Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twilight Premier Night & My Theater Cooler

9:30am. Oy! What a night! Thankfully, the theatre was well prepared and we spent no time at all outside in line! Woohooo! Downside, was the frigid chill factor inside, lol. The girls kept busy and had fun during the wait. I played Phase (like guitar hero for the iPod) until my battery died, then I read The Most Decadent Diet Ever by Devin Alexander. I didn't even bother to read much of the "diet" part, just skipped to the recipes. I think they'd be easy to clean up and plan to try several soon. There's already a few that we've enjoyed. The movie was fun, the evening exhausting. They were almost 1/2 hour late starting our show, and we didn't get home until 3am, then I was up at 5:30 begging for coffee via IV. My beloved and wonderful husband had prepped the coffee maker the night before so all I had to do was push a button and blink blurrily until I had my first cup. Ok, I blinked blurrily until I finished my third cup, but I'm awake now! :-)

Here's a few pics from last night, including my trusty cooler and late night snack.

My new bottle of Emu Oil arrived and I am so impressed! Truly odorless! Amazing! Same consistency, better color than the one I usually buy. Yay! Speaking of Emu oil, I'm finding that the combination of Emu & Coconut is absolutely doing wonders for my skin!

11:30am... Ha, so I take a quick break to get my head out of the graphic design mode, and hit up one of my fav blogs... now I must explain this one. As I was growing up, my mother became a genealogist (damn good one, too!) and we spent more weekends than I can recall exploring cemeteries throughout California. The offshoot of that is I am very comfortable in such environments (to the dismay of my hubby), and have a somewhat dark sense of humor. Ergo, my love of this particular blog... (Bill is creeped out by it, but Mom totally gets it!).  Anywho... so I'm perusing older posts I might not have seen in a while when I come across one for which the caption reads:

I'm hoping someone out there can explain this one to me.
Is this some sort of obscure Battlestargate Treklactica* reference?

Ha! Battlestargate Treklactica! Funny! I'm laughing it up, then the next line catches my eye:
*If you understand this, you're a nerd. Just saying.

Hey! I am not a nerd! I am a geek! Ok, maybe a nerdy geek, but still! <sigh> Ok, I'm a nerd. Ah, Frell! (and if you know that one, you're a nerd too, so there!).

3pm... My bad! I had posted under Today's Cooler (for yesterday) that I would explain about the not-worth-it-treats. I had packed my cooler with a clean dinner (wrap) and a snack (1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese & a cracker/flatbread), and had planned to enjoy some movie-popcorn and peanut m&m's as a treat (those just say "movie time" to me). Well, when you eat clean for any length of time, your body can no longer tolerate things that were once wonderful. The popcorn I could only manage a few bites before I gave it away. The peanut m&m's I was a bit more tenacious with, finishing my little bag, despite the nearly instant headache and uneasy stomach. Why did I insist on eating them? Because I'm a nincumpoop! It was my treat and I wanted what I wanted... and oh how I regretted it! Neither treat is truly a treat for me anymore. I would have enjoyed it so much more if I had simply packed some of my coconut oil fudge in my cooler (which I definitely will do in the future).

Other things I can't eat anymore? Ice Cream is at the top of the list. Pastries/Cake/Cupcakes/Pie... I just don't stomach them well... maybe it's the refined sugar, or something else but I get instant headaches and stomach distress. I don't even bother with them.

Other things I enjoy now so much more? Banana "Ice Cream", coconut oil fudge, clean cookies... I'd like to put chocolate gelato on this list, but it's been a seriously long time since I've had any, and I don't know if I can handle it anymore. (see recipes page for the goodies!)

Do I regret not being able to eat those other "treats"? Nope! Not even a little. I like my stuff better. :-)  I do still enjoy my weekly date night meal out... though I do suffer a wee bit of distress from that, too. I'm sure those food choices will continue to evolve, just as have my others. I'm ok with that.

  Awesome new shoes :-)
On another note, I'm in heels today!!!! Wooohooo!!! After weeks in nothing but flats (because of my back), I took a chance and wore some super cute sandals to work and so far, NO PAIN! Yay! By the way, those are my shoes to the right...

Well, my plan is to go to the gym, but I'm running on empty. Not sure if I'll make it. What I need is a good solid night sleep then I can hit the ground running again tomorrow. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Star Wars Cookie Cutters!

9am. I woke up famished, so I grabbed 1/2 a grilled chicken breast while I packed my cooler. Once I get home from work, I'll have to repack as tonight is Eclipse! No gym, since I won't have time. We'll have to scramble as it is to get a good spot in line. The show starts at 12:01am, but we'll be in line by 6pm. Oy! The things we do for our children! LOL! The girls are all very excited, we're a whole family of Twilight fans. I'll be throwing together a few wraps and some snacky veggies/fruit, etc for the loooooong wait. Thankfully, there's a huge Whole Foods just across the street from the theatre and there's a big Borders Books and a Sports Authority in the same center, so if I get bored, I can always browse while the girls hold our places in line. (Maybe I'll look for some non-slide and anti-bacterial yoga mats! LOL!). I'm a little concerned, as previously these premiers were in November (chilly weather) but with temps holding steady at 112 at 8pm, this is going to be wicked hot. Much water will be consumed!

