on the ice. He skates just as hard back to the bench at the end of his shift as he does when he starts the shift.  The kid LOVES hockey.  It was a very close game today.  It was exciting down to the very last second…and they won 5-4!

This afternoon I watched my older guy’s hockey practice.  They skated hard and should be ready for their game tomorrow morning!  I’m looking forward to that one already.

After all the hockey was finished for the day, I dug out my Clean Eating cookbooks and magazines:
clean eating cookbooks …and got down to work for today’s Elf for Health challenge.  Planning my meals and workouts for the week.
menu planning in actionLately, I’ve been pulling most of my meals from the Clean Eating magazines, but today, I dug into the Best of Clean Eating cookbooks.  I found 3 new recipes to try, I’m making one delicious repeat, trying a recipe from pinchofyum.com, and being realistic with Friday.  Here’s how my week of food is going to look:
the planI can’t wait to eat all these awesome meals.  And the best thing…I’m pretty sure every one of these meals is going to makes lots, so there will be enough for leftover lunches all week!  Breakfasts will be a little fly by the seat of my pants and either overnight oats in a jar or an egg, cheese and sriracha breakfast burrito.  Snacks will be go with the flow…I just can’t be that organized!

Part of the challenge is to also plan out our workouts.  I finally signed up for BobHarper.com again, so have access to the circuits, personal training workouts and the group workouts again.  I’m psyched about getting back into these.  They are quick, intense and effective.  Bob gives Sunday and Thursday as rest days.  I’m going to use Sunday as a run day and Thursday is my weekly hockey game, so basically I don’t get a workout day off in the week.  Since I’m planning to do something every day, I’m not going to stress if I miss a workout. 

Hopefully having a workout schedule for the week, I will have a better chance of actually doing them all.  Plus, I will have my Elf for Health buddy to help keep me on track! 

I’m nervous and excited about tomorrow’s workout.  A 3k run.  Sounds easy enough, but I haven’t run a single step since my half marathon back on October 21.  I’m doing the resolution run on New Year’s eve, so need to get myself back up to 5k in the next 3 weeks.  I suppose I should try to squeeze another run into my week somewhere, since I’m pretty sure running once a week isn’t going to be enough to get me ready.  Hopefully I will “remember” how to run when I get back out there!  I know tomorrow I am not going to want to run, but …

run
NO EXCUSES!  It’s only 3k…I’ll let you know how it goes!

So, I’m all planned out. Tomorrow I will shop for all my needed ingredients and I will be good to go.  I’m excited about this upcoming week.  I know what I need to do every day, so that’s one less thing I need to worry about…and that’s awesome, because my life is a zoo, so anything I can do to help make it less chaotic is okay with me!

Do you plan out your menus and workouts for the week?
What’s your upcoming week look like?

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I’m Meatless for Elf4Health

Today was Day 1 of the Elf for Health Challenge.  Our first challenge was to go meatless.  I don’t think I have ever purposefully gone a full day without meat.  I’ve had meals that didn’t have meat, but never on purpose for a full day.  Despite not really being to organized today, I managed to have 3 meatless – and quite tasty – meals.

Breakfast:  Home made Bagelwich:  toasted bagel, 2 eggs microwave scrambled, and a slice of low-fat sharp cheddar. 

Lunch:  I was not really sure what I was going to do for lunch.  I didn’t have any meatless leftovers so would either have to go out (which I didn’t want to do, since I only let myself go out for lunch once a week now…didn’t want to use it up on Monday), or find something meatless at the office.  I was just about to have a chicken noodle soup, when I noticed I had a couple of Indian meals in my office.  So, in the end, I had a delicious bowl of Matter Paneer, which is Indian curried peas and cheese. 

matter paneer

Dinner:  Last night when I was emailing my Elf4Health partner I wanted to include a meatless recipe for her.  I was flipping through my Clean Eating recipes looking for meatless recipes and came across a pasta dish that I had made earlier this year.  Once I saw it again, I knew this was going to be the recipe I shared, and that I was going to make it tonight for dinner.  The recipe was Mediterranean Veg & White Bean Pasta, and it was just as good as I remember it.  Maybe even better since hubs prepared it while I did my Bob Harper workout. 

med veg pics

And check that out…3 awesome leftover meals!  I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!!!

