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Progress Report [or lack there of]

6 Mar

I haven’t given an update about my progress for my wedding shape-up goals…Well, it’s because there honestly hasn’t been much progress. I actually considered deleting this part of the blog, but I feel like it’s helpful for folks to see that even registered dietitians and certified personal trainers struggle to reach their goals as well! My weight has actually gone up since my last post, and I definitely feel like I’ve been eating a lot more (I attribute that to stress!). I really do have a lot going on in my life – working at two hospitals, planning a wedding, a few different writing opportunities, keeping up with my new blog and keeping in touch with friends and family! So it’s time to re-visit my goals and adjust my plan.

  • First, I finally gave in and got a membership at 24 Hour Fitness. We have the gym at our apartment, but if there are 3 people in there, there’s not much room left so it was easy to become unmotivated. I actually used to work at 24, and there are a few near-by with good group classes. I’ve discovered that actually paying for a gym membership is great motivation on its own!  At the beginning of the week, I plan the group classes that I’m going to go to for the week (2-3 + a yoga class). I also have my gym bag packed to stop on my way home from work. The only hard part is that the fiance gets off work after me, and I like to wait for him…but I NEVER know when he’ll be off work so it sometimes messes up our fitness schedule –> something for HIM to work on, I’d say! Some days, I’ll just have to get my workout in without him. I always have a snack packed in my gym bag as well – one of my biggest excuses for skipping the gym after work is because I’m hungry!
  • Weigh myself every Monday and Friday. Good way to see if you’re on track but keep in mind that your weight will fluctuate daily based on hydration, contents in your bowels and menstrual cycle. I will also take my circumference measurements monthly.
  • I feel like a lot of my time on my days off is spent catching up with friends and family. I’m lucky to have such active friends, so if I need to get a workout in I’m sure they’d be happy to join me! Otherwise, get the workout done first thing in the morning before starting errands (which I’m actually pretty good about).
  • FOOD JOURNAL!! This is one of the biggest keys to success with weight loss and weight maintenance, and apparently, one of the most difficult for me to do. It’s just something I need to do. Some days, I do my food journal the night before and plan my meals out – which is a GREAT plan. I always seem to fall off the bandwagon when I get home from work. So my plan is to JUST DO IT. My goal is still to journal 3 days per week. I believe that this will be my biggest key to success – I tend to snack a bit more than I think I realize.
  • Another thing I’m working on in my life (which is not really related to this, but it really is), is getting more organized and simplifying my life. Instead of writing my workouts down in three or four places (yep, sure do) I plan to get them all to one – just have to decide which method works best. I also currently have three day planners (one online, old-fashioned day timer and work Outlook planner). This month, I will downsize to one method for tracking each (except a day timer for both work and “life”).


Some things I am doing well with:

  • I have been working out 4-5 days per week. I’ve been doing more cardio lately – thinking of training for another half marathon. Gotta make sure to stay on track with the weights too.
  • Planning dinners. I plan dinner and grocery shop on my day off for all the days until my next day off. This really helps keep us accountable because we’ve already bought the groceries and don’t want them to go to waste.
  • Buying a gym membership will be a great step for us also!

So this is where I’m picking up with the plan. Only 7 months to go!!

Question :: Anyone have any other tips for success? What keeps you on track?


Quick Thought…

10 Feb

My biggest piece of advice to my clients and patients… Pick one or two goals and adapt those into your life, then pick a few more. If you try to overhaul your life all at once, you’ll get overwhelmed and quit.

Time to take my own advice?? Hence the problem of Type A personalities.

My focus for this week:

1. Workout 5 days – more specifically see here

2. Log food THROUGH DINNER (I tend to stop keep track of food after I get home from work.. which is when it all goes south) 3 days.

??Question :: What are your tips for prioritizing your goals to improve your life?

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

8 Feb

Well to start off with an update on my “wedding makeover”…. weight is stable, last week I only lifted twice (goal 3-4x/week) and did one regular run and one day of intervals on the treadmill (goal 2-4 days of cardio/week). I also have made it to yoga for the past 3 weeks! I’ve been doing better about keeping track of my food, and do pretty well during the day, but afternoon/evening snacking is definitely my downfall. That’s what I’ll focus on this week. I’ve been eating 300-350 calorie snacks between meals to see if it helps my hunger attacks later in the day. I’ll also be taking my measurements again this week; sometime the scale doesn’t budge but the inches are melting away (even though that’s not likely the case this week).

