Friday, March 30, 2012

Quicksand Mattress Strikes Again!!

Remember that dog that was so smug as she watched me struggle out of the bed? Remember the dog that made not a single indent in the quicksand mattress? Remember the dog who takes up WAY more of my bed than I do? Karma got her, folks.
This is Nakki laughing at me and my mattress struggles.
I'm sitting on the bed (sinking) working on my laptop this morning, along comes Nakki. She manages to climb up (her hips are bad), takes over the majority of the bed, huffs, and falls asleep. Not too much later, Winnie comes bouncing into the room. Nakki pops up and attempts to run after him to play - and she gets stuck! I'm talking legs in the air, rolling back and forth trying to work her way out of the pit she'd sunk into! Ha! KARMA! Who's laughin' now, Bitch! (I can say that, cuz hey - female dog! LOL!)

And before you think I'm a cruel dog owner, I assure you I'm not - I didn't go for the camera, I moved quickly to help her out and off the bed - but I did laugh. A lot. When she returned to the bed, she pouted.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun Ahead...

The bed is growing on us... or maybe we're growing into it. Hmm. We enjoyed a very restful sleep last night, though it was still quite the effort to get OUT of bed this morning, lol. We've (only half-) joked about tying a rope to something and having it handy in case we need help escaping the Quicksand Mattress.

We're busy (ok, I'm busy) finishing up all the last minute stuff for our vacation. All the contact lists are done, the itinerary is finished, Mom has copies of everything, lol ;-) I have a storage container (large) that I've been putting all the vacation clothes and shoes in, and a smaller one that I've been using to collect travel-size toiletries and such. I am READY to pack! ;-) I also made the call to the credit card company to inform them of our trip - it would be a very bad thing to have them put a fraud-prevention freeze on it when we're out of cell range! LOL! Yeah - it's happened to us before - no fun!

In the meantime... it's Arizona Bike Week! Woot! Remember last year? We had fun with the helmets ;-) Bill and I are heading over tonight after work. We'll check out all the vendor booths, then enjoy the concert - Puddle of Mudd! Woot! It's gonna be great! Then Friday night, we'll probably go see Mirror Mirror (thanks to a killer Groupon deal for Studio Movie Grill!) - I love Julia Roberts and a comedy sounds just right ;-)

I'll be doing my Food Prep on Saturday this week, as I have a bunch of errands and appointments on Sunday, then we'll be into the home stretch! We leave for the cruise next Friday!! Yaaayyyy!!!

Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Case of the Quicksand Mattress...

Our mattress is horrible - I mean really, really horrible. We're not ready to plunk down the big bucks for a new one, so we headed out looking for a mattress topper - something to make it bearable, maybe one of those memory foam deals. We found one. At half the price we were expecting to pay. We got the 4" one, thinking deeper is better. We were excited. We opened the box. We let it air out (and fluff up), then put on the cover, the sheets, made the bed and looked forward to a good night's rest.

Didn't happen.

What did? We were swallowed by the Quicksand Mattress. Yes. It's a real thing. I should know - it's in my bedroom right now. Covered in a pretty comforter and matching pillows, it looks innocent - even welcoming. But it's not. It's a beast, just waiting for you to relax into the memory foam, fall blissfully asleep, so that it can SUCK YOU DOWN INTO ITS DEPTHS.

When I woke this morning, my nose was level with the mattress - not because my face was on it, but because my face was IN it. My hips had sunk down, my arm was lying in an indent. Huh. As I ponder this, the hubby climbs out (yes, he had to climb up and out) of bed to hit the shower - as he vacated his body-pit, I rolled into it. Yes. I literally rolled into the impression his body had left in the memory foam. The dog - our 70 lb boxer, evidently is smarter than us and figured out how to disperse her body weight across the mattress. She was sprawled over 3/4 of the bed, with nary an indent in sight. How did she do it???  As I huffed and puffed and tried to claw my way out of the Mattress Monster, the dog opened one eye and looked at me, as if to say, "Really? Having problems there? Amateur."

I'm posting a new sign on my bedroom door. I believe everyone must be warned.

If I don't blog tomorrow - someone come save me from the mattress!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week... Easy Chicken Verde

We eat a lot of chicken, don't we? I mean, A LOT of chicken! Well, here's an easy way to spice it up a bit - and save time by bulk cooking! Plus, with only 4 ingredients, it's a cinch to put together! Once it's done, you'll have lots of tasty chicken to do with as you please... put it on a salad, in a low-carb wrap, over a baked potato, in a sandwich, stuffed in a roasted chili, or eat it as it is! With so many different kinds of salsa available, you can make this taste any way you like! Tons of options!

EASY Chicken Verde
recipe by Chelle Stafford

3 lbs chicken breast
1 16-oz jar green salsa
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
1/2 tbsp garlic powder

Place chicken in crockpot, dump in the green salsa, green chilies and garlic powder.
Cover and cook on high about 4 hours (about 8 hours on low) or until chicken shreds easily.
Drain off about half the liquid, then shred the chicken. Add more salsa, if desired.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to a week.

