Archive for July, 2012

This past Saturday, my hubby and youngest son, Andrew, went to spend the night on the USS Alabama with the Boy Scouts. It is an annual sleepover to plan their activities for the upcoming year. This left me with the house all to myself. I told my mother earlier in the week I’d be home alone, and she invited herself to my house for a sleepover. Fun! We don’t get to see each other very often, so this was an unexpected happiness boost.

Saturday arrived. I kissed my two guys good-bye and set out to retrieve my mother from her home. She lives an hour away from me. We only had one stop before heading back to my house. I had to buy two pairs of running shoes, one for everyday wear and the other for actual running.  Our drive home consisted of conversation, laughter, more conversation, and a giggling fit so severe I almost had to pull over and regain composure. A giggling fit and operating a vehicle at 70 mph are not a good combination.

We eventually made it back to my house. After my mother unloaded all of her stuff out of the car, we sat around the kitchen table talking and cutting up some more. She drinking a cup of coffee. Me drinking a Whey Protein drink with unsweetened Almond Milk. The topic of conversation soon came around to where we would be dining for the evening. This was going to be my first treat meal since I started eating clean. I was a little apprehensive because I wanted to enjoy my treat meal, but not undo all of my hard work leading to this weekend. I let my mother decide since she had eaten a fried shrimp po-boy earlier for lunch. I figured she’d pick something to balance her obvious treat meal for the day. We got out the phone book and perused the various restaurants. The only food I did not want to indulge in tonight was pizza. I absolutely LOVE pepperoni pizza. And, I’m an absolute piggie when pepperoni pizza is involved. After some discussion, we mutually agreed to eat at Great Wall (a Chinese and Japanese SUPER Buffet). HA! It literally advertises 10 buffet tables (largest buffet in Tangipahoa Parish) and ALL you can eat. Dangerous, you say! Oh, YES, indeed. However, I was going to prove to myself I could indulge without going overboard.

Jackie Warner has in her book a “good, bad, and ugly” list for eating out at restaurants. My mother and I looked over the list for Asian restaurants to get an idea of what to avoid. I had already made up my mind to avoid two of the uglies: fried rice and lo mein of any kind. There was only one item on the bad list I knew I would eat….the infamous egg roll. I figured at about 190 calories, I’d be okay if I only ate one. 

Once at the buffet, I walked around and looked everything over while my mother was loading up her plate. I had a total of 4 plates of food. I know you gasped, but chill. My plates were divided into food groups. I approached the buffet as a chance to sample instead of gorge. My first plate consisted of 8-10 pieces of different sushi rolls. My second plate contained 4 large boiled shrimp, 3 pieces of pepper steak, two pieces of sesame chicken, two pieces of another style of chicken, and a spoonful (serving spoon size) of crab meat. My third plate involved fruit and veggies: spinach, sautéed green beans, marinated artichoke and tomatoes, broccoli, 3 slices of watermelon, as well as my egg roll. My fourth and final plate should be NO surprise. It was the dessert plate. It held 3 cubes of red jello, 1 spoonful (serving spoon size) of banana pudding with 1 vanilla wafer on top, and 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream. Oh, and I drank water throughout the meal. Overall, I felt I did pretty well considering what I’ve eaten at Chinese/Japanese buffets in the past.  I even bypassed the wontons filled with cream cheese. If I could redo the experience, I would not have gotten so many pieces of sushi. I felt bloated from eating too much rice.

Afterwards, my mother and I went home. We both felt roly-poly, so we decided to play some Wii games. At first we considered Just Dance; however, we both quickly agreed the food we just ate would not taste as good coming up as it did going down. Instead, we played Wii Sports and Wii Play. I discovered I’m a decent bowler, but a terrible baseball player. Actually, neither one of us was very good at baseball; however, my mother managed to beat me 1-0. Luck had everything to do with it. Now, the Wii Play had us laughing often. After some trial and error, we figured out how to actually play the games advertised as “quick and easy.” Quick maybe, but not all easy. We still don’t know what the “Pose Mii” is all about. We stopped playing about 10:30pm. I went to bed. No telling what my mother was up to the rest of the night; however, I spotted her sleeping on the sofa the next morning when I snuck out for my morning walk. Maybe the next time my guys are away, I’ll have a slumber party.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

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What an exciting week for me nutrition and fitness wise! I lost another two pounds [applaud, please]. I did not feel deprived at all this week eating clean. Actually, I enjoy the fruits and veggies, look forward to my daily whey protein/almond milk drink, and love the extra energy. There are some minor challenges; however, nothing that a little more organization, research, and a DVD player can’t fix. I met my strength training and cardio goals, as well as most of my nutrition goals.  

Here is a brief recap of my week:


  • Monday-Friday ate clean.
  • Saturday ate clean. Enjoyed a treat meal for dinner (Asian cuisine). *
  • Sunday ate clean. Enjoyed a treat meal for afternoon snack (skinny mocha latte at BAM) *

*Treat meals will be discussed in a later post, especially that Asian cuisine also known as a Chinese/Japanese buffet. This explanation will be for the benefit of mon frere, Moonius Maximus.


