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A Healthy Lifestyle Should Be

A healthy lifestyle should be:

  • fun
  • an enjoyable challenge
  • yet also realistic and reachable
  • a catalyst for growth
  • a journey
  • fulfilling
  • available to everyone
  • joyous and without judgement
  • delicious
  • maintainable
  • guided but not restricted
  • desired

A healthy lifestyle should not be:

  • gruelling
  • embarrassing
  • high-stress/high-pressure
  • a sole source of self-worth
  • an item to check off the list
  • an elite, hardcore club
  • boring
  • an excuse to look down on others
  • difficult
  • forced
  • bland
  • limited

Have fun with it. 🙂  Happy health!


Cookies, pull-ups, and lentils, oh my!

Arrrgh (said like a frustrated pirate). I just realized that my pictures from the last few days are being held hostage in my camera, which goes through batteries like a black widow goes through husbands.  In the meantime, you’ll just have to make do with my ramblings and glaring eccentricities.

Exercise 11/30/09 – After I spent the day pulling out my hair at work and stuffing myself full of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that were meant to be shared (yeah right, are they ever?) with all of the coworkers who never showed up, I felt especially motivated for a good workout.  I am not usually a comfort eater but yesterday I definitely was.

  • 30 minutes of strength training including pyramid sets of push-ups (75 total) and pull-ups (21 total), squats, and ab work.
  • 2 mile run easy on the indoor track to test out my ankle.  It did fabulously!  I’ll take today off and try for an easy 3 mile or so run on Wed. or Thurs.
  • 10 minutes elliptical above 5.5 speed on level 6 or 7, can’t remember.

Work kind of blew but I felt fantastic after my workout.  I went home, had a recovery shake to get my post-workout 2:1 ratio of simple carbs to proteins, followed by a glass of wine (a perfect pair if I do say so), and made my loose interpretation of Angela’s red lentil soup again.  I had been craving it for hours.  It was perfect and ended up being ready just as D walked in the door.  I served it with a toasted slice of sprouted grain bread because it’s December in the bleak Blue Ridge and exceptions are made.

Our friend came over and we watched an episode of Dexter.  If the opening sequence of that show is not one of the very BEST EVER, I don’t know what is:

Absolutely brilliant.

That ties with the opening sequence of The I.T. Crowd as my favorite television show  sequences.

There are only a few days left to vote in the Love! This Site Divine Caroline contest.

As I said above, my ankle is doing miles better now than it was.  However, it’s popping something crazy.  It hurts yet feels good in the process, sort of like a spanking.  Did I just say that?

‘Twas a lovely morning.

My four mile run this morning was lovely (pardon the thumb). ❤

morning run 11-13-09

Again, my pre-run snack (small banana) and running outfit worked out nicely.  It was about 45-50 degrees F.  Afterward I did a long, thorough stretch and felt really refreshed.  I usually have a delicious strawberry recovery shake (I do like some supplemental shake powders although I prefer to eat mostly real foods) after workouts but my current flavor makes me pretty nauseous so I’ve been avoiding it.  Instead, I had a large glass of organic skim milk with a little bit of chocolate syrup and a mini Twix bar for a mixture of easily-digested protein and simple carbs. 🙂  I don’t like extremely chocolatey milk….yet I was fine with a piece of chocolate candy on the side.  Go figure.

Once I got to work I had my usual breakfast of a sprouted grain english muffin with natural apple butter, four cubes of LC cheese, and coffee with skim milk.

Today has been a busy work day with nothing to report.  I snacked on and shared a bunch of grapes late in the morning.  Lunch was a veggie burger with steamed veggies and sweet potato fries on the side.  And, of course, a few squares of rich dark chocolate as a mid-afternoon snack. 🙂

I would love to hear answers on the following two questions:

1. What are your affordable and consumable or eco-friendly go-to gifts this holiday season?

2. How do you keep your home clutter-free and handle all of the excess paperwork/receipts/magazines/forms that come through the door on a regular basis?

PHD + Sweet Potato Risotto + Kale Chips

Yesterday I took a PHD (Personal Health Day).   The plan was to remove myself from the world for a day to recharge, catch up on sleep (I have sleep issues, another post for another day), and tidy up my life, which would in turn tidy up my brain.

It sorta kinda happened.  I did catch up on sleep.  I did do several loads of laundry and dishes.  However, I did not unplug myself from the world.  I ended up working for a few hours later in the day.  It had to be done but I won’t say I was thrilled about it.

One thing I did do that was fun was make Real Simple’s Sweet Potato Risotto.  So good and *much* less fattening than the butternut squash risotto.  It wasn’t quite as rich and creamy due to the lack of exorbitant amounts of butter and cheese but it was still darn good and a lot easier.  Btw, I added almonds for wonderful texture.  I also went easy on the wine for D’s sake and on the oregano (loved the added flavor, though).