We have such odd weather here in AZ. It was 104° this morning as I sat on the back patio with my book & coffee. Thankfully, there was  hurricane force winds  a gentle breeze. :-)  I was seriously bummed when I came downstairs this morning to discover that the container of chili had been left out on the counter all night. I don't know if I forgot to put it away, or if the kids got into it later and forgot to put it back, but it's wasted now. I hate wasting food! And I had more plans for that chili! Dagnabbit! 

2:30pm. My Williams-Sonoma gift card arrived! I had done several product and recipe reviews, and this was their "Thank You"... Cool! So of course, I dashed right out to Fashion Square (nearest store)... "Star Wars Cookie Cutters, YOU ARE MINE!!"  Um. No. Out of stock. Apparently I am not the only Very Cool Person in the area, and they ran out last week. Sigh. But Wait! I jump online and YES! In Stock! Ha! MINE! My order is placed, my gift card depleted, and I am anxiously clicking the tracking link (surely they've shipped by now! It's been 5 minutes! What's taking so long??). 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yoga - The Great Debacle

**Update October 2010 - My Yoga story below got published!! Woohoo! Here's the link: - October 2010 issue, pg. 32.

Breakfast and snack 1 complete. Though I made quite the woops when I poured cinnamon into my little baggie... have you ever had oatmeal with too much cinnamon? It's quite the experience. Note to self... use a measuring spoon.

Great weekend! Hope yours was too! My back felt great throughout the weekend, and I was able to do Yoga on Sunday! I'll share more about that shortly. Bill and I decided we had Mexico on the brain, so we indulged in a game of pretend, lol. We spent the weekend pretending we were on vacation and simply hung out around the pool. It was wonderful! So relaxing! I ended up with some great color (coconut oil = no burn still working!), though now that we're back in the real world, I do have to say that the poolside bar service sucked! Never did get my order of tacos! LOL! :-)

I did get my Sunday Food Prep done... I've been eating Quinoa for quite some time now, and thought I'd try the boxed Kashi 7-grain Pilaf mix (clean). The bite I sampled was pretty tasty so we'll see how it goes through the week. I do have some quinoa to finish up, and then I'll be eating the Kashi. My proteins prepped for the week are grilled Mahi Mahi, grilled chicken breast, grilled London Broil, plus 2 lbs of ground beef (lean) prepped for spaghetti, tacos or whatnot, and a crockpot of chili. Veggies are steamer bag giant portabellos (with feta, spinach and salsa), asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini with yellow squash, plus all my salad fixin's (spinach, kale, shredded cabbage, romaine, etc.). Fruit is strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, kiwi, and bananas. I even whipped up a batch of Tab's protein bars, much to the delight of Bethany and Bill. Can I just insert here that they taste much better than they look? :-)

On to yoga. Disclaimer... some aspects of this recountment may be slightly exaggerated (very slightly), others are not (not even a little).

Tab (aka The World's Greatest Trainer, my best friend, and sometimes workout buddy, also the Lucy to my Ethel) and I wanted to try out the Sunday morning Yoga class at our local gym. By 7:45 am, we've staked out our spots at the back of the classroom (the better to not cause profound bodily harm to innocent people). Tab, who has taken yoga before, is prepared and has her block by her side, while I am still fighting to get my shoes off (barefoot? really?). Once my shoes are safely stored behind me, we begin to stretch while watching folks enter and take their places. By the time class starts, it is clear we are the only newbies in the room. We choose to not be disconcerted by this.

The lovely instructor takes her place to begin class, and suddenly the lights dim. Ah, I think. Yoga in the dark! This isn't at all a recipe for Chelle-disaster! Then the heater kicks in. Wait, the schedule didn't say "Bikram Yoga", just yoga! As the room heats up, and we contort our bodies into truly unnatural positions, the sweat begins to roll... from my scalp all the way down to my bare feet. Relax, I tell myself, you can do this! I breath deeply and exhale away my fear and discomfort, seeking a new zen. Gracefully I stretch my arms as directed, smile gently as I realize I can indeed do this, then bobble dangerously (to the poor innocent folks on either side of me) as The Black Eyed Peas suddenly boom into the room. From this, the music melds into David Bowie's cover of Queen's "Under Pressure". Where is my bubbling brook? My rushing waterfall? My gentle ocean waves? "I gotta feeling" that this is not going to end well!

Reaching deep for my calm, and inner balance (still looking!), I continue to mimic the moves of those around me (except for the beyotch at the front who is doing the Feathered Peacock pose - this is yoga 101, lady, keep it to yourself!). I discover that some moves come more easily than others, and still others yet, do not come at all (No, I simply cannot grasp my right ankle by reaching my hand over my head and twisting left. Not gonna happen.).

As perspiration continues to seep (read "pour" - as in, "found my rushing waterfall"), we move into pushup position. This I can do! I hold position for a 5 count, then slowly lower halfway and return to position as our gentle, quiet voiced yogi requests. "Next, lower to your forearms and assume the plank." Easy, peasy, I think. Me & the Plank go way back. What I had not taken into account, was the dampness (read "soaking wet") of my yoga mat, or my forearms and feet.  (Not so) quietly, I add to the strange-musical accompaniment in our 108° closed room full of heat-generating bodies... Slip! Slap! "F@¢K!"   My wet forearms and feet having made contact with the (als0) wet mat, fly forward and slide back, causing my body to THUNK on the mat, forcing a whoosh of air and the unfortunate expletive to escape from my lips. Tab snickers as she continues holding her plank, and I wonder if she's as aware as I am of the vast legions of bacteria surely housed in these mats, one inch from our noses, as other class-goers must have experienced a delicate sheen (sweat - I'm talking surface of the sun hot here, people!) during yoga 101, before us. Maybe I should mention it to her.