  • Monday-Sunday did cardio each morning. Walked with intervals for 30 minutes for 6 days. Completed a Kathy Smith Cardio-Burning DVD on 1 day.
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday did Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit Strength Training for 30 minutes (book).
  • Monday-Sunday stretched after every workout. 


Challenge #1 is planning my meals for the week ahead of time. I have not carved out the time to plan a weekly menu. This would help me in two ways. First, I would be guaranteed to meet my daily caloric goal, as well as my food group servings goal. Second, I would have a better idea of the foods I need to purchase at the grocery store.  I’ve done really well writing in my food journal; however, some days I am under 1, 500 calories. Or, I don’t eat the suggested amount of servings from the food groups. A couple of days, I went over on my fat grams because I ate walnuts (breakfast) and almonds (mid-morning snack) OR nuts (breakfast) and 1/2 of an avocado (dinner). Nuts and avocados are great for you, and I love them; however, they are high in fat (good fat).  Yes, you do need some good fats in your diet, but not all on the same day per se.

Challenge #2 has to do with the Power Circuit routines in Jackie Warner’s book. For me, watching someone perform an exercise is easier than looking at a picture with directions in a book. Some of the exercises are difficult, and are definitely not for a beginner. I cannot perform a V-Tuck (core). I fall over and roll around. Perhaps, it is because I have no core strength. Despite that fact, I have to improvise.


Obviously, I will have to set aside some time to plan a menu. My goal is to have one in place for next week, but before I go to the grocery store this weekend. To solve my strength training dilemma, I ordered 3 of Jackie Warner’s DVDs. They are similar to her power circuit routines in her book. I already own one of her DVDs, and love it.  I will continue using the routines in her book until I receive the DVDs.


A couple of items I’ve discovered in the grocery store that have made eating salad more enjoyable: Paul Newman’s Low Fat Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing (2 Tbsp contains 1.5g fat; 35 calories; 4g sugar) and Almond Accents (1 Tbsp contains 3.5g fat; 40 calories; 1g sugar). Sometimes, I use the Almond Accents in my oatmeal.  

As you know, I love coffee. I have not been drinking coffee on a regular basis because I stopped using sugar and was trying to use one packet of Truvia. Since I had been blending it with sugar, I didn’t realize Truvia has an aftertaste. I did a little research this week, and it seems that 1Tsp of sugar has 4g of sugar in it. So, I experimented with coffee yesterday morning and happily discovered that if I added 1 packet of Truvia and 1/2 Tsp of sugar (2g sugar), as well as 1 Tbsp of half & half to a 10 oz cup of coffee, it tasted wonderful. Thus, my love affair with coffee may resume.  

Overall, I feel like I’m off to a good start. I have more energy, which I have been using to clean out and organize my scrapbook room/office  and the exercise room. I’m hoping to be finished with both rooms by this weekend. I’m eating the good foods in place of the bad foods, and surprisingly I don’t feel restricted or deprived. I look forward to doing some kind of exercise every day. I’ve been getting up earlier to fit in my workouts before dropping my little guy off at Drama Camp. This past Saturday, I went to my favorite running store, Phidippides, located in Metairie and bought a new pair of running shoes. Next week, I will be starting my run/walk plan so I can get back to running 3 miles at least 3 days a week. Running is my favorite exercise and a great stress reliever. Happiness!

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ~ Jordan Belfort

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Woo-Hoo! I got to move a marble to the Pounds Lost container. I lost ONE pound this week. I know it may not seem like a lot; however, it is the first step. This week was much better. Out of the seven days, six of those days I ate ALL the specific foods I needed to add into my diet. I switched from eating hard-boiled eggs to scrambled eggs, added all kinds of healthy stuff to my oatmeal, created a daily checklist, and cut out drinking coffee every day. I LOVE coffee, but it’s hard for me to drink it without some sugar and using one Truvia packet just doesn’t do the trick. So, I am temporarily cutting it out and will revisit it again later. The only coffee I had all week was a Mocha Latte with whipped cream at BAM. For me, Mocha Lattes are a taste of heaven. YUMMY!

I finished reading Jackie Warner’s book and will be using it for reference for the next couple of months. Ideally, I would love to lose a pound a week. However, I’m not setting a goal date to lose all the weight (too much pressure for me). This is not a diet that I will be on for a set amount of time just to lose weight. This is about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family. My energy level is up, my attitude is great, and I’m ready for the next step.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin

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I thought eating the specific foods for the first two weeks on the “eat clean” program was going to be easy. After all, with the exception of whey protein (never tried it before), I’m a fan of those foods. Nope. Out of the first eight days, I only managed to eat everything on the list two of the eight days. Most days I got in six of the eight items. For example, I ate the eggs, oatmeal, veggies, fruit, and drank water; however, I didn’t drink the whey protein or green tea. Another day, I may have gotten everything, but the oatmeal. It is hard. Well, it’s hard for me.