Watch the labels! Look for low sodium products, with all-natural (and pronounceable) ingredients.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Fun

HUNGER GAMES!!! Did ya'll see it? What'd you think? I loved it! I thought they did a fantastic job of staying true to the book and I'm excited to see the next one. And seriously - Jennifer Lawrence? Unbelievably incredible actress! If you haven't seen the film yet, it's worth it just to watch her! Major talent!

Saturday morning I joined some new friends for the Arizona Walk of Hope, and after that Tabitha and I attacked the mall ;-) It's been quite some time since we've been able to hang out and shop, and it was awesome. We shopped from lunch til dinner! ;-) Our men met us at the mall to grab a bite at the end of the night. We had a great time - a precursor to our trip.... the one leave for in....
11 DAYS!!!!

Yesterday was food prep - trusty slow-cooker to the rescue ;-) Still fighting the rice cooker, though... argh! I did a big batch of crockpot shredded chicken, then shredded bbq beef, veggies galore, grilled steak, roasted peppers, plus the usual oatmeal baggies.  The house is full of prepped food and anyone who say's "there's nothing to eat" can bite me. ;-)   Laundry is done, though truth be told, I finished it at 7am this morning :-/  Whatever - it's done now.

I was craving monster salad as I packed up my cooler this morning, so here's what I came up with... Yummy, right? Let me assure you - TOTALLY yummy!
Now THAT is a Salad!
Baby spinach, lettuce, shredded cabbage, diced chicken, green onion, roasted peppers, raw sunflower seeds, fat-free feta, brown rice & quinoa, olive oil and pomegranate balsamic vinegar. I all but licked the plate!

Here's the rest of today's food:

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I See The Light...

And it's not a train! It's a boat! A big, big BOAT!   ;-)
15 days until we leave! Wooohoo!!

The hubby is out of town, and you know what that means? I get the whole bed to myself! NOT. Lol!! I hate when he's not home, I have trouble sleeping knowing he's not beside me - I miss him :-(  However, I have two dogs who apparently miss him just as much. I fell asleep last night (finally) with one dog on the floor and the other by my feet. When I woke this morning, I was the filling in a Brindle cookie. They were both stretched out full length on either side of me - pressed up tight. The boxer was snoring in my ear, and the pitbull was sleeping with his head on my shoulder. So much for having more room in the bed, eh? ;-)

Bill comes home Friday, and that night we've got tickets to see Hunger Games at our favorite theater (Studio Movie Grill). I'm so excited!! Tabitha and Mike will be going, too, so it's Double-Date-Night ;-) I'm also looking forward to a treat meal, hahaha! Diet has been lean and mean lately, and I'm ready to feel full. LOL!

Here's to the weekend! C'mon, Friday! ;-)

Today's cooler is up - and I'm slowly, but surely adding pages to the Recipes section. Check it out if you get a chance! Feedback is always appreciated ;-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week... Protein Powder Ice Cream!

Yes, you can have ice cream - even while on training / competition diet! And it's EASY!! If you can make a protein shake, you can make ice cream. If you can drink a protein shake - you can eat ice cream! Give it a try!!

Don't be afraid to get creative! Flavor Extracts are "free" in competition diet - mix and match flavors until you create your own signature ice cream! You can also use Capella flavor drops, if you're so inclined. ;-)

There are two ways to make this... the first is in an ice-cream maker, the second in ziploc bags.

I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker I just blend my ingredients, turn on the machine, pour it in, and 20 minutes later I have ice-cream!

Back in junior-high, we made ziploc ice-cream... where you put ice and salt in a big bag, and your ice cream ingredients in a smaller bag, then the small bag goes in the big bag (sealed of course), and you shake... voila! ice cream!

Fill a gallon size ziploc bag about 2/3 full of ice.
Add 1/2 cup table salt (don't waste good sea-salt on this, use the cheap iodized stuff, it's only to make the ice colder).
Pour your ice cream mix into a sandwich size ziploc bag & seal it. 
Place the ice-cream bag into the larger bag. Seal. 
Shake for about 5 minutes or until ice-cream reaches the consistency you prefer. 
Remove the inner bag and quickly rinse it off (so you don't get salt in your ice cream when you open the bag). 
Dump ice-cream into a bowl and enjoy!

Important notes...

►  BLEND your ingredients before putting in the ziploc or the ice-cream maker.
►  SCOOP SIZE... My protein scoop = 1/3 cup. Measure yours, as volume will matter in these recipes.
►  Nutrition data will be dependent on your protein powder & ingredients. Any numbers listed here reflect my protein powder/ingredients. You can use to run your own numbers (it's free!).
►  Substitutions... you can sub water for the almond milk (or coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, etc) if you need to. 

And Now Some Recipes...

recipe by Chelle Stafford
serves 1

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (chocolate or vanilla unsweetened)
1.5 scoop protein powder (chocolate or vanilla to match the almond milk)
Blend well, then prepare in either ice cream maker or ziploc method.
Calories: 182; protein: 21 g; carbs: 7g; fat: 7g; sodium: 350 mg; sugars 2g; fiber 2g.