Class is winding down as we take Pigeon Pose then extend forward, lowering our torsos. Our drill sergeant yogi floats through the room, correcting form as she goes. She comes to me and gently presses between my shoulder blades (brave woman, ever pushed your fingers into a wet sponge? Yeah, I'm seriously drenched) to lower me further... and further... and, Wow, really? If I go any lower I really will be one with the earth! 

Finally, our hour is up. The lights come back on, the heater switches off, and I try to quickly and unobtrusively mop up my 3x6 splash zone before anyone slips and falls, breaking a well-toned leg. Tab and I make our escape before the next class rushes in. Desperately we run for the front doors, throw them open and take great gulping breaths of... seriously? It's 110 out here!

Ahhh, yoga. The path to serenity madness.

Lol, no seriously, I liked yoga. It's a personal challenge now to be able to hold some of those positions (and I will someday be able to grab that right ankle!). I am truly sore, my hamstrings and arches still cramping. It's a good workout, and I'll definitely go back. Though next time, I'm bringing a towel.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bee Pollen Ineffective

7am... Can you believe I've already finished all 5 magazines? There's a couple good looking recipes I'll be trying next week :-)  And I found a great shoulder workout in Muscle & Fitness Hers that I can't wait to try, but have to wait until I can bear weight over my head (darned back!). 

I love to read about the supplement reviews and news, and this time bee pollen came up.... Now, I used bee pollen faithfully for about 3 years, then decided it was too pricey to keep up and I didn't think there were any benefits... I went off it, and sure enough, no difference. Well, a new study has shown that the nutritional value is nil! And that it has ZERO impact on seasonal allergies! Ha! I'm better off with my local honey! Another study showed that there is significant value in adding coconut oil to the diet (color me surprised! LOL!). I love my coconut oil and all it's varied uses.

I skipped the gym last night. My back was giving me fits as I drove home, so better safe than sorry. It feels good today, so I'll be heading to the gym soon. I was planning to try a new recipe last night for dinner, but didn't feel like driving across town to pick up the quinoa pasta (stupid back), so the family enjoyed a frozen pasta dinner (there are some battles I will not win, yet) while I baked up some tilapia filets.

It was a whopping 115° yesterday! And so very dry! Just sucks the moisture right out of  you! This morning it's a very breezy and balmy 90°. Smelled like rain when Bill and I stepped out on the patio this morning at 6am, but it's looking like it'll clear up and be another scorcher! Supposed to be a high of 107. We'll see! This is about the time of year, us Arizonans start wondering what the heck we're doing her! Lol! I gotta say, I'm dreaming of Mexico! We've simply got to get our passports. It used to be so easy, didn't need a passport to cross the border, but with the new laws... It wouldn't be a big deal, but it's not 2 passports we have to pay for, it's 6. And there's always something else that needs financial attention. We've agreed, though, that we need to make it a priority. Puerto Penasco is so close (only 2.5 hours) and it's an inexpensive getaway for the whole family. It's been a long time since we've had any kind of vacation, and we're all missing the beach. It seems crazy to me that we can vacation for several days in Mexico significantly cheaper than if we were to drive to San Diego for the same time period.  So into my wish box goes a set of 6 passports and a trip to Rocky Point. :-)  Yes, this is the same wish box that houses my desire for a tummy tuck and boobs, lol!

My daughter, Shiloh, sent me a million photos yesterday from the Flagstaff trip (her boyfriend is working up there this summer, so she, her best bud Olivia, and Bethany - my youngest, drove up for the day). While there are a lot of great ones, here's my favorite.... aren't they adorable? :-)

8:30pm. I had a great upper body workout, plus my 30 min of stairmaster, and.... I did abs!!! No back pain!!! Wooohooo!!! I tried super hard to not over-do it, but I guess I'll know tomorrow, lol.  I was so excited to do some abs! 

My upper body workout was:

Round 1 - No Rest between exercises. 15 reps each, 3 times.

Chest Press on bench with 20# dumbbells.
Flyes on bench with 15# dumbbells
Reclining Overhead Tricep Extensions with 30# dumbbells

Round 2 - No Rest between exercises. 2 times.
Assisted wide grip pull up - 10
Low Row, stationary (no leaning fwd into the row, straight back - because of my injury)-15
Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns - 15
Narrow Reverse Grip Lat Pulldowns - 15
Wall crunches with twists, using 8# medicine ball - 10 crunches, 20 twists

Tonight, Bill and I went out to dinner. Blue Adobe... I had the very yummy (and not saucy) seafood enchiladas (shrimp, halibut, salmon all mixed). It was a terrific treat meal, though after my plate arrived I realized I have eaten a lot of fish in the last two days. Woops!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hello, My name is Chelle and I'm a bookaholic.

10:30am... Workout last night was great! I love that I can still do legs without making my back worse! Now if I can just figure out how to do abs...   Today will be upper body, along with more stairmaster. I really miss the treadmill. Maybe I'll toss in some elliptical, too, just to switch it up a bit.