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Garlic the lazy cook’s way.

That becomes this:

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Becomes this:

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Becomes a full stomach of yum.

So it was that + wine for dinner.  Later, when D got home, I heated up some left over chili for him and had a little bit myself in the process for protein and veggies (zucchini, mushrooms).

Because I temporarily didn’t exist yesterday, I also decided not to work out.  No worries!  It’s good to take a day off sometimes.

Today was spent on the road and at our branch farthest away.  We had a welcoming party for two new employees and I rarely get to go to that office so I packed up one of my coworkers and away we went!

Lunch was from a local cafe.  It was delicious and I regret not taking a picture.  It was a turkey, white cheddar, tart apple, dijon mustard on whole wheat sandwich.  On the side was homemade red potato salad and a healthy slice of carrot cake from scratch.  I also picked up a tall nonfat misto from Starbucks as I hadn’t had my morning coffee.  Everything was SO. GOOD.

After a conference call and a few things that had to go out the door, I stole a lamp and then headed over to the restaurant for the party.  I think fun was had by all.  Since I was DD I stuck with cranberry juice + selzer.  Tasty.

On the way home I went grocery shopping for a few things and used a few coupons:

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  • Listerine
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • spinach
  • black grapes
  • shampoo
  • kale
  • organic dark chocolate mint bar – can’t wait to try this!
  • lite Laughing Cow cheese for my breakfast english muffin with apple butter
  • spinach fettucini
  • one of my favorite cereals on sale
  • organic tomato sauces that are fairly low in sodium and sugar
  • not shown: toilet paper

After reading about Nate’s success with kale chips last night, I had to make my own, which were a little fluffier than his:

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Yum!  I oversalted them a tad so I could only tolerate three but the flavor was rich and the crunch was fun.  I had them with leftover sweet potato risotto, a glass of organic skim milk, and two mini Twix bars from H’ween.

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I had hoped to run today but it just didn’t work out.  Tomorrow then!  I am in the mood for a morning run so if I can get my tush to bed asap it might be a possibility.  Over and out and sweetest dreams. 🙂

Food For Thought:

If every American Family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials during the winter holidays, it would save enough paper to cover nearly 50,000 football fields.

– Standford University Recycling Center

Two-And-A-Half Workouts

For dinner last night I made this easy mushroom sauce and it turned out fabulously.

(Her pic, not mine.  I was too hungry to stop for pics!)

Next time I’d add a little less white wine simply because D prefers less but the sauce was delicious.  I served it over whole wheat egg noodles with a side of steamed broccoli.

After dinner, we met some total noobs to go see “Men Who Stare At Goats.”  I think they showed all of the funny parts in the ads.  It did have entertaining tidbits but overall there wasn’t much going on.  However, I did see a preview for “the crazies” beforehand and I can’t wait to see it.  I lovelovelove creepy goosebump movies, especially zombie-esque ones. 😀

Today started out with a 6:15 alarm.  Up and out of bed and into the bathroom (it was less bouncy, more draggy) to change.  I had worn some of my running clothes to bed the night before.  One small banana down the gullet and then I was off to the paved trail.  The run started out pretty full of shivers since it was in the 40’s but I warmed up nicely within the first mile.  My performance t-shirt + long-sleeved shirt + vest + gloves + tights + shorts + running-hat-to-keep-the-heat-in combo was perfect.  I seriously considered doing four miles but I had an early meeting so I capped it at three.  I followed it with some quick stretches and headed home to speed-prep for the day.

It was my first day in my new office.  There were only three of us there so it was very quiet and even a little lonely.  I’m looking forward to later in the week when more people join us.  Despite the uberquiet, my office was really cozy.  I’ll share pics once all of the furniture is in place and my files are in their new home. I think I’m going to like it there.  That is, assuming I ever get used to my desk! Holy crap, I think my kneecap has been smashed to bits.

Lunch was pieced together at the grocery store since we don’t have a fridge in the new place yet.  I was starving and tried to balance my meal out with carbs, protein, veggies, and caffeine.  By the way, this is what happens when I buy new batteries and dust off the old point & shoot versus using my camera phone.  Much better, eh?

lunch 11-9-09 001

A fat free pasta salad with low fat pasta primavera plopped on top…I don’t normally go for fat free labels or even low fat as a lot of those items have fake ingredients in them.  They are not only not great for you, but also don’t taste very good.  However, the selection was fairly limited so I went with it.  I preferred the primavera of the two.  Also, spinach/strawberry/sugared walnut salad with fruit plopped on top.  Add a greek yogurt for protein and some Honest Tea to pick me up.

lunch 11-9-09 004

I left work a little early for my follow-up eye exam.  I am no longer inflamed!  Good stuff.  On the way home, the box of Cokes I had sitting on the front seat (for D’s work – ha, I felt the need to defend it) plus my purse full of bricks next to it set off the passenger seat alarm.  It was annoying at first but then it started hitting to the same beat as my Franz Ferdinand song and I LOL’d.  It’s also a clear message to clean out my purse.