DREAMSICLE (orange/vanilla): 
recipe by Chelle Stafford
serves 1

1 cup almond milk (vanilla, unsweetened)
1.5 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (pure)
1/4 tsp orange extract 

Blend well, then prepare in either ice cream maker or ziploc method.

recipe by Chelle Stafford
serves 1

1.5 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter.

Blend well, then prepare in either ice cream maker or ziploc method.

recipe by Chelle Stafford
serves 1

1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1/4 tsp mint extract

Blend well, then prepare in either ice cream maker or ziploc method.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ready for a New Week.

It's Monday. Yep. It is. It's also raining. In Scottsdale. In March. These are the mysteries of my world. LOL! Seriously, we in AZ are not used to this wet stuff in the air - a truth attested to by the idiot drivers on the roads. ;-)

We had a packed weekend. There's always so much to do, and with the calendar and the clock moving forward no matter what our objections, we find ourselves constantly scrambling to not fall behind. Now, ya'll know me - know that I'm pretty anal about organizing my time and getting my lists crossed off - you can imagine how crazy in the head I get everytime an appointment changes or something new gets dropped in my lap. LOL. Yeah, I've been a bit deranged lately. ;-) Ok, maybe a tad bit more than a bit. Hahaha.

Yesterday was modified food prep - We had an unexpected event in our schedule, so I pulled a few shortcuts for this week - namely, rotisserie chickens. While I don't like to use these regularly (higher sodium), I simply didn't have time to do my usual prep, so these saved my sanity. I've gotten several emails, and some of you have noticed that my cooler's look a bit ... umm... leaner than usual ;-) This is true - they are. Because my activity is so limited, my calorie needs are lower, plus, hello-cruise ahead! You're seeing much less dairy, less fruit and fewer starchy carbs in my daily food than usual. It's temporary - After vacation, I'll go back to a more balanced diet. I'm not trying to make any drastic changes or drop any weight for the cruise, I just want tighten up where I can. 

Saturday brought the dreaded bathing-suit shopping. Is there anything more demoralizing for a woman than shopping for a swimsuit? I went into it knowing that swimsuits do not define me (lol), and that it's ok, I'm ok, I am stronger than the dressing room mirrors. Yeah, that lasted through about 2 suits.

Last week, I had seen the cutest retro pin-up style suit, and so my first stop was to go back to that store and try it on - I just knew this would be my suit! Um. No. The sales gal warned me, "these run really small". Try microscopic. So I upped the size and tried again. Got it on this time, adjusted, turned to face the mirror... and discovered I had 4 boobs. It was so snug in weird places that I actually looked like I had a bust, but then it cut across my pecs and made those look as big as my falsely advertised boobs - definitely awkward. So I moved on to a cute little one piece that had the cutaway sides - so adorable in black and white polka dots... ummmm, no. I'm not even going to describe what it did to my hips. Then I found a gorgeous turquoise suit... it fit. It was pretty.  I was done. In the bag it went and I headed out for my second stop - Kohls. I believe I tried on every suit in the building. I came away with a tankini and a one-piece that I adored. Putting the ghastly experience behind me, I headed home to run my purchases by the hubby.

The tankini was a hit. The turquoise suit had to go. The one piece I adored he hated.

This is what we call adding insult to injury. I had to go BACK and swimsuit shop AGAIN. This time though, I shared the agony - I made the hubby go with me. Hehehehe. If I had to suffer, so did he. I finally ended up with suits that will work, and I'm done. You know, it's kind of a funny thing - I don't sweat (very much) about wearing a swimsuit - it's the search for one that makes me nuts. All those different cuts and styles that never seem to suit my body - and the dressing room mirrors - ugh! Really messes with my head. Because of this, there are a list of swimsuit shopping rules that I should remind all women to be aware of...


1. NEVER go swimsuit shopping alone. Yes, I had to break this rule - Tab and I cannot seem to mesh our schedules.
2. NEVER judge yourself by the size on the tag. Swimsuit sizing is designed to make you crave a straight jacket. Period. It's wonky. Just ignore it.
3. NEVER creep to the dressing room entrance and call your husband's name - there will be 4 other men in the area with the same name who all turn to stare at you in your swimsuit. Just tell your hubby where to stand then decide on a signal. Much less embarrassing ;-)

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

And the Doctor says....

Ugh. Another doctor's appointment in the books. Yesterday was a whirlwind of appointments. My world seems to revolve around them, these days... to the point where I'm actually getting mild panic attacks... like this one: The first appointment goes without almost without a hitch (I had to get assertive at one point - I cannot abide rudeness), and I head home to drop off one kiddo, and get the other on the way to her appointment, then I'm off to mine... as I pull into the doctor's complex, I'm hit with this paralyzing anxiety - OMG, is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this the right appointment, is this my appointment or am I missing someone? I had to pull into the lot and check my calendar, then all the little appointment cards to be sure I was where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be. Lol. That's been happening a lot. I'm even having dreams of showing up to the wrong appointments with the wrong participants.