Today I poured the last tablespoon of my beloved Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar in my coconut oil for lunch... it's a brand Bill and I found at our local farmer's market, but since the market won't reopen until fall and the local stores don't carry it, I had to order it online. I gotta say, it kinda irritated me to pay $9 for s&h. Seemed a bit over the top. Especially since it's a pricey product to begin with. It's just so darned good!

My next online purchase was to a new provider of pure Emu oil. I've been using Emu for about 8 years and cannot recommend it enough! It's an incredible product! There is amazing research on its healing properties and I absolutely swear by it. Recently I've been mixing it with coconut oil for my skin scrub (face & body) and everyone in the house is loving it.

Anyway, so I have enough oil left for just one more batch of scrub and maybe a first-aid use or two, and realized I needed to buy a new container. I normally buy the 32 oz jug, which lasts us 9mos to a year. Additionally, throughout the year, I'll occasionally buy a mini-container or some other product from my usual supplier. I've been increasingly unhappy with the scent of the unscented oil... just smells... off.  I spent some time looking at different suppliers, narrowing down my choices, until I found this new company. I called up and very graciously the kind woman answered all my questions thoroughly. Satisfied, I placed an order. It's already shipped! I'm anxious to compare their product to the one I normally purchase. 

2:30pm... Hello, my name is Chelle and I'm a bookaholic. LOL! :-) Ran to Barnes & Noble during lunch... I have to say, were I to be stranded on a desert island, with only one store... my choice would be B&N. No hesitation.  Books. Ah. I Love Books.  :-) Besides, I wouldn't have to give up coffee because Starbucks is right inside! LOL!

I picked up a book for the hubby... he's been asking about the nutritional data for common restaurants, so I grabbed the Eat This Not That Restaurant Survival Guide for him to carry around in the truck.  The kids'll get a kick out of that one, too. Turning in the aisle, my eyes landed on Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts by one of my favorites, Sam Zien (Sam the Cooking Guy). Looked pretty good. Next I saw a cute title, which I could have ignored had the author's name not been Devin Alexander! LOL! I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening! is now in my book bag, too :-)  

Then, of course, I had to do my magazine rack rounds... grabbed the latest Fitness RX for Women, Fitness Magazine, Shape, and Muscle & Fitness Hers (which is usually my favorite). The latest Women's Health should be in my mailbox, too!  Between those fun reads, and a book loaned to me by Tab (Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster) I have a lot of reading for the weekend! Whoopeee! :-)

If you're wondering why I didn't mention Oxygen and Eating Clean Magazine it's because I've already read them.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Window Washer Etiquette

Where is the day going? Yikes! Rush, rush, rush! Food is on track today, I'll be hitting the gym this evening, and I'm rollin' right along. How about you? Are ya'll watching the new Jillian Michaels show? What are your thoughts? 

Update on the water intake project... I am consistently getting all my water in, Yay! I've been slicing up lemons and taking them in a baggie, then adding to the water as I go. Every time I fill up the bottle, I add a couple more slices. I'm right at about a lemon a day, lol. Hey, my liver gets a free boost while I'm getting my water :-)

OMG! Ok, folks.... I think there needs to be a blanket rule that if window washers are doing the office windows on a specific day, someone should let everyone else know. Holy Cow! I'm all alone in the building, it's quiet, I'm typing away.... and just got the bejeebers scared out of me! Excuse me while I scrape myself off the ceiling. Lol!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Coconut Oil = No Sunburn

Three cheers for tasty oatmeal! Three cheers for vanilla protein powder! LOL! Seriously, breakfast is soooo much better using the vanilla powder instead of the chocolate!
Yesterday's food was great until the evening. <sigh>.  No bueno ending to the day. Oh well, that's what new days are for.

So.... remember my whole Coconut Oil experiment? Well, it's over, and I now use it regularly, daily on my skin. I burn in the sun super easy. My kids say I'm part albino, lol. No matter what sunscreen I use, I always burn. However! Since I've been using the coconut oil on my skin, I have yet to burn this summer! I've spent the day on a boat, a few days laying around in the backyard, and daily on my back patio with my coffee. I'm getting a nice golden sheen, but NO BURN! Coincidence, I don't think so. I should mention, that other than the sunscreen in my makeup, I'm not using any. Interesting, to be sure. I will definitely keep using it on my skin. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Conclusion of the Protein Powder Dilemma. And The Winner Is...

9:00am - Sorry for no weekend post! How was Father's Day? Ours was very nice. Joey came by and we just relaxed. Later, Bill's dad & his wife and Bill's grandma came by for bbq. I still got all my Sunday Food Prep done (and my laundry!), and I'm good to go for the week!  My back is steadily improving, though "rest" and I do not play well together. I feel "good" today, so of course what I WANT to do is get on the treadmill. However, I will not do that. I will stick to what the WGT (World's Greatest Trainer, aka Tabitha Citro) has taught me and trust in her infinite wisdom. :-) I will do my modified leg-day (which was awesome) and my stairmaster and be happy. I will. I will. I will.  :-) 

Beverly, Ultimate Muscle Protein Powder - Vanilla flavor12:30pm... Wooohoo!! The protein powder fairy arrived!! I'm so excited! No more chocolate oatmeal! LOL!!! :-) And yes, for those of you who know about my protein powder dilemma, I did finally choose to go back to the Beverly Brand. I know it, it tastes great, it mixes well, it bakes well, and it's met my protein needs for more than 3 years. I know there are some "un-clean" ingredients, but I live in the real world, and sometimes compromises make for practical living. :-) This is not to knock anyone who uses a "clean" powder, it just doesn't work for me. 