We had some friends over for the Super Bowl last night, not that I actually watched more than a few minutes of the game! But we had (if I do say so myself) a pretty fabulous spread; everyone left feeling just a bit too full!

One piece of advice I always give around the holidays, make sure to eat a good, healthy breakfast and lunch before parties. Many people “save” their calories for the party by skipping meals before – I PROMISE you that this doesn’t work out in your favor.

I started out with my usual oat bran and had a yummy salad for lunch. To make sure it would fill me up, I loaded it up with:

  • 1/8 block extra-firm lite tofu
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow and red peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 T. tahini paste, 1/2 T. tamari sauce, 1/2 T. minced garlic

And here are is the Super Bowl Spread:
Hummus :: (minus the roasted red peppers)

(we were hungry while cooking and broke into it before I could snap a photo!)

Sweet Potato Chips ::

Preheat oven to 400*F.

Wash and slice up some sweet potatoes. The thinner you slice them the more like chips they will be, the thicker they are the more like potato skims (yum) they are.

Lightly spray each side with olive oil cooking spray (or brush with olive oil). Line baking sheet with “chips”. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until brown (or crispy if desired).

Snapped the photo a little late I guess 🙂

Get creative with the spices on these! My other favorite combo is a little salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme!

I also made regular potato skins (Russet potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic pepper)  and homemade corn and whole wheat tortilla chips. For the tortilla chips, cut the tortillas into eighths and prepare the same as the potato chips. I just added salt and pepper and they made for perfect, crunchy vehicles for my friend’s homemade queso dip and salsa!

We also grilled some turkey burgers topped with reduced fat Sargento provolone cheese and plenty of veggies.

And my favorite part of the day…. dessert!

No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Balls ::

Makes 22 cookies

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 18 whole, pitted dates
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 T dark chocolate chips

In a food processor, blend cashews and almonds until nuts are pulverized. Remove nuts and blend dates, vanilla extract and salt until smooth. Place nuts back into processor and blend together. It will looks like loose crumbs when it’s ready. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a heaping tablespoon to begin to form balls and shape in your hands. Refrigerate to help keep form. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for these no-bake balls lately, feel free to experiment with ingredients! I wanted to keep it simple this time, but I sure will be experimenting also!

Nutrition Stats (per ball) :: 100 calories, 10gm carbs, 7gm fat (almost all poly and monounsaturated), 3gm protein

Gluten-free Brownies ::

Makes 15 squares

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 7 T. Smart Balance butter
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 T. + 1 1/2 t. oat flour (add 2T additional for high altitude)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup walnuts


Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 8×11 baking pan with cooking spray. Melt choc chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat (or double boiler, if you have one). Once melted, add all the other ingredients and mix well. Pour into pan and cook for about 30 minutes, until springy in the center. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then cut into 15 squares.

Nutrition Stats :: 122 calories, 11gm fat, 3gm saturated, 3gm poly, 3gm mono, 50mg sodium, 28mg cholesterol, 49mg potassium, 6gm carbs, 2gm fiber, 3gm sugar, 3gm protein


“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney

Question // What are your favorite, healthy treats for entertaining?

Super filling breakfast

1 Feb

The BEST way to start the day…

Kinda blurry, but it’s my all-time favorite AM oats:

  • 1/3 cup oat bran made with 1 cup water
  • 1T flaxseed meal
  • 2 egg whites (add in oats after 1 min of cooking with 2 min left)
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1Tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (no sugar added)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree

And my chai tea steeped in almond milk. Yep, the coffee maker has been sitting clean & pristine on the counter for one WHOLE WEEK.

I did REALLY miss coffee yesterday, I was especially tired after working 7 days in a row (yay for one day off today!). But I am also really enjoying the Vanilla Chai and steeping it in almond milk satisfies my creamy AM beverage craving. This breakfast, all for less than my allotted 400 calories, actually fills me up and tastes like dessert (I actually crave this meal more than sweets, which is saying A LOT). And a quick oats lesson – I chose oat bran vs Scottish oats (which have similar structure) because, gram for gram, it has the same amount of calories, a little more fat, more protein, more fiber and less carbs.