Anyway, so I see the doc and we go over the situation. The short version is that he's going to help me get through to June. When we return from our cruise, I'll come in and he'll give me another shot - with any luck and the new prescription he gave me, this will buy me the month of May, then I can do my shoulder surgery in June. But... because nothing can be easy, right? There's a problem with my back. The quad/sciatica thing I've had going is more than I thought, and may mean something entirely different for me. I'm to go back in immediately and get an MRI if it changes. Not good news. I'm now completely off training, relegated to cardio only - and even that might change, as far as the machines I'm able to use.

The rate at which my body is attacking itself is a shock. The words Auto-Immune and Rheumatoid Arthritis keep popping up. I know it's incredibly ridiculous, but I have a huge fear of being put on something like prednisone - All my hard work to lose weight and get fit, only to take a drug that causes me to swell up? Doesn't appeal. I know it's silly, and if it's the right course of action, I'll take it, but you can be sure I'm doing my research, lol. I'm hell on research. And nutrition - that's absolutely my best weapon and I'm using it. Up the Rebels! 

To escape my useless fears, the hubby and I headed out for date night - We went and saw 21 Jump Street. Not a movie I'll buy on DVD, but it gave us some good laughs. And the Johnny Depp cameo? Hysterical!

Today I'm prepping my meal plan and grocery list for tomorrow's Food Prep, and being as it's St Paddy's day, I definitely see a Guinness in my future ;-) Our cruise planning is nearly complete - we've booked our shore excursion and our on-board events. We're so excited! We'll be seeing the Blue Man Group, the Cirque dinner show, and the Legends concert, then our off-boat fun is horseback riding on St. Maarten, beach and shopping, too, of course ;-) A fun tour on St. Thomas, and the big finale - the Atlantis on Nassau! Woot! It's going to be fabulous!!!!

I'm almost fully packed, ROFL! Seriously! I've got all my vacation clothes and shoes ready to go into the suitcase - the hubby thinks I'm nuts, I probably am, lol, but I'm just so READY for this trip! I need a bathing suit, and a dress-up outfit, and then all that's left is to actually pack up. And yes, my notebook for this event is ever at hand, haha!

Though, I'm wondering if I should fake-tan up before we go... I'm pretty winter-white.

he he he ;-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's that kind of day...

Clearly I did not ingest enough coffee this morning. Up & At'em, I hit the gym for my morning cardio, only to have my iPod die on me less than 10 minutes in. Since this happened last week, I came prepared with my cell phone, thinking I'd just do Pandora if it went kapooey - problem with that is all the skipping songs I have to do... I'm picky about my gym-tunes. Oh - and there is a danger navigating Pandora causes a klutz like me while climbing stairs. Drat. Turned into the looooongest 30 minutes on the stair master of my life. Lol. Back home, my allotted 10 minutes of reading became 20 as I got sucked back into Panem and then had to scramble to get ready. Now at the office, I'm fighting technology, frantically backing up files and reading printing-quotes that make no sense. Clearly - Oy!

After I posted my daily cooler, I started wondering what the lifespan is on these little iPods... it's the little shuffle that looks like this...
except that those earbuds have never fit my ears... I have to do the in-ear kind or they fall out. So, maybe my little iPod needs to be replaced.... so I go searching online... only I can't find it anymore. When did I buy this thing, anyway? It was..... ummmm, hmmmmm, oh holy cow. Yeah. It's totally obsolete. Lol. But I don't WANNA buy a new one! Sure they're "cute", but darnit, I really liked my little sliver! We'll see how long I can last before I have to replace it with one of these...
I thought technology was supposed to make our lives easier?

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a mad-dash back and forth across town. There are three doctor's appointments, and each has it's own drama, plus the times ended up overlapping. ARGH. I'm still not sure how that's going to pan out - I guess we'll see. Three of us have an 11am on one side of town, then the hubby goes back to work, and I get to dash back home to drop off one kid and pick up another - she has a 1:45 on the other end of town, while I have my shoulder doc at 2 on the opposite side, then when that's done, back to the other appointment to pick her up, then... See? Chaos! I'm thinking there's a call for one-stop-medical/dental/ortho/etc... just one big building in the middle of town and every doctor has to work out of that... think it'd fly? ;-)

I've alluded to a crisis we're having in our family, and while I cannot share the details, I can share how I'm feeling. With everything going on in our lives, I'm spending more time at various appointments (and requisite driving) than anything else. Though I have my own issues with health, I'm incredibly grateful that I'm able to do cardio again, because at least I get some kind of recharging. I'm exhausted - physically, emotionally, mentally.  The situation we've been forced into is beyond anything we'd ever imagined facing. It's more painful, more terrifying, more everything. I catch myself holding my breath, or white-knuckling and have to remind myself to breathe. I search for "silver linings" just to keep myself pushing forward. One of those silver linings is that I am married to the most incredible man on the planet. I've seen many couples shatter during crisis - we are not one of them. I think that gives me more comfort than anything else right now.