4pm... I almost forgot!! Have you heard about Whole Foods pulling all Kombucha  off the shelves??  I was in the store yesterday, and was stunned to see that kombucha (all brands) were just gone! No sign, no "out of stock"... just gone! I asked an employee and she explained that because of the "unclear" alcohol content, they'd been pulled. My daughter will tell you that I was livid! That darned Lindsay Lohan! Dumb Dumb Dumb. Though, my hubby says her "excuses" are brilliant, as now there's reasonable doubt and look, Whole Foods makes such a drastic response! I'm mad! Bring back my Kombucha, Whole Foods! Lindsay, Shut up and get clean!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Awesome Lower Body Workout, and... Scorpions and Dogs - file under creatures who don't play well with each other

The workout Tab created for me was great! No additional pain! Wooohoo! I got home from the gym, grabbed a 4 oz piece of grilled chicken breast then cleaned up and headed to the bowling alley, intending to eat more of a meal later, but just as the game was ending, Shiloh called to say that Nakki had been stung by a scorpion - in the house! So we rushed home, got Nakki in the car and ended up at an all-night animal hospital. 

Horrible experience, felt like we wasted 2 hours and $200! They required that Nakki be muzzled and it's a toss up as to who was more traumatized by it - her or us! She's fine now. A little lethargic, but I think that's the Benadryl.  I've got calls in to several local pest control companies. I might live in the desert but I do NOT have to live WITH scorpions! Ugly little buggers!

So, back to the workout Tab gave me. The trick was to take my lower back out of the equation - difficult to do when you consider that you use your core for everything! Of course I know that she is the World's Greatest Trainer (WGT for short, lol), but I just have to say it again! :-) 

Here's the workout:
Warm-up - 10 min.  I use my walk to the gym for this, stretching and flexing as I go.
Quads:  3x
     Leg Extensions with toes pointed up (12 reps)
     Leg Extensions with heels together and toes pointed out (12 reps).
60 second rest.
Outer Thigh / Glutes:  3x
     Step ups onto platform with kickback and squeeze for a 3 count (15 each leg)
     Resistance Tube Side Walk (stand on tube, feet shoulder width apart, hold handles at hips and side step 12 steps, then return 12 steps)
60 second rest.
Calves: 5x
     Standing calf raises (no weight) - 15 reps with a 3 second squeeze and hold at the top.
Cardio: 25 minutes of intervals on Stairmaster (side steps and skipping steps and skip step with kickback and squeeze).

It took me 1 hr, 15 minutes (including the walk to and from the gym) and I burned 538 calories. I had a 4 oz piece of grilled chicken breast post-workout, but didn't have more than a piece of string cheese later, due to the scorpion drama. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grrrr iTunes. Grrrr Back Injury.

Ugh. No gym last night. By the time I got home I was in too much pain to even consider working out. I must have aggravated my back during the previous day's workout, then because I'm a slave to vanity, I wore heels to work yesterday... NO BUENO! Today I am wearing flip flops, lol. Tab put together a workout for me (leg) that I'll be trying tonight. It's a struggle for me to find balance. There's still a part of me that is afraid that if I skip this workout today, tomorrow I'll be back where I started.

On another note, I am once again fighting with iTunes. Grr. It "lost" my library, so I'm having to individually "locate" the songs. It totally wiped my iPods (mega GRRRRR). Isn't technology supposed to make our lives easier? Hmmm. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Injury - Where's the line?

9:00 am:  Hit the gym yesterday. Did 20 minutes intervals on the treadmill, then a 5 minute cool-down. Then upper body. Had to make some adjustments to avoid straining my back, but altogether, got a good workout. Burned 638 calories in an hour & 15 minutes (includes the walk to and from the gym).  I did have to use my inhaler on the treadmill, but I also pushed myself pretty hard. 

I followed up my workout with a Dr. Kracker flatbread & 1/4 cup of lowfat cottage cheese, then awhile later had dinner. The kids wanted pasta, so I made a box of Quinoa pasta I'd picked up and thought we'd see how it tasted. The kids don't like whole wheat pasta, but the Quinoa (which is actually  made from corn & quinoa flours) tasted just like regular pasta. I only sampled one noodle, since I'm not doing grain-carbs at night right now, but Bill and the kids really liked it. My only complaint was that the whole box only made enough for Bill, Shiloh & Bethany. Good thing Ariel was at work, and I wasn't eating pasta! LOL! 

The pasta sauce I made was just browned lean ground beef, seasoned with Mrs Dash Tomato & Basil, then a 28 oz can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted crushed tomatoes and a 15 oz can of Muir Glen no salt added tomato sauce, plus some fresh garlic & shallot, 8 oz of brown mushrooms sliced, and more Mrs Dash.  Really tasty. I poured my serving (1 cup) over my salad and it was very good :-)

I'm already sore today (woohoo)! Food today is good, water is on track. I plan to do cardio & legs tonight... not quite sure how that's going to work, lol. I'll figure it out. I've enlisted the help of The World's Greatest Trainer, so I'm anxious to hear her recommendations to keep training my lower body without further inflaming my back. The cardio doesn't bother it, actually feels like it loosens it up, but there are certain moves or positions that just zing! It is getting better, I can touch my toes again when I stretch, but I have to move carefully. 