Breakfast Stats :: 390 calories, 15gm fat, 4gm poly, 6 gm mono, 1 gm satured, 269mg sodium, 528mg potassium, 45gm carbs, 14gm fiber, 13gm sugar, 20gm protein

Bonus :: 300% daily value vitamin A (thank you pumpkin!), 23% dv calcium, 24% dv iron
Time to make more almond butter!

Question :: What’s your favorite oats combo? Anyone as addicted as I am??

9.30.11 – The Big Day

31 Jan

After FINALLY setting a date for our wedding (we’ve been engaged for almost 5 months!), I’ve set a few goals for myself to look and feel my best on our wedding day.

Now I did set my New Year’s Resolutions a few weeks ago, and these goals definitely are in line with a few of those. But for this, I’m putting myself totally out there… putting my personal stats online for the world to see. I’m taking my own advice: Tell someone about your goal to keep you accountable. By putting myself out there, as embarrassing as it can be, I’m a lot more likely to follow the plan because anyone on the world wide web can check in on my progress. I’ve always had a workout journal, and track my weight and (occasionally) calories on the My Fitness Pal app on my Droid, but now I’m going to track my progress here.

So in addition to providing evidence-based nutrition news and debunking diet myths, I’m going to get a little more personal with some of my posts. As a dietitian and personal trainer, even I am not perfect – any advice on my journey would be more than welcome!

Question :: What are you doing to better yourself, inside or out?

Putting myself out there… my goals:

  • By August 1, that 26 weeks from now, I would like to lose 8-10 pounds. This entails dropping fat and toning up.  While my current weight, which maxes out at 145#, is healthy for my height and I do have a good amount of lean body mass, I still would like to lean out for the big day.
    • 30 min+ HIIT (high intensity interval training) 1-2x per week
    • Other cardio (regular runs) 1-2x per week for total of 2-4 days of cardio per week
    • Strength training 3-4 days per week
      • Day 1: Lower body, core
      • Day 2: Chest, back, shoulders
      • Day 3: Biceps, triceps, core
    • Keep food journal 2-3 days per week
      • Based on my calculations based on height, weight, age and activity level:
        • 1800 calories on rest days
        • 2000 calories on workout days (or more, depending on the workout)
      • 50% carbs, 25% fat, 25% protein
      • Eat ~400 calories at breakfast and 350-400 calories per meal after (5 meals total per day)
      • Eat only every 3-4 hours (yes, 3 hours is a LONG time for me to go without eating!)
    • Drink 1-2 liters water in addition to tea and and other beverages
  • Really, whatever the number is on the scale, I would LOVE to be a size 4 or 6 instead of a 6 or 8. That is really my ultimate goal more so than the number.
  • Continue going gluten-free – this really does make my stomach feel SO much better and I do not get bloated when I don’t consume gluten.
  • Be more confident. I’ve always been kind of a shy person, so this is me breaking out. I’m about to have over 100 people with their eyes on me for the entire night… gotta work on confidence! Not really sure how to work on this, any ideas?
    • I do know that I want to find a hairstyle I love. Mine is a good start, but could use some help.
    • I need a good skincare regimen – I just started using Proactive and it burns my face and bleaches my towels… does this happen to anyone else?? I’m pretty sure I don’t want anything that bleaches towels on my face. I’m very open to suggestions here. I don’t get bad acne, just a few constant annoying pimples and bumps.
    • New wardrobe – I will use clothes as rewards for reaching my goals! But I also need a personal stylist…anyone interested?
    • Smile and say hi to every person I walk by.

In addition to updating my own progress, I’ll post ways to succeed in your own goals.

Starbucks “Trente” … Really??

30 Jan

As I’m sure most of you are aware, Starbucks is trying out a larger than life beverage. Considering some of the moves Starbucks has made recently towards promote healthy living, I’m a bit surprised at this monstrosity. The ‘trente’ sized drinks are 31 ounces, with a hot venti drink being 20 ounces and iced venti being 24 ounces.

…Big gulps, eh? Welp, see ya later.

That’s right; the trente is 1 measly ounce less than a 711 Big Gulp. 31 ounces is 930mL – the average capacity of the human stomach is 900mL with the maximum capacity being 2000-4000mL….