That and knowing it's only 22 more days until vacation!!!!!!!!!!  I know, ridiculously shallow, right? But I'm thankful that we booked (haha, and paid for) this trip before all hell broke loose. I'm thankful that it won't prevent this trip (knock on wood, cross your fingers, cross your toes...). I know we have to come back to the situation, and that it's going to be even harder with what's to come, but we'll have had a break, you know? Just a time-out to catch our breath and regroup.

Maybe the universe will forget about us while we're on the cruise, and quit picking on us.... or maybe - with our luck - it'll realize that we'll be on a big boat in the big ocean on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Oh - and the day before that one? Friday the 13th. Oops! ;-)



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It arrived!!!

Thank you, Amazon!!! Guess what I found when I arrived home yesterday?
Woohoo!! I lost no time at all, breaking open that 2nd book in the Hunger Games series! I'd gone home to pick up one of my daughters for a dental appointment, and was thrilled (read: THRILLED!!!) to find my book waiting for me. I was 45 pages in by the time we were finally called back to the dentist, lol, and not because it was a long wait ;-)

I am sucked in.  I  read at the dentist, then had to pack it away until this morning - I read while I drank my coffee, then off to cardio, then I read for 10 minutes when I got back, before I had to pack up and get ready for work. Yep... fully sucked in. Hahaha.

Today's cooler is posted, for those of you who are interested ;-) It's a wee bit heavier today, since I packed my dinner in it, too. I'll be heading to the bowling alley after work to cheer on my guys.

23 Days until we board the plane!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shoes... Part II

I broke down. I couldn't take it any more! Oh, the pressure! I  HAD to try them on! 

And they were a fail. Rats!!  I can see how the Sketchers GoRun's would be ideal for - haha - a runner. For me, though, I just felt like I had a golf ball under my arch. No bueno. Not willing to be a complete and utter shoe fail day, however, I proceeded to try on each and every athletic shoe Sketchers had in the store.

How'd that turn out? I went back to Sports Authority and bought my trusty Nikes. Lol! I did venture away from my same-style-I've-worn-for-4-years, and came home with these...
They got their first gym-time this morning - so far, I'm liking them a lot. They're a ton lighter than my usual ones, but I still feel like my foot is supported. All the lighter than air shoes I tried on over the weekend left me feeling like my ankles were going to roll in - not a safe sensation, lol.

For comfy shoes, it's Sketchers all the way. I would live in my GoWalk's if I could! They're awesome! And I love all my regular Sketchers walking shoes, but I guess when it comes to the gym, I'm still a Nike girl at heart ;-)  

I had another fail over the weekend... I purchased a breadmaker, and decided it was time to try it out. After all, having burned a batch of rice in the rice cooker, the breadmaker should be fairly idiot proof, yes? NO.  Not only did the bugger go bouncy on me to the point that my son did this...
Yes, that is a tow strap on my granite. They may grow up, but really they're still just little boys. When it came time to open it up and remove the bread, I had to search out my son to undo those straps because I couldn't get them undone! LOL! I guess he made sure that machine didn't go anywhere! Hahaha!

And the bread was still a fail. So I tried again last night. Fail. This could be disheartening if I allowed it. The only thing saving me from the depths of appliance cooking despair is that I can bake bread - in fact, I can bake amazing bread. Real bread. Oh, and I'm a wizard with the crockpot ;-)  Therefore, this is not a user-problem, it's an appliance problem. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! ;-) Eventually I'll master that stupid machine - I'm too stubborn not to, lol. I'll keep at it until I come out on top.

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week... No-Explode Microwave Omelet

We've all done it, right? In a hurry, toss our egg whites in a bowl and into the microwave, press the magic button... only to have a big mess to clean up when those little buggers explode. So much for saving time! There's definitely a better way - fast, easy, and mess free. All you need are these...
and maybe a few of these...

No Explode Microwave Omelet
serves 1

1 cup egg whites
1/2 - 1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp Mrs Dash - any flavor
* 2 Tbsp diced green chili - optional
* 2 Tbsp salsa - optional
1 Ziploc Steamer Bag

Open up the steamer bag and add the egg whites, veggies, Mrs Dash, and any optional ingredients.
Seal and shake lightly.
Microwave on high (labeled side up) for 5 minutes. Allow to rest 1 minute, then check for doneness (no runny egg stuff). If needed, microwave 1-2 minutes more.
Open bag (carefully! Steam is hot!), and slide omelet out onto a plate.

TIPS: Add black beans for a boost of complex carbs! Top with 1 Tbsp crumbled reduced-fat Feta or Cheddar. Other ingredients I've successfully omelet-ified are asparagus, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, olives, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, chicken sausage (precooked), chicken/turkey (precooked), ground beef (precooked)... huh - what haven't I put in an omelet? ;-)

NUTRITION: (with salsa) 152 calories, 28 g protein, 9 g carb, 0 g fat.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Shoes!