Where do you draw the line between pushing forward and pulling back? There's definitely an injury, and I don't want to make it worse, but strong muscle tone can only benefit both me and the healing process, so I'm trying to not push as hard as I want to (or as hard as my mind is screaming at me to push, lol) but still get in the training I need. I realized I was starting to blur that line, and so sent a frantic email to Tab last night :-) and I'm waiting to hear back.

3:30pm... got a joke for you :-0  I receive Scottsdale Health Magazine, and they do a joke page each month. This one had Bill and I both cracking up...

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they were exhausted and went to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?" Holmes asked.

Watson pondered for a minute.

"Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Timewise, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.  Theologically, I can see that the Lord is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.  "Watson, you idiot, some *&$% has stolen our tent!"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dealing With Rejection

Do you have any of those people in your life? The ones who would love to see you fail? Are they members of your inner circle of family and/or friends? Do their snarky comments and dirty looks hurt you? I've been there. 

If you've read my journal here for any length of time, you know that one of my issues during my journey was the fear of rejection. I was afraid that if I succeeded, certain people in my life would reject me. Sure enough! Not only was I rejected, but I became a favored target. It began building at the beginning of my journey, and for over a year and a half (since I've hit goal and now maintain) I have felt a bit like the poor piñata at a 6-year old's birthday party. 

The digs have hurt, the barbs have scraped. And recently, one person in particular has decided to declare war against me. If it wasn't so painful, it would have been humorous, the crazy things this person is saying and doing. The sad part is that after 3+ years of this insane behavior, my hope for the relationship is gone. I've done everything I know to do to reach out to this person. I've tried to re-forge that connection that brought us together in the beginning. My efforts have failed.

Through my years in the ministry (former pastor's wife for 10+yrs), I saw quite a bit of the dark side of humanity. I witnessed the very best of people, though unfortunately, more often, I witnessed the very worst. Some people are just mean and unhappy, and they want to stay that way. They want to hurt others. After spending much time and money on therapy, lol, I developed some survival skills. I learned how to take away the power of others to hurt me. I learned that I am in complete control of who can hurt me and who cannot. As long as I hold out a hope for a relationship, I am allowing that person to injure me. If the relationship can be salvaged, the risk of hurt is worth it. But... once that hope is gone, so is that person's power. The tie is simply cut. There's no bitterness, there's no malice. Though I will grieve the loss, I will no longer be subject to the person's whims of temper or mood.

Once the "hope" is gone... for me, that person is relegated to the status of one of my plants. Does that sound odd? Here's the deal. I do not have a green thumb. We have a running bet in our house on any plant I bring home... how long will it last? In the first few years I was desperately trying to grow my container gardens and houseplants, I was crushed every time a plant died. Now.... I'm thrilled when it grows and blooms! If it becomes ill, I will fight to save it... but if it dies.... I detach.   I know that I've done everything I can to save it and keep it healthy, but once it's a goner, I shrug my shoulders and say "Oh well. I guess I'll hit WalMart and buy another".   Not that I'm saying my relationships are as transient as my plants, LOL! But, the point is to do what I can do, be responsible for ME, and if a relationship fails, accept it and move on... without bitterness or malice.

I'm interested in hearing how you guys handle such people in your lives. Email me at  inkgoddess @

Book Review - Jackie Warner's This is Why You're Fat...

Sunday food prep was completed. I'm set for the week. Yesterday was a bit light on water, but I'm back on track today.  I posted the Kiwi Mojito recipe, as promised. It's soooo nice to have my girls home! :-)

Today I'll be hitting the gym for cardio and I will attempt to lift. My back is still tender, but I'm hoping it's rehab'd enough for weights. Please, please, please!

I picked this up and read it over the weekend. Jackie is a person in the fitness/nutrition industry whom I respect. Her book is very straight-forward, practical and easy to follow. The plan makes sense, and the workout plan she offers (three "circuit" workouts) can be done as easily at home, as in a gym! All you need is an exercise mat and 2 sets of dumbbells.
Her style is very "real-world", and while she pushes organic foods, she does point out that if you're removing junk foods from your grocery list, adding organic foods won't break the bank. A reasonable assumption. (But still, an assumption).

Jackie does make one very important point about the mind-body connection that I absolutely loved. She talks about the whole "think-it, be-it" philosophy, and says that your thoughts/attitude/beliefs can control the world around you. This is true. When you're upbeat, aren't the people around you influenced by that? Here's the quote...

"... I understood at a very basic level that my thoughts -- and the energy that emanated from those thoughts -- could move mountains or start fires. I simply had to chose which to do."  (pg. 196, paragraph 3)

That really spoke to me. I'm a firm believer that as we think, so we are.  The "move mountains or start fires" part has been going through my head all day... am I going to move mountains or start fires? I've been around that type of thinking (positive thinking, belief speaking, etc) most of my life, so the concept wasn't new, but for some reason today it just seemed to take root.