I got back on track with my workouts tonight.  When I got home from work, I REALLY didn’t much feel like doing a workout, but I changed into my workout gear and picked my workout.  I haven’t signed up with BobHaper.com yet, so I just did one of the workouts that I had printed out from last week’s circuits.  It was a cardio workout, and once again, after a quick 20 minute workout, I was dripping.  Doing the workout just reinforced that I should sign up for at least another month of BobHarper.com.  These workouts are quick and they really work.  I’m noticing changes in my shape, I feel stronger, and I can always find 20-30 minutes to do these workouts.  Hopefully I will get a chance to sigh up tomorrow. 

Tomorrow’s Elf for Health challenge is to send a friend a handwritten note.  I do not remember the last time I wrote a letter or note.  I do always try to write a little message to each of our friends when we send out our Christmas Letter, but that’s probably the extent of my note writing these days.  I’ll have to put a little thought into who I’ll write to. 

All in all, today was a pretty good day.  Hopefully the rest of the week goes just as well.

How was your Monday?  Did you eat clean?  Did you go meatless?

Feel free to share any of your Meatless Monday favourites.

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Clean Wednesday

This is going to be short and sweet. It is late and I’m exhausted, so heading to bed as soon as I post this!

Today, everything I ate was Clean!

Breakfast: Eat Clean Hash Brown, Sausage & Egg muffins
Lunch: leftover Eat Clean Mulligatawny soup.
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate date bar
Dinner: more leftover Eat Clean Mulligatawny soup and an apple
TV watching snack: another Dark chocolate date bar

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Today’s WOD on BobHarper.com was a 2 move program of Thrusters and Burpees, with 3 sets with 21- 15 – 9 reps. I thought how hard can it be? Two exercises. Piece of cake, right? WRONG! Oh.My.God! I was dying after the first 21 Thrusters…and 21 Burpees in a row is insane! I was quite proud of myself since I was able to do the thrusters with weights for all 3 sets and the girl in Bob’s video couldn’t do the Thrusters with the weights after the first set! This was another tough workout and once again, I was sweating like mad when I finished. This was a timed workout…I did it in 7:51!! That was 7 minutes and 51 seconds of hell!

Tomorrow is a rest day in the Bob Harper program, but I’ve got a hockey game tomorrow night, so not a rest day for me!

Bob Harper has a set of “Skinny Rules”. Rule #6 is eat an apple a day. I’m going to try to do this. Realistically, I know I won’t eat an apple everyday, but I’m definitely going to try to eat them more often. Today I also read a tweet by @joyoushealth that said eating apples helps prevent cavities too. Is there nothing this wonder fruit can’t do?

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How was your day? Any apples on your menu today?

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Catching Up

Today was a good day. After a very unclean breakfast of cold leftover pizza, and an unclean lunch of more leftover pizza, things got back on track for dinner.

I was finally home and had time to cook…and my recipe of choice was Clean Eating Mulligatawny Soup.

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I have made this recipe once before, and it was even better than I remember it! The kids liked it too….the 13 year old even had seconds!

And the best part…5 leftover meals in the fridge ready to go!

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While the Mulligatawny was simmering and the rice was cooking, I had time to do my Bob Harper workout of the day, and got caught up by doing yesterday’s missed workout as well. Doing two of these very intense workouts back to back was not very fun at all. I had to really push myself to keep going for the second workout. At times I thought about quitting after the first circuit of the second workout. I was telling myself that I did a workout today, and that could be enough…but I didn’t listen and kept going, completing all three circuits of the second set of exercises. I will say that push up jacks are not fun…but I surprised myself by the fact that I could do them at all. I feel like I am getting stronger and that keeps me going.

Do you catch up on missed workouts? Or do you just let them go and move on to the next one on your schedule, without looking back?

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