I found the world's most comfortable shoe. Truly! Now, let me remind ya'll that I do not take "bribes" from companies - no one sent me these shoes and asked me to rave about them (though if the company wants to refund me my money since I'm about to RAVE about their product - I won't argue. wink wink). Here's what happened. Saturday I went mall-walking. I need some things for the upcoming cruise (30 days!!!), and so I was on the lookout... shoes being at the top of my list. You'd think I have plenty of shoes, right? I am a girl, after all, lol, but in reality, I don't really have much of anything wardrobe-wise. I never really replaced much after I lost all the weight, just a piece here or there (don't get Tabitha started on this subject, lol, she'll ream me! hahaha!!). So each new season, I pick up one or two things that help me get by. And yes, my feet shrank along with the rest of me. I used to be a size 8-8 1/2 W, I'm now typically a 7 or lower.  So here I am facing this vacation with truly only a piece or two that will work. Time to shop. Tabitha would be proud. ;-) In fact - I can't wait until our schedules mesh and we can do some real mall damage together! Woot!

So I wandered into the Sketchers store. I love sketchers. They're comfy, versatile, and last forever (when your daughter doesn't "borrow" them for mud-bogging). They had the cutest sandals and I thought something like that might work... pool, walking about the ship... check... but they won't be very comfortable on excursions. Hmmmm... then I saw these. Simple slip-ons, huh - those might work. I ask to try them on in my size. Insert angel choir here. O.M.G. Like walking on a cloud. Gravity lost it's hold on me. Sooooo soft and cushy! Oh yeah, these were going home with me for sure.

Back home, I (of course) ripped 'em out of their box and have been wearing them ever since. I tell the hubby I'm breaking them in (haha) but they don't need it! If you get the chance to try these bad-baby's on - do it! You'll see what I mean. They were so awesome that I broke my shoe rule! No new shoes unless they're on sale - preferably on clearance. So what are they?
The Sketchers GoWalk Shoe

Doesn't look like anything special, does it? But let me tell you... put that shoe on and you will NEVER be the same! LOL! I'm serious!

Then - the sales gal tells me they have the same type of thing in fitness! What??? Are you kidding me??? I need new kicks - pretty bad. Competition prep was super hard on my Nike's, and it's past time to replace them (last replacement was in July). I just replaced the inserts last month hoping to eek out a few more months on the shoes. I'm thinking that for the first time in years, I may walk into the gym in something other than a Nike... The Sketchers GoRun's just might have to be tried out ;-) And... they come in all those fun colors! Woot!
Come to Mama! ;-)
I also picked up a pair of wedge sandals for my vacation dresses - though I'm a wee bit nervous about them... Me = klutz.
Me + heels + boat = potential disaster.
But aren't they pretty???

What's your favorite shoe? For lounging, for walking, for dressing up, for working out? Tips people!!! Give me tips! ;-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why???????? WHY????????????????

Why did I only buy book one of the trilogy????
What was I thinking???

Hahaha, yes I finished book one this morning (and was 5 minutes late to work to prove it) and am chomping at the bit to get to the next book. I LOVED it! Fabulous story, excellent writing technique, and now I can't wait to see the film! I only hope they don't do to Hunger Games what they did to the Twilight saga. I adored the Twilight books, the movies however... not so much. Yes, I know, the book is always better than the movie. I'm a bibliophile - I worship books. However, there have been some stories that have translated well and I hope this will be one of them.

Come on, Amazon! Ship, ship, ship!!! ;-)

My cardio is going well (knock on wood, cross your fingers, toss salt...). The sciatica is at a low hum, the quad - though weak - is holding up, and I'm feeling productive. The shoulder... well, I'm doing my best to protect it, but the active damage worries me a bit. Ok. More than a bit. Apart from the pain, knowing what's going on in there gives me the willies - cut it out, just cut it out, I want to scream. Which they will, but not until June at the earliest. I'm left to do what I can to prevent further damage, but the inflammation is IN the bone as well as the joint. I get those funky flutters in my gut every time I think about them cutting out the ruined bone. Bleeeehhhhh! (she says with a shiver).  Then I get the heebies wondering if it's spreading, growing like an evil mad vine while I sit here and wait until after the cruise then the hellish month of May... yeah - super active imagination here. Mostly I just put it out of my mind and move on. Then those insidious little thoughts pop back up... ugh.

So. Moving on. Lol.