Anyway, the book... I highly recommend it. If you're just starting your fitness/weight loss journey, this is an excellent place to begin. Her 2 week jump start is both logical and practical and appears to be fail-proof. There is one point upon which I disagree... she is of the camp who believe that tropical oils are bad. There is enough research available to be able to dispel that falsehood. Coconut Oil in particular is an excellent addition to any healthy diet.  Other than that, Jackie's got my vote! :-)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Monsoon & Kiwi Mojitos

Back from California. Left this morning at 9am to drive to Coachella to pick up the girls, then turn around and drive home. It's great to have them back :-)  I'm glad to say I'm hitting my water goal, still feel a bit sloshy though, lol! I scared the bejeebers out of Bill on our drive back home today when I finished my third 23.7 oz water bottle and threw my arms up in the air and yelled, "YES!"   LOL! Tomorrow morning I'm cleaning out the fridges and heading to the grocery store. I'm looking forward to my Sunday Food Prep :-)

Tonight I'm enjoying my new favorite (clean) summer drink... my Kiwi Mojito. I'll post the recipe soon. Very light and refreshing, and totally clean. :-)  We've had several 100+ degree days lately, but looks like we're heading into monsoon season! We hit rain on our way out of Phoenix and back in today, and tonight the sky is cloudy and there's a glorious breeze/wind blowing. I love monsoon season!  :-) 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sloshy, sloshy, sloshy

9:00am... Feeling much better today, lol. I am faithfully drinking my water :-)  Yesterday's food was super light... hit the bottom of my calorie range (I'm trying to get 1400-1600/day). Today I'm back on track.

4pm update: Plenty of water so far... I'm sloshing, lol! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dumbass Magic Pill

9:00 am - Today I managed to pack my cooler, but boy is it light! My lack of preparedness this week is entirely my own fault, which of course irritates me. Thankfully I still have some staples in the house... including an Amy's bowl, which is clean, but low on protein. I've got to get my act together this week! Tonight I'll be cooking a pork tenderloin so I'll definitely have protein for the rest of the week. I'm good on veggies & fruit, so that's not a problem, and I need to make a batch of quinoa. I know this to be true, yet it still surprises me how far a little prep can go. I'm spending so much more time in the kitchen trying to get my meals together than I am used to and it's frustrating. I much prefer my Sunday Food Prep! I'd like to say, "Well, this will teach me! Won't let this happen again!" but in actuality, this is life. It will happen again. The key, for me, is to roll with it. Make the very best choices I can, and keep moving forward.

8pm update... I must confess to a grievous error in judgment. You see, I have an issue, but I know what the solution is...I must drink sufficient water. Yet I ignore that and turned to a little magic pill to solve my issue. I have trouble drinking enough water. This has been a constant battle for me. It is compounded by my high-fiber diet. A high-fiber diet is a good thing, even a wonderful thing, but no amount of fiber (including ground flax) will do me any good unless I accompany that fiber with plenty of water. Yet I don't. So, last night before bed, in a moment of weakness and the use of a single brain cell,  I turned to two  itty bitty pills to solve my problem for me.... and egads, I am paying for it! Starting at 1am, I was up every half hour... my gut is so gurgly and twisted, and I am bloated - painfully so, and I have lost 5 lbs in water weight today... not good when I'm already under-hydrated! Blast that magic-pill-complex!  I managed to do my cardio, a bit of abs and stretching but there was no way I could lift weights! Oy! I had a Siggi's Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) after the gym, hoping the good bacteria cultures would ease some of my discomfort... not so much. I am physically miserable... and I did it to myself! I could have just drunk the darned water like I knew I was supposed to! I have already doubled my normal water intake today, but I think it's going to take more than that to ease this.  What I needed was a smack in the head, instead I gave myself a punch in the gut. I tell myself that I do indeed have more than one brain cell... utilizing them is a good thing. Live, learn. Do stupid things and suffer stupid consequences. Yeesh.  "Gentle, overnight relief"... HA! Yeah Right!!

Anyway, I have a tenderloin in the oven, so my protein needs will be better met for the rest of the week. <sigh> Tomorrow is a new day. I am eager for it. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Me + Gym = Peace for All Mankind

Today is a no cooler day :-(  Ran out the door this morning to have breakfast with the girls before they flew back home, and I completely spaced packing up my cooler. Thankfully I have a bag of natural almonds and a few packets of tuna in my desk, so that'll get me through until I can dash out to the store. I am fully intending to have gym-time today. I'm a better person when I get my gym-time. :-) Wait, let me rephrase... I'm a nicer person when I get my gym-time. LOL! 

Things went ok at the dealership. They're demanding I jump through hoops, but it is what it is. Then they asked for a copy of my social security card and I thought, Ah ha! I have that right here.... uh, where's my... oh crud! So much for an easy hoop. I lost my card a few years ago and never got around to going to the SSA office to get it replaced. That was a mistake. So now I have to run over there, and wait in line and wait and wait. Hopefully it won't take all day (because it can). Oy. Procrastination... it is not my friend.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wanted: Transporter

Had a GREAT weekend with the nieces :-) Can't believe how tall they've gotten! :-) Really terrific ladies, those two! (Well-Done, Sandi!)  I need some Star Trek transporter tech to get my other nieces and nephews out here! :-) I saw pics of them today and am amazed at how quickly they're growing up!

My camera battery died, so no pic this morning of my cooler :-(  But contents are clean. I listed them on the cooler page. No gym tonight, as we've got to head back over to the auto dealer and hassle with the bank (yeesh, someday this will be painless, right?), and that could take hours. Oy.     