I discovered as I reviewed the week, one reason I came up short is because I don’t eat on a set schedule. I don’t eat before my morning workout. Sometimes, I may not eat breakfast until 9:00AM or 9:30AM. Therefore, a mid-morning snack is not necessary for me. The next time I eat would be at lunch. So, in order for me to do better this week, I really need to plan out my meals ahead of time to make sure I can incorporate all these foods. Thank goodness I only have to do this for one more week.

While I’m discussing food, I must confess I find unsweetened Almond Milk disgusting. However, I am drinking it with the whey protein powder (chocolate flavor). This combination makes a remarkable difference.

As for my cardio workouts, I did workout five days. However, I did not workout at maximum effort or with intervals. As much as I love walking with my dog, he slows us down with all his sniffing and marking his territory. So, we are no longer exercising with Comet. Instead, I will take Comet for his own walk later in the evening where he can get his groove on at his own pace.

As for my weight (153 pounds), I did not lose or gain. So, I don’t get to move any of my marbles. Am I disappointed? Not really. I didn’t expect to lose anything this past week. If anything, I worried I had gained weight because my guys and I had gone to a family BBQ on Saturday. I indulged by having three Mike’s Hard Lemonade and two or three brownies.

A new week has started, and I’m ready. My goal for this week is to ramp up my cardio, and to eat everything on the list everyday.

“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” ~Jack Lalanne

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Reluctantly, I got up this morning. Yes, you heard me correctly… reluctantly. Before getting out of bed, I was having a chat inside my head about pushing off my morning walk until this afternoon. Blah, blah, blah! I know better than anyone in my household that an afternoon walk would not happen. However, after the second time hitting the snooze button and getting snuggly back under the covers, my little guy walks into my bedroom totally dressed for our morning walk and stands at the edge of the bed. He asks me ever so sweetly, “Mom, aren’t you going to get up, so we can go walk?” Thank goodness for my little guy. Andrew is my hero today for making me keep my word. It’s all about accountability. I need to not only do what I say I’m going to do, but I also need to be held accountable.

So, I groggily got up, dressed, and the two of us along with Comet went for our walk. What a wonderful way to start the day! I feel so much better. Now, I have to do another task I told myself I would do…finish clearing school stuff out of my scrapbook room, so I can actually work on my scrapbooks.

“A duty dodged is like a debt unpaid; it is only deferred, and we must come back and settle the account at last.”  ~ Joseph Fort Newton

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Today is July 1st. Today, I begin my “eat clean” program. Today, I begin exercising AGAIN. Today, I start my hiatus from Facebook and Pinterest. Today, I go to the movies to see Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Well, I have to have some fun today.

I woke up this morning at 6AM. My husband, Comet (my little dog), and I went for a walk. After taking a shower, I ate two hard-boiled eggs, 1/2 of a grapfruit, and drank a cup of coffee with one packet of Truvia and a splash of  half & half.  Usually, I add some extra sugar or chocolate syrup, but not this morning.

I am following the health and fitness advice from the book This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever) by Jackie Warner. For the first two weeks, I may continue eating the way I have been eating; however, I must start implementing the following foods in my diet:

  • eggs (two daily)
  • oatmeal (one cup daily)
  • hormone-balancing, detox veggies (2-3 cups daily)
  • fresh fruit (2 servings is 2 whole fruits daily)
  • water (two to three litters daily)
  • whey protein shake (8-ounce serving daily)
  • green tea (evening) 

Even though I know I can eat crap for the next two weeks, I’m not using that as an excuse to go crazy. I have already started eliminating processed foods from the grocery list, as well as eliminating the extra sugar in my coffee. Of course, I will be eating peanut M & M’s at the movie theater later.

As for exercising the next two weeks, I need to perform cardio only five times a week for a maximum time of twenty minutes each workout. I will not do any resistance training in the first two weeks. My cardo workout must have maximum effort and include intervals. The first two weeks is prepping me for the “eat clean” lifestyle and the circuit type workouts I will be doing to lose weight.

This morning, I also weighed myself. I weighed in at 153 pounds. I checked my training log when I started running in August 2011. I weighed 143.5 pounds. My reaction: speechless, shocked, angry, sad. How did I let this happen? My only answer…complacency, emotional eating, not exercising, excuses. So, today I decided I want to weigh 125 pounds, which means I will need to lose 28 pounds (impressed with my math skills). A few weeks ago I found a cute idea on Pinterest to track your weight and stay motivated. It was weight loss jars. I decided to create my own using plastic ziploc containers and marbles.

weight loss containers

Weight Loss Containers to track pounds lost.


Danielle LaPorte makes a very good point (and provides some inspiration) in a short video (Your Word Is As Powerful As You Say It Is) she made for the blog PositivelyPositive. Today, is my day to make a commitment to myself. The only way I will be successful at losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is by keeping my word to myself.

“The secret of success ….do what you say you’re going to do.” ~ Danielle LaPorte 

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