Today's cooler is up and you can see what I'm fueling my body with today. And just as a reminder, if you're looking for information on revamping your lifestyle - the One-Day-Food-Prep section of the site is complete - from overview to meal planning to grocery lists, food prep and packing that daily cooler - it's all there for you as a resource! ;-)

And just in case you were wondering...
31 Days To Go!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week... Seared Ahi Sandwiches

There used to be a restaurant, halfway between my office and home, that made the most incredible Seared Ahi Sandwich. If I was watching carbs, I'd simply toss the bun - it was absolutely incredible with or without it. One day, the BFF and I agreed to meet there for lunch... and it was closed. Permanently. Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth! Lol! I missed that sandwich like crazy! Then... I came across this recipe in Devin Alexander's book, I Can't Believe It's Not Fattening. I cleaned it up a bit, and voila! My beloved Seared Ahi Sandwich had returned! ;-) If there's no room in your diet for the wasabi-mayo, sub in a bit of hot chinese mustard. That kick will burn extra calories for sure! ;-)

Seared Ahi Sandwich 
original recipe by Devin Alexander, adjusted by Chelle Stafford
serves 2

2   4-ounce Sushi or Sashimi Grade Ahi Tuna steak (should be beautifully pink and not smell fishy)
1/4 tsp prepared Wasabi
2 Tbsp clean mayonnaise (watch the labels for zero preservatives)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Fresh pepper & sea-salt to taste
2 Sandwich thins or other clean "bun"
Green leaf lettuce
1/2 avocado sliced (optional)
4 slices tomato

1. Have all ingredients ready, because the tuna cooks fast and you don't want it sitting around while you're putting your sandwich together :-)
2. Prepare the wasabi, (mine is a powder you mix with hot water and requires a 5 min. rest, so check the directions on yours).
3. Combine with the mayo and set aside.
4. Slice tomato, and avocado (if using).
5. Prep the lettuce leaves.
6. Heat a small non-stick skillet on high heat until hot, but not smoking.
7. Oil the tuna on both sides and sprinkle with fresh pepper & sea salt.
8. Add tuna steak to the pan and sear - about 30 seconds to a minute on each side. Ahi should be RARE in the middle... if look at my photo, you'll see that I actually overcooked mine (still tasty, though).
9. Spread 1/2 the wasabi-mayo on each bun top.
10. Place lettuce and tomato on bottom bun.
11. Top with Ahi, then avocado (if using), and top bun.
12. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information: 
Each sandwich (without avocado) has about 298 calories, 32 g protein, 27 g carbs, 7 g fat , 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 395 mg sodium .
These numbers will change depending on the bun you use, your choice of mayonnaise, and whether or not you add the avocado.

You can find this recipe at...

Monday, March 5, 2012

All kinds of randomness ;-)

If you read Thursday's post, you'll be glad to know that the dog is recovering well. She had to undergo surgery, but has gone home to her family. After that trauma, you can be sure our doggies were seriously pampered all weekend - and I called the microchip company and updated all our contact info.

Friday was a blur of getting the hubby to the airport (6am - oy!), then cardio, then driving the youngest to school, then driving another daughter to the college to sign up for new classes and get books (OUCH!). After that, we hung out for a couple hours then headed back home where I wasted time fighting the Blu Ray player (turns out it was dead - huh. At least it wasn't user error!), knitted for a bit, then jumped back in the car to work my way East. Bill's return flight was coming into Mesa-Gateway at 8:45pm, so I wanted to get to that side of town. My plan was to drive over, hit up the SanTan Village shopping center (I've heard such great things about it), then mosey over to the airport, pick up the hubby, enjoy a nice dinner, then head home. Key word in there was "plan".

I googled my directions, then away I went.... it took me an hour and a half to get there. ?????!!!!!  I have a strong dislike of traffic. As I neared my destination, I began to watch for my exit... ummmmm, where's my exit?? It wasn't there! I did, however, drive right past the exit for the airport... ??? huh? That's not supposed to be there, it's supposed to be on the other side of the mall...??? To my right, I saw the shopping center, so I hopped off the freeway, parked and put the mysterious exit and out-of-place airport right out of my mind. I keyed up my iPod, put my earbuds in, and browsed myself senseless. It was fabulous! I loved having the "no-mind-required" time alone. And, I scored a Lucy hoodie on clearance!! Woot!!

A couple hours later, it was time to head to the airport. Armed with my directions, I started the car and exited the lot... and got a text... "Flight Delayed."  Noooo!!!!!! Ugh. Now what? So I drove across to the giant WalMart (yes, I can kill serious time in a super-WalMart). Wandering up and down the aisles, I couldn't relax - I just wanted the hubby home. Finally it was time, so off I went. I followed my directions, sort of, until they dumped me in a parking lot. Not the airport parking lot, mind you. Forget this, I thought. I opened up the navigation system on my phone (why didn't I do this earlier???), and followed the robotic woman's voice to my destination. I had to park in the Cell lot, as the flight wasn't in yet. ???? I went online to check it's status... delayed again!!! By the time it finally touched down, I was not a happy camper, sitting in a dark, secluded lot for an hour. I have a very active imagination and have seen way too many horror films. Lol.

Once the hubby was safely in the car, I gently and lovingly informed him that he is to NEVER fly into this particular airport, EVER AGAIN. Hahaha. Lol. As he took the wheel, we drove out and I noticed something odd. We passed the shopping center. The one that should have been behind us. Not only did we pass it, but we passed it on the same side as I had previously entered it. WTF???