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Clean Cupcakes. Oh yeah.

Two of our nieces arrive today from Sacramento. Woohoo! We only get them Saturday & Sunday, because the rest of their visit they're staying with Bill's Dad (Grandpa), but we're really excited! :-) They're great kids and it's amazing how much they've grown and the people they're becoming. I'll tell ya, I really miss having family "in town". I'm missing watching all the nieces and nephews grow up :-(  Ok, homesick moment.

Moving on. After work yesterday, I ran by Barnes and Noble and picked up Jackie Warner's book. She's a gal who's fascinated me for a few years and her fitness, health, lifestyle philosophies have been evolving... I'm interested in seeing where she's at now. The book is called "This is Why You're Fat, and how to stay thin forever". I haven't cracked the cover yet, but I'm looking forward to it. 

After my book splurge, I hit the gym. 30 minutes back & biceps, then 20 minutes intervals on the treadmill. My back is still a major issue - it's the part in the hip cradle, below the small of the back, but above the tailbone. Heaven forbid I actually make progress and NOT be slowed down by an injury. Yeesh!

The guys loved the cupcakes... though one in particular feels it's his job to harass me about my fitness & diet lifestyle, joking with me, of course.  He said, "tastes pretty good considering."  I asked considering what? He says, "Considering there's no sugar." I said, "How do you know there's no sugar?" "Well YOU baked them! You don't use sugar."  

So.... while you can't actually taste a difference... you can't tell that there's no sugar, but you're assuming there's no sugar, therefore, they're pretty good considering? What you're really saying is you're wigged by the fact that it's possible to have a tasty cupcake (or brownie or whatever) without white refined sugar in it.  And since you can't actually taste a difference, you're going to assume there's something wrong with it simply because of the (again) assumed lack of sugar. But, you're also going to have another one because, "considering", they are quite yummy. Do I have that straight?  

I should add, that this is the same friend who was happily gobbling up a big brownie at Easter when someone told him they were made without sugar and were a healthy/acceptable treat. He immediately put down his fork, pushed his plate away and said "they were all right". Really, 'cuz that was your THIRD, and they were better than all right until you knew they weren't full of nasty fats & refined sugars & flours. Really???

Now, my father-in-law, the diabetic, says this recipe is his favorite of all, so far. The Cranberry cupcakes have officially dethroned the Coconut cupcakes with key-lime icing. :-)     

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yummy Quinoa Salad

The cupcakes turned out great... I prefer them without the frosting, but Bill loved it. I've posted the recipe & data to the cupcake page. I've also updated the nutrition data for the Quinoa Salad. This last time I made it, I mixed 1/4 cup black quinoa, 1/4 cup red quinoa and 1/2 cup regular white quinoa to make the 1 cup the recipe called for. It created a very colorful dish :-) While my photo isn't the greatest, here's the 2 recipes side by side (you can see the more colorful one better in yesterday's post below):
Asian Style Quinoa Salad made with White Quinoa  Asian Style Quinoa Salad made with Red, Black and White Quinoa

Today will be Back & Biceps, plus cardio (probably the treadmill). Then I'll get cleaned up and go visit the boys at bowling. I'll take the cupcakes with me as they're a bit high-cal for a cheat while I'm on Operation Marshmallow Fluff. They put my food ratios & calories right over the edge yesterday (see yesterday's cooler & fitday numbers), and I only had one! Yikes!

Breakfast today was oatmeal with protein powder and all the add-ins (cinnamon, flax, blackberries). I'm out of vanilla protein pwdr, so I used chocolate. No bueno. Left a weird taste in my mouth. I've gotta suck it up and just order a new vanilla.    

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Food and Life Changes

Yesterday was wonderfully relaxing. Enjoyed a workout with Tab, came home and did my food prep & laundry, floated in the pool, and we bbq'd for dinner :-) Shrimp in a garlic/rosemary marinade , Quinoa salad, and corn on the cob, plus fresh strawberries & blackberries after. Normally I wouldn't do corn with quinoa (double starch), but hey - it's summer! :-)

Today has seen some major changes... Bill resigned his position as Arizona Sales Manager for Tot Turf and will now be pursuing his goals full time. I'll share more info soon, but suffice it to say it's an exciting & scary time around our house! :-)

9pm update: 20 minutes of grueling intervals on the stair-monster are complete. Grueling. Leave me panting, drenched and wobbly kind of grueling. My butt cheeks are throbbing, lol. No lifting today. I'm trying to baby my back (messed it up early last week) so leg day was out, but the stairs don't hurt my back... kinda felt it was an ok trade. Yesterday was chest and triceps. Tomorrow will be back & biceps. I'd love to do abs, but I've gotta wait and see how my back is. 

The hubby had to go to Tucson today and is just now traveling back home (long day for him!). I know he's already eaten (though probably not something Chelle-approved), but I decided to bake up a new recipe. has one for Blueberries & Cream cupcakes... I didn't have any frozen blueberries, but I did have cranberries, so I tried that. Haven't tasted them yet. Waiting on the man. :-)  If they're any good, I'll post the recipe and the nutritional data.

Dinner was super simple, since it was just me... grilled lean pork loin and 1/2 cup of quinoa salad.  I'm working on getting the nutritional info for that up, too.