After work I got my tush to the gym to lift for a bit.  Workout #2.  Following that, I felt so bouncy (as true night owls do, we drag in the mornings and bounce in the evenings – that doesn’t sound right) that I ran another mile (workout .5), which made a total of four miles run today.  I haven’t felt this bouncy in a while.  That tells me that I am finally recovering from that long bout of exhaustion.  W00t.  I should be able to get back to my regular workouts now.  Speaking of which, I am down two pounds due to more exercise, better eating, and no monthly bloating.

Got a lot going on right now and I have work to do and emails to answer.  Chop chop!

New Threads + CSA

I’ve been in need of cold-weather running gear so I went to TJ Maxx on Saturday to see what I could find.  I scored four items for less than $45: a pair of tights, two long-sleeved performance shirts for layering, and a cute Adidas women’s running hat.  Apologies for the picture quality.

Seamless, footless tights (I’m pretty sure they’re not exercise-specific but for $6 I’ll give them a shot) and black Avia half-zip layering shirt:

tjmaxx 002

White Jockey Sport half-zip layering shirt and Adidas X-Static running hat:

tjmaxx 004

Sweet!  I will no longer be that improperly-dressed runner.

Check It Out: Balance Is Beauty is giving away a Chocolate & Coffee Lover’s variety pack of Glo Bars!

I’ve been thinking about joining a CSA program – a Community Supported Agriculture program – where individuals pledge money and/or time toward the operation of a farm in return for harvest from the farm. As a result, growers can provide local produce at better prices and focus on earth-friendly production.  Risks and benefits are shared by the growers and consumers.

I need to do a little calculating to make sure this would be financially worthwhile for us but I suspect it will.  It should cut down on my trips to the grocery store (YES! I hate grocery shopping) and thus cut down on spending on extraneous items.  I may also be able to find a friend who will split a half-share with us.  Yum.  That regular box of CSA produce would be like Christmas every week!


That’s how much it costs to get an eye infection.

I’d mentioned last week that my left eye was spectacularly red.  It also burned, looked a tad inflamed, and watered while I slept.  I had my annual contacts/eyeglasses exam yesterday and had the irritated eye checked out while I was there.  Turns out I have some pretty good inflammation in that eye although nothing that some meds and a little TLC can’t fix.

The eye doctor thinks that my eye is failing to make enough oily tears (our eyes produce two types of tears – oily and watery) so it lacks that lubrication.  To compensate, I am over-producing watery tears but in the process making it more difficult for any oily tears I do produce to stick around.  Long story short, my eyes, especially the left one, are dry (probably due to the change in temperatures/seasons) and need some assistance in recovering.

So I was prescribed steroidal eye drops, told to take three fish oil pills a day, and given some non-prescription moisturizing eye drops to supplement.  I’ll go back in two weeks to ensure successful healing and confirm that I’m not having any significant side effects.

Here’s where it gets a little nutty.

After my appointment, I went to the Kroger pharmacy to fill my prescription.  Guess how much these eye drops cost me with insurance….


How much did I save by having insurance?



If I hadn’t been covered by insurance, these eye drops would have cost me $87.39.

$87.39 for this?

eye drops

Apparently, I’m a poor shot because I’ve accidentally wasted 2.5 drops already. 🙂 According to this article, there are approximately 100 drops in this small bottle of prescription eye drops.  That means that each drop costs $.87.  Two-and-a-half wasted drops is $2.18 down the drain.

Add that to the $110 it cost me to see the doctor (some portion of which I will be reimbursed by insurance, thank goodness) and that is a total of almost $200.00 that someone who is not insured would have had to pay out of pocket for an eye exam and to receive treatment for a simple eye infection.  This does not account for the fact that I already owned fish oil pills (another $8-$10) and was given the supplemental moisturizing eye drops (another $5 or so for travel size)  for free.  Note: I’m not sure but I suspect the doctor visit would have cost less if I hadn’t also been there for a contacts/eyeglasses exam.

However, I still can’t get over the fact that somebody, somewhere, made the decision to charge uninsured consumers $87 for this tiny little bottle of seasonal allergy eyedrops.

Check It Out: Tasha over at The Clean Eating Mama is doing another giveaway, this time for a year’s subscription of Eating Well magazine. Awesome!