I expressed my bafflement to the hubby. He gave me a blank look. I explained. He laughed. He laughed so hard I feared he'd drive us off the road.

Evidently there are two 202 freeways. Evidently, I took the wrong one.
Let me give you a visual...

The red is the route I took, the long, circuitous wandering, non-scenic route I took.  The green circles are SanTan Village and the airport. The blue is the route I should have taken, which would have reduced my trip time from an hour and a half to 40 minutes. I pouted the whole way home. At least it was a short(er) ride.

Saturday was booked full, then Sunday was my usual Food Prep. It's stir-fry week at our house ;-) I have three very large containers of different stir-fry - chicken & pineapple, chicken & veggie, and beef/broccoli. I picked up a rice cooker at Costco - did you know you can burn rice in one of those? I was unaware of this. Consider me now duly informed. Hahaha. Woops! In addition, my oatmeal/protein powder baggies were all made up, my veggies went into steamer bags (purple cauliflower on sale this week! Woot!), another batch of chicken cooked up, more jasmine rice, a batch of Chorizo for tacos and taco salads, plus all the fruit, yogurt, etc. It's all good to go. With as many people as we have in the house right now, if anyone goes hungry, it's their own damn fault.

This morning I did my cardio, and I'm hoping to be whole enough to do class tonight. Stupid fragile joints. Ugh. On the up-side, I am LOVING my March playlist ;-) Woot! My quad is down to a dull roar, but the Sciatica is still threatening. Shoulder is holding steady - hurts like hell, but that's become my normal. Hoping to be able to hold out until June on surgery. We've got the cruise in 33 days, then a major event in May, so my surgery has to wait. With everything going on, I can't afford to be down in May, and there's not enough time now to have the surgery and recover before the cruise. Stupid fragile joints. Did I say that already? lol. So, we're crossing our fingers that the shoulder holds until June.

I'm sure ya'll know about the movie coming out ... Hunger Games. I seem to have been living under a rock, and was unaware of the story. Tabitha recently picked up the book and raved over it. I keep hearing awesome reviews of it, so I bit the bullet and bought the book. I had to force myself to put it down this morning when it was time to get ready for work. FORCE myself. Yeah. I'm hooked.

And being the pinterest junkie that I am, this suddenly makes a lot more sense...

So there's my update... What's new with you? ;-)
Happy Monday!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What a Morning!

It started off normal... the usual chaos, coffee, rushing. I dropped Bethany off at school and headed to the office. I ate my oatmeal, chatted with my boss over what needs to get done, reached for my grapefruit and my telephone rang.

Thus ends the normal.

It was our oldest daughter. She had good news and bad... good - one of the weights that's been hanging over us has been lifted - situation is now under control (or well on its way to being under control) - Yay. Bad news - she's just hit a dog.

Long story short, there were actually three running across a main street (Frank Lloyd Wright at 91st St, for you locals), she managed to avoid the pack, but hit one of them. The injured dog went into a gated community, so she pulled in and waited for a car to let her in, then followed the dog "home". She got hold of the other two, put them in her car for safety, then utilized her christmas present - the emergency kit we'd put in her car. When I got there, the poor dog was a mess but had been carefully bandaged and wrapped. I managed to lift her up - thank the gods she was friendly, loaded her into my car and away we went to the hospital.

At the hospital, we discovered the dogs were all chipped, but the contact number was out of date. The number on their collar tags was the home number - but since no one was home that didn't do us any good. She and I stayed with the dogs, the injured one was incredibly sweet and gentle - they all were very well behaved and friendly. I ended up going back to the community to knock on doors, hoping to find someone with the owner's mobile # or the HOA phone #... I have to say - there are some really paranoid folks in this world.

Two cars wouldn't stop when I tried to wave them down (remember this is INSIDE a gated community), and one woman yelled at me through her door that she was calling the police - "great", I said, "maybe THEY can help me get ahold of the owner because I HAVE HIS DOGS... AT THE ANIMAL HOSPITAL!!!"  Oy!  I finally found a few helpful residents, and we called the HOA, which was a total waste of time, as it turns out the residence is privately leased so they don't have tenant contact info. We did all we could, but in the end had to leave the dogs at the hospital. They'll keep working to reach the owner - they can't treat the dog's injuries until they have permission. They can, however, do pain management. Poor little thing. Broke our hearts to leave her there. We left all our contact info, just in case.

As we walked out, I realized I was covered in dog blood and hair. Eeeew. So the daughter headed home, while I dashed to Wal-Mart for a quick change. lol. I am now clean again, but still get the willies when I think about it. My poor daughter is still shaken, too. It's horrible for a dog-lover to hit a dog, ya know? It wasn't her fault, and couldn't have been avoided, and she did the right thing all the way around.

OMG. Just realized I'm going to have to wash out the back of my car. EEEEEWWWWWW!

Back at work, I'm scarfing lunch while I try to make up for missed time.

Wow. What a morning.