Here are the stats::

♦Tall (12 oz) Caffe Latte w/ skim milk: 100 calories, 0gm fat, 15gm carb, 14gm sugar, 10gm protein, 75mg caffeine

♦Venti (20 oz) Caffe Latte w/ skim milk: 170 calories, 0gm fat, 25gm carb, 23gm sugar, 16gm protein, 150mg caffiene

♦Trente (31 oz) Caffe Latte w/ skim milk: 265 calories, 0gm gat, 39gm carb, 36gm sugar, 25gm protein, 233mg caffeine

♦Venti Caramel Macchiato w/ 2% milk: 300 calories, 8gm fat, 5gm saturated, 43gm carb, 39gm sugar, 13gm protein

♦Trente Caramel Macchiato w/ whole milk: 525 calories, 20gm fat, 12gm saturated, 65gm carb, 60gm sugar, 20gm protein

Considering that most people drink their coffee in addition to a meal or snack, I can’t even fathom a 525 calorie drink being a part of my meal plans. Even with skim milk, 31 ounces add up – 265 calories – and really, who gets full from coffee alone?? Not me, so this is not somewhere I’d prefer to spend my hard-earned caloric bucks. Also, a trente caramel macchiato with whole milk has almost the maximum amount of saturated fat recommended for the entire day.

Starbucks, I am disappointed in you.

More incentive to support local coffee houses!

Question // Anyone tried the trente yet and been able to drink it all? Any local Denver coffee houses you’d recommend?

Kill them with caffeine.

29 Jan

Caffeine, specifically coffee, and I have been friends for a long time. I started drinking coffee in 7th grade to stunt my growth because, as a gymnast, I was getting to be on the taller side. Let’s just say if it did stunt my growth, I’m thankful because I’m 5’8″! And ever since 7th grade, I’m pretty sure there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t had multiple cups of coffee…

Now let me just say that coffee is not the problem; coffee contains heart healthy antioxidants and recent studies have shown it can help prevent type II diabetes.  Even caffeine is beneficial, when used moderation, promoting alertness and mental clarity. Keyword: moderation, AKA a dietitian’s favorite term.

Each and every day, the very first thing I do is pour a 16 oz cup of coffee into my mug. Since I’ve obviously guzzled that down while getting ready for work, I refill for the drive. Then at work, I easily get 2 more 8oz cups of coffee before 1pm. That’s a mild day. If I’m extra tired, at home or meeting up with a friend, I’ll easily have another 16oz cup. That’s a minimum of 6 cups of coffee per day.

Another (not-so) fun fact about me: I’ve been going to different doctors for about 6 years because of fatigue. I just always fill drained. I’m definitely Type A, so I like to have a long “To-Do” list, but each and every day it’s a struggle to keep my legs moving and my eyes open.  In that 6 year time period, I’ve been diagnosed as depressed (wouldn’t you be if you felt like crud all the time??), tried multiple supplements from a Naturopath (and I am NOT a supplement advocate) and been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Tried all three prescriptions for hypothyroid and none made a difference. In the last few months, I’ve discovered that my digestive issues resolve when I don’t eat gluten. So I thought that cutting out this intolerance would improve my energy levels as that often does for people…. not so far. I’ve tried many other things, but needless to say, I’m DESPERATE.

So in the last few months, I’ve started making my coffee 1/2 caf  and I’ve been choosing decaf coffee after my home-brewed coffee for the most part also. So I figured, with the low amount of caffeine in decaf, I shouldn’t be addicted to caffeine still, right?

Well, I randomly decided to stop drinking any coffee (like I said, desperate) last Tuesday. And let me tell you, I felt like I hit a brick wall the first few days! Here we are on day #5, and while I’m still tired, I may actually feel a tiny bit better than normal! And I must say that I do enjoy my Vanilla Chai steeped in almond milk with stevia for my creamy morning treat. So I’m obviously still drinking tea, which also has caffeine, but not as much as regular coffee and I’m not drinking the same quantity.

I feel like it’s worth keeping up for a week or two to see if there is any improvement.. in the meantime, I also plan on cleaning up my diet a little and see where I could be lacking. More to come on this and my coffee-free journey as well.

Question :: Anyone found a cure to constant